Saturday, February 21, 2009

Abandoned Acme! Belmar, New Jersey

This former Acme is located on Main Street between 8th and 10th Avenues in the shore town of Belmar NJ. Just seven blocks in from the Atlantic Ocean. I am not sure when this store closed. Mostly likely in the early 2000's when Acme shut down many stores of this size all over NJ and PA. I have been going to the beaches of Belmar every summer since 2000 and was probably there when this Acme was still open. Thing is... I didn't know this Acme existed. Although it is on Main St it is set back about a 1/2 block and is not easily seen from the road unless you know it's there. Store fronts line Main Street blocking an easy view of the store except for a walkway right in front of the store.

Location: 825 8th Avenue, Belmar NJ

West Marine boating store has moved into the right side of the store.

A shot from Main Street. It's looks quite open in this shot but as you drive along Main St you don't notice Acme unless you turn and look.

There is a strip of stores to the right of the photo.

The former Produce supply doors dressed up at this Acme since they are easily seen from the other stores. This Acme and many of it's characteristics are exactly the same to other stores built in this era which I am guessing to be the early 70's.

The customer service office is directly across the foyer. Shoppers turned right as soon as they passed through these doors. The office had windows to look out into the foyer... you can see them through the doors.

The red oval logo... painted over! You can see it's still there if you look closely. This store was not remodeled in the 80's when Acmes switched from the fish-eye logo to the red oval. It's odd that this logo was changed since the facade of the store is original.

Check out the inside...

This store had the blue and beige convenience store wall graphics done in the late 90's. The orange and brown panels in the back are left over from the 70's colonial look. The odd thing at this location is that the floors appear to have never been upgraded. All beige. In the 70's, Acme's had white floors with a faux red and blue slate Produce floor, orange and brown along the Meat Department and gold and brown in the Bakery aisle. The wall to the right is where the boating store begins.

Check out stand foot prints.

The infamous railing. Every Acme had one in those days. The customer service office was off to the left. This looks to have been a very small store. Probably 8 or 9 rather short aisles.

Below is a screen shot from Live Maps. Shows how this Acme was buried out of view from just about every angle. Very limited parking in the shopping center. Must have been a nightmare when the Acme was just a little busy.


  1. This Acme closed about 5 years ago. Since it was the only grocery store in the area, it always seemed to be busy. A lot of people from neighboring Avon shopped here as well.

  2. Thanks for your comment Pat. I have never been able to find any official information on why Acme closed this location. I figured it must have done decent business since there aren't any grocery stores nearby. I do know that Acme had closed stores similar to this one due to expiring leases. Even if the stores were still profitable, Acme did not want to lock itself into new long term lease arrangements at locations that were already quite outdated. I also know of some situations where Acme wanted to renew leases but landlords turned them down... most likely because other retailers, most commonly CVS, were alreeady expressing interest in the locations. I'll have some posts coming up in the next month with some of these examples.

  3. That explains why a lot of old Acme's are now CVS's. An old style super market from the 60' would be about the same size as a new drug store.

  4. Yeah Lenny, it does seem as though CVS has been pouncing on old Acmes all over NJ and PA. I will be posting a entry in the next few weeks regarding the former Acme in Secaucus NJ which is now a CVS. Acme didn't want to leave the location but lost out because CVS wanted in... but the they got burned pretty bad in the deal. Details to come...

  5. In a rather funny turn of events, Acme gets its revenge on CVS!

    this store in Lawrenceville, NJ will be expanding after the CVS next door moves out to a new freestanding store later this year. That store is a DUMP, here's hoping they do a full remodel and raise the ceilings if possible.

    Red is Acme, Blue is CVs, currently:

  6. Thanks AceJay for the info and picture. That Acme is a dump? I'll have to make a trip there to get the before and after.

  7. Well, maybe it's just me. My family had always shopped there until the Wegmans opened up nearby. No comparison, lol. They had a Starbucks for about 4 months then it switched to Seattle's best, and now it's the floral dept.

  8. There was a time (maybe ten years ago?) that Kings wanted many of Acme's north NJ locations. For those of you not familiar, Kings is a local chain with small store locations specializing in high-priced bakery, seafood and meat items (with high-priced groceries to match). The average Kings store is about the same size as most older Acmes that got turned into CVS stores. Acme and American Stores (think it was American Stores at the time) resisted the overture and by the time Kings probably could have acquired many of those former Acme locations, they were having their own problems and had to close a few stores.

  9. If I remember correctly, in the mid 90s Acme painted the 70s decor in this store all white, with no further remodel at that time.

    Does that sound right?

  10. Absolutely! Although I think the "Convenience Store" repaint happened in the late 90's. You can read more about in the decor posts.

  11. No, this was something else. Still the 70s lettering and trim, but painted all white.

  12. I used to work at this store in the office. My name's Lisa and I had so much fun in this store. It was hardly like a job at all.I laughed so much in this store. When the cashiers called me for the key, being short, I would have to walk all the way around the railing. Michael and Diana were taller, so they just stepped on over. I loved this store, and when it closed, I felt terrible. It was like they took my 20's away.