Friday, July 29, 2011

Jersey Shore Acme,
Cape May Court House/Swainton NJ

Location: 15 Avalon Blvd, Cape May Court House NJ

Photos courtesy of Rob Ascough

Our final stop in Cape May! The Northern most Acme location in the Cape May area is also the newest of the Cape May stores. Also happens to be one of the loneliest Acme's out there. The planned shopping center that was to join the Acme has yet to materialize. Population in the area is low and quite spread out. The store's good fortune comes purely from being located on the main road to Avalon beach. (A quick satelite scan of Avalon didn't reveal any significant supermarkets on the island). Summer business is sure to be high while sales slow significantly in the winter. A combination that Acme has turned into a successful business model for many of it's shore stores. The other Acme Cape May Court House is located less than 4 miles South. That store recently won it's battle with a competitor when the SuperFresh across the street closed this past April. Nice to see Acme come out on top for a change. You can visit that Acme location by clicking here.

Satellite images show this store arriving sometime after 2002. I would guess it was shortly after, as this store is among the new locations built when Albertsons purchased the company. The exterior design matches closely to the West Chester store but switches out the brick for white siding and does not have a second entrance. Very similar to the Swedesboro Acme which has not yet been featured on the blog. No pharmacy here. Possibly due to the seasonal nature of the business.  

Space has been allocated on both sides of the Acme for additional stores. None have arrived. The Acme may originally have been planned to be larger than it's current size. We'll see more evidence of that in the satellite images. 

Built with the Albertsons Marketplace decor package that was standard issue in early to mid 2000's stores. Aisle markers have yet to be switched out to the Premium Fresh and Healthy markers. Rob visited this store in March so the update may have happened before the summer season started. The covered Produce cases here may be due to slower business during the winter months although Rob did report seeing a healthy crowd at the store. 

Sky lights in these Albertsons Marketplace decor stores do wonders for the interior. I have been in stores that do not have them and the interior comes off as dark and gloomy. 

You can see the original aisle markers still hanging here in frozen.

Let's survey the situation...

Aside from a strip of stores planned for the left side of the Acme, there appears to be lots reserved for two stand alone businesses to the right side of the parking lot. 

The empty lot to the right of the store would seem to indicate that Acme reduced the store's footprint after plans for the parking lot were finalized.   

Side door leads to a mud pit. Doubt that was the original plan.

Very similar in size and layout to the Wildwood store. That store, however, had a retro designed facade to match the look of the town. You can view the full post by clicking here

Heading higher...

Avalon Beach in the lower right. Sea Isle City is on the island in the upper right. Acme has a classic store there which was visited during last year's tour. 

The image above shows the two Acmes of Cape May Court House, the Northern one being the store located in Swainton while the southern one being located officially in Cape May Court House.

A brief historical tour...


Good crowd at the Acme! Undoubtedly the summer season here with all the green trees. 

Too bad they cut down all those trees for a whole lotta nothin'.

Just Acme. Doesn't look like anything else will be opening here anytime soon.

To review the stores of Cape May...
 jump back to last week's post by clicking here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Former Jersey Shore Acme – Ortley Beach, NJ

Location: 5 Ortley Plaza, Seaside Heights NJ

The Acme of Seaside Heights once stood in the very spot where the A&P is now located. Closing date is unknown. According to the historic aerial images, the store appears to have been abandoned as of 1986. The building to the right of the A&P "future store" looks to have been a grocery store as well, possibly the original A&P. The two stores may have coexisted for a time. 

Acme sign still standing but is now capped off with "A&P".

Heading back in time to visit the Acme...



Acme, to the left, looks closed and abandoned as of 1986. Check out the shadow of the street sign in the lower left corner... seems that the A&P sign may be on top at this point in time.

Both stores open in 1972. Nearly identical in size.

Acme was the first on the site. Lack of parking may have been it's downfall. The Acme opened June 17, 1959.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Jersey Shore Acme – North Cape May NJ

Location: 3845 Bayshore Road, North Cape May NJ

Photos courtesy of Rob Ascough

The arrival of the North Cape May Acme to the blog nearly completes our tour of the southern most portion of New Jersey. One more Cape May location to go. I have had a little trouble keeping them all straight. For others who may have had the same problems, here's a list of the Acmes in the Cape May area:
Also in the Southern most tip of New Jersey:

Rob traveled to this location last August to photograph it for the blog. From the outside, it's certainly not the most exciting Acme location we've seen. As he explored the area, he did stumble across a very interesting surprise that will be revealed down below. 

Update: Originally I reported that this location had been a former Jamesway and later Ames. That is incorrect. The building has always been an Acme. Thanks to Zach for clearing that up in the comments.

A few shots of the interior...

Albertsons Marketplace decor. 80's checkerboard flooring remains in place, with a bit of a twist in this area with the combination of blue, beige and white tiles. The flooring, seen here and in the images below, would indicate that the Acme opened in the very early 90's at the latest. By 1993, Acme had rolled out the Red/White/Blue decor for it's new stores and the checkerboard flooring would have been history. We'll see in the historical aerial shots that the shopping center was built sometime between 1987 and 1995.

The wall tiling might be leftover from the 80's decor. The green used in Produce and Deli went from kelly green in the remodels to dark green in newly built stores. One thing is for sure, it's not the usual tiling done in Albertson Marketplace remodels. The floor is all 80's-Deli here. 

Premium Fresh and Healthy aisle markers throughout the store. The 80's beige and white tiling in the grocery aisles.

A look around back...

And up for some aerials... 

As previously mentioned, the historical aerials show the entire shopping center arriving sometime between 1987 and 1995. Obviously much closer to the 1987 mark. 

Heading across the street...

The former pithed-roof Acme of North Cape May! Rob happened upon it by accident as he was heading out of the area and stopped by for a closer look. 

The current satellite images show the former Acme as being a movie theater. This is no longer the case. 

As you can see, the pitched-roof had an addition put onto the left side. The store opened in July 1963. Closing date unknown. The addition was done sometime between 1970 and 1987, according to the historical aerials. Additions were commonly put on pitched-roof stores during the 80's remodels but there is no way to know for sure. 

Looks as though exit doors were added out of each theater.

And now to Rob's photos of the old pitched-roof store as it was last August...

The movie theater is gone and the building was undergoing major renovations. Would it be great to get a look inside?

Back Corner Cafe isn't kidding. Not exactly a prime location. Judging from the leasing company's website, nearly all of the Acme/Movie Theater building is still available for leasing. 

Most of the old Acme elements still in place looking fresh and clean with a new coat of paint. 

And now, let's take a look inside...

Wow! Rob took a chance walking up to the door not thinking there would be much to see. Quite a surprise. Look along the back wall and you can see Acme's second floor where the break room, bathrooms and compressor room used to be. We've never had this kind of look at the interior skeleton of a pitched-roof store. The "Mezzanine" remains in place. If you scroll all the way down on the leasing companies website, you can see in the illustration that it is included in the available space.

Former Acme sign structure reaching higher than the new one peeking through the trees across the street.

This Acme is about 15 blocks from the beach.

Going back in time for some interesting views...




No shopping center across the street in 1987.

The addition to the left side of the store had arrived by 1987. 

No addition in 1970.

Looks to still be under construction in the 1963 image. 


North Cape May Acme has liquor!