This former store was one of the biggest Acme mysteries I had to crack... mostly due to my own confusion. Would you believe this Acme was built in 1989? I certainly didn't, especially considering the facade on this place. It looks more like the Acmes Albertsons was building in the early 2000's. (See West Chester and Freehold) When I began researching this store through statelite images, the store appeared to be under construction. At that time many satellite images I was looking up were taken in the early 2000's which lead me to believe that this store was an early 2000's "crash and burn" like the Freehold store.
Turns out the construction was taking place sometime after the Acme had closed in 2002 in preparation for the CVS to move into half the space. The entire building and parking lot were upgraded at that time. The property may have been in an abandoned state for several years before the CVS opened. After figuring all of this out, I still couldn't get over the facade of this place. I am familiar with many late 80's stores that were built and none of them looked anything like this building.
This story does get more interesting... this Acme was actually a replacement store for a 50's model that was located on this very site. The original store burned down in the late 80's paving the way for this gigantic replacement. Thanks to HistoricAerials.com, we'll get a very good look at the old store down below.
The brick and all the trim appear to be new on the building. I don't believe it was looking this deluxe back in the Acme days. Still... the bones of this facade are much more extravagant than Acme was known to have in their late 80's stores.
If memory serves me right, there were not alot of new stores built in the mid to late 80's. Acme instead focused on remodeling most of their existing stores, expanding some but keeping construction of brand new stores to a minimum. The next significant Acme building phase would take place in the early 90's when the "megastore" concept was rolled out. (See Quakertown for an example of this model)
Interesting roof-less awning on the right half of the store. Although the facade has clearly been made-over, old satellite photos do show the facade is virtually the same back in it's Acme days.
It does not appear that the CVS is a huge draw here. The is a "downtown" area a few blocks from here but that too seemed every quite on a Saturday afternoon.
The red oval logo was on this section. Not sure if the front walls and windows have been reconfigured. This is not like any late-80's Acme that I know of. Let's take a look inside...
A few remaining Acme clues to be seen! The orange Deli strip is still up. If you look closely at the back wall you can see how the Produce Department had a lower ceiling. The ceiling then sloped upward right at the Deli stripe to the higher section throughout the rest of the store. No signs of the Checkerboard floor.
And a bit of the "Quality Meats" stripe can still be seen. I'm a little confused by the layout here. There are no signs of Seafood which would have been to the left of the Deli. Most late 80's stores had the Deli along the Produce wall, essentially behind the Produce alcove. Not sure if this store had a Produce alcove or if Produce just lined the left wall. More mysteries would have been solved if I discovered this store in the early 2000's when it was still opened... or even abandoned. Those were the days before satelite images and GPS systems for the car. (Well, at least cheap GPS systems.) This store should have had the 80's superstore format but it's hard to tell now that it's gutted.
The CVS is behind the wall to the right.
Back in the Acme days, this are was known as Elberon. Today, it's more commonly referred to Oakhurst.
Limited beach areas up in the Northern sections of the Jersey Shore.
Serious upgrades taking place around the entire building. When I first discovered this store, every satellite angle showed it under construction. This is the only remaining image available now. All other angles now show construction completed and the CVS open for business...
Now for some HistoricAerials.com images. (Click on them to see bigger images)
The Acme closed in early 2002. It may still be open in this shot.
1995... about 1/2 way through it's life.
1979... showing the classic 50's model. Pretty typical of Acme's back then... small store with a huge parking lot. Did they ever think all of those spaces would get filled? Even of triple coupons days?
Nice clear shot from 1963. Not too busy that day.
In 1956 the Acme was officially under construction.
So why did the new Acme only last 13 years when the old one stood for 30? The old 50's model must have been pretty successful for Acme to go ahead with a huge new replacement. Did other competitors open nearby in the mid to late 90's stealing away Acme's business? Perhaps the new store was never the draw Acme hoped it would be. This does seem to be the case considering the 80's decor remained in the store until it's death in 2002. American Stores replaced most of the remaining 80's decor with the "Convenience Store" look in the late 90's. Hopefully someone familiar with the are can shed some light on this store's demise.