Friday, September 19, 2014

Last Call for Beach Haven!

The Beach Haven Acme
Closes Today!
Has Closed!

Location: 9600 Long Beach Blvd, Beach Haven NJ
After serving the residents and vacationers of Beach Haven for 56 years, 3 months and 1 day, the Beach Haven Acme will cease operations this evening. The store remained one of the most classic Acmes in existence until its very final day. The 50's architecture still very much intact with few alterations having been done since opening day, June 18, 1958. Closing day is September 19, 2014 with demolition following shortly thereafter. A brand-new store will be built in its place with a grand opening planned for Spring 2015.

Update: Beach Haven closed sometime prior to September 19th. That was the date I was told when I asked a cashier at the store back in August. Perhaps they decided to get started earlier to ensure a timely re-opening.

This Jersey Shore location has been covered rather extensively on the blog by Acme Style contributors. I have personally been to the store many times in the past few years but resisted the temptation to take more photos as I felt the store was well represented on the blog. It wasn't until this past Spring when I learned the store's fate that I decided an exhaustive photo shoot was in order. Plans for some vacation time in LBI were already assured, so it was only a matter of time for  one last visit to this classic.

The original entrance and exit seen on this side has become secondary to the a newer entrance on the left side. The awnings have been upgraded a bit but still remain very much intact. The front side walk has been enclosed creating "the cage" which is stocked with an assortment of beach supplies. A register is set up in the cage but was not in operation the day I was here. Much of the inventory had been sold as this was a late August day.

I have very vivid memories of being here as a kid with my parents. Back then I was more interested in the selection of beach toys than I was in the Acme itself. I remember my parents hating to go here because the place was always complete chaos.

A new main entrance and exit was added here at some point. According to comments left in previous Beach Haven posts, the new entrance, as well as an expansion into the former liquor store to the right, happened in the early 90's. Originally this section of the store was the Produce back room.

Most of the interior photos you'll see were taken in the evening after dark. I had photographed the entire store first thing in the morning but as I exited the store I discovered the color settings were messed up on my phone. (Thanks to my nephew playing with it a few days earlier.) At the time, I wasn't sure if I would be able to adequately color correct them all in Photoshop so I decided to return in the evening for another round of photos just in case. Turned out, the photos were even better after dark since since there wasn't any sun glare coming through the front windows. As we tour the inside, you will see a few photos scattered throughout from earlier in the day.

Alberstons Marketplace decor for this location with some Checkerboard Arch floor tiles remaining. This flooring is very rarely seen in Acmes. Most stores that received the early 90's remodel kept their 80's checkerboard floor. That leads me to believe this store was skipped over during the 80's Remodel but it's difficult to know for sure.

Before we head any further, look closely at the photo above. You'll see support columns running down aisle 1 where the ceiling is lower than the rest of the store. This is where the right side interior wall used to be prior to the expansion into the Produce back room. With this very small expansion and some uniquely narrow shelving in the grocery aisles, this store was able to go from its original 8 aisles to the 10 that it has today.

A quick look down the original entrance and exit. The registers are from the Premium Fresh and Healthy 3.0 remodel. They were installed after Hurricane Sandy wiped out the previous registers. The store also received all new cases. It will be interesting to see if they're all moved into the new store as their not even 2 years old yet.

A look across the front-end. The aisle markers were switched out prior to Hurricane Sandy. The photo below shows the store completely cleared out after the storm...

This summer shoppers were greated with a sign announcing the new store...

Not the most exciting Acme we've ever seen. This rendering was created years ago as plans for this store kept getting put on hold. At the very least, let's hope the sign gets the Acme fish-eye wave treatment!

Heading into the Farmstand...

As previously mentioned, this section used to be a neighboring liquor store which Acme expanded into.

Produce selection is quite extensive here. A sharp contrast to the grocery aisles where selection is at a bare minimum. The center store is managed more like a convenience store with only the most popular brands and sizes available despite the fact that there is plenty of room on the shelves for more variety.

Produce, Deli and Meat do have updated flooring.

Are the pictures in this post a bit overkill? You betcha!

Again, the original right interior wall would have run along the left side of these columns.

Only one bottle left of Paula "Butter and Oil" Dean's barbecue sauce which makes this a great opportunity to see how narrow the shelving is in this aisle. Every inch counted when it came time to squeeze in two more aisles. Grocery inventory was pretty light in many aisles.

Looking up toward the entrance.

Deluxe Deli sign for this tiny store!

Aisle 2 has some frozen food cases stocked with frozen dinners.

Check out how much Smukers Strawberry jam on those shelves! Would it kill them to squeeze in a couple jars of lingonberry jam? I'm not sure if variety is scaled back here for the end of the season or if this is just the norm. Less variety would simplify restocking which gets challenging when sales volumes are at their maximum here.

Customer Service is lined with 2 express registers. No shelf-checkouts.

Jumping back to the rear of the store, we see one of those odd air vent covers again. I pointed them out in the former Brick Acme which you can see by clicking here.

The floor is looking a little rough back here.

The aisles have plain white tile. Not sure what era they are from.

Minimal toilet paper selection. Laundry detergent and dish soap variety also very limited. Notice the right side bottom shelf is empty.

Top shelf empty in Baby Care.

One thing I was shopping for was baby wipes for the car. I was surprised to find the store carried only one variety in one size and it was too big to fit in my glove compartment. Plenty of room on the shelves for more options but they just did't have them.

Nice to see this small store with the deluxe department store plaques instead of the plain blue letters mounted to the walls, as seen here.

Customer Service would have originally been located here. Offices are now occupy the former bread room...

The room looks pretty large compared to those we've seen at other stores. Perhaps this area has always been used for some office space.

Looking back towards Produce. The store was rather slow on this particular evening but there were a TON of employees on the clock.

Some daylight shots mixed in as we get ready to exit.

We got the magic carpets AND the classic door handles! These were often replaced during the 70's remodels with the fish-eye logo. You can jump over to Dresher to see one by clicking here.

Heading around back. You can see a refrigerated room was added to this side with another one around back.

Lots of activity back here so I couldn't go in much closer. You can see all the usual elements here in the back. This store is a virtual twin to the former location in Brick. See the photo below for comparison...

Heading into the cage...

Not much left in here. The register is covered over here the foreground.

Lots trailers on the side and around back. You can see an old one with a very faded fish-eye logo on it there on the left.

A movie theater used to be next to the Acme. That has closed and has been torn down. I believe Sandy was what did the theater in. Not exactly sure where the new Acme will be built. I have heard that some residential units will also be built on this property but can't confirm that.

Aerial Views...

The movie theater can still be seen in the aerial views.

Check out all the trailers around back!

The store in relation to the ocean.

Historic Images...





This image was clearly taken in the summer with all those cars in the parking lot.



A final look at the classic door handle.

Good Night, Beach Haven Acme! We'll be seeing you all shiny and new next summer!


  1. Wow, Beach Haven is closing and being demolished in favor of a new, larger location on the same site. And wow, only 10 aisles for a modern look! (Though not as small as some other Acmes with even fewer - like 6 to 8) Tell a friend about the future of this Acme!

  2. I'm surprised that of all the old, run down stores they could have replaced, they chose this one! Had I not known better, I would have assumed it was built within the last 15 years! It has the 90's lighting, a very deluxe Albertson's remodel, and the greenish-beige siding looks like it belongs on a Pf&H store!