Thursday, June 18, 2009

Abandoned ShopRite — Paramus, NJ

Here is the abandoned ShopRite in Bergen New Jersey just across from the Bergen Mall. I took these pictures back in March 2005 knowing it's days were probably numbered. The Bergen Mall was virtually abandoned at the time as well but plans were underway for a huge renovation. It has since reopened with a massive Whole Foods and a brand new Target. Don't know what's planned for this location. A replacement ShopRite is located just down the road. I was never at this store when it was open. Discovered it after it was closed.

UPDATE 7.14.09: This ShopRite post brought in more emails than any other post that I have put up on this blog. Thanks for the repsonse and additional information! To start, I had the wrong town listed for the location. This store was located in Paramus, not Bergen. Turns out there's no such thing as Bergen New Jersey.

A bunch of emails came in explaining the history of this location. Here's one that sums it all up very nicely...

"The Bergen Mall Food & Drug Annex started out with two grocery chains operating at either end and a Walgreen's in the middle. To the north a Food Fair, later Pantry Pride and south a Penn Fruit, later Dale's. Both brand changes a conversion to discount retailing i.e Acme Super Saver."

An anonymous reader posted a description of this store that is so great I had to include it in this update...

"This shoprite was truly a feast of yellows, browns and burnt oranges. Along one wall, they had swooshing, overlapping ShopRite signs each in orange, yellow and brown (kind of how the olympic rings overlap)...I remember being a kid in the 80's and being in this store and getting kind of dizzy looking at them. This store was a gem--and there is a, exact replica of this store in Springfield, NJ still operating as a ShopRite."

Road trip to the Sprigfield ShopRite is in the works!

There are alot of stores built like this around this area of New Jersey. The Kmart is Paramus is practically identical to this building. I plan on featuring that store eventually as a Bonus Store since it has such unique architecture.

Entrance and Exit.

The only interior shot I got. Check out the 70's stripes along the far wall.

Here's a look at the interior arched ceiling.

You can see the round ShopRite sign labelscar.

Here's a look at the store from Live Maps when it was still standing.

Rotate the view on Live Maps and the building is gone.


  1. According to [|this link], this store used to be Penn Fruit, which was a major competitor of Acme until the late 70's. I live nowhere near Bergen, but there are several just outside of Philadelphia, including a current Acme in Audubon, NJ which up until about ten years ago had the original style facade.

  2. Here in Albuquerque,there is a Safewway of the same vintage,with a very similar design,that was converted into a Samon's back in the late 80s.It's still there.

    As a child in the late 60s and 70s,I recall going to a spectacular 1930s vintage art deco Acme store.Sort of a modified 30s deco diner shape, with lots of blue and white tile on it.I can't recall if this was in Westminster, Maryland or Hanover,Pennsylvania.

    I don't suppose there are any of THESE stores still around ?

  3. Just a quick comment--there is a North Bergen and a Bergenfield, but no town called "Bergen" in NJ. Bergen is the name of the county...but this store and the Bergen Mall are in Paramus, NJ.
    This shoprite was truly a feast of yellows, browns and burnt oranges. Along one wall, they had swooshing, overlapping ShopRite signs each in orange, yellow and brown (kind of how the olympic rings overlap)...I remember being a kid in the 80's and being in this store and getting kind of dizzy looking at them. This store was a gem--and there is a, exact replica of this store in Springfield, NJ still operating as a ShopRite.

  4. Thanks for the additional information! I have updated this Bonus Store post.

  5. Two comments on the otherwise excellent postings here: 1) the KMart on 17 in Paramus was actually a GrandWay (1970s discount department store unit of Grand Union), not a Penn Fruit (fooled me too); and 2) the ShopRite in Springfield is (gasp!!!) a former Marina Safeway, the only one I have seen in NJ -- prepare to be delighted by the many 1960s touches in this store!!!

    1. I actually remember this building as a Grand Way going back to the 60s. Part of it was a grocery store like the ones Wal-Mart currently has. My mom used to do her weekly grocery shopping there. I would often accompany her and urge her to buy me any Hardy Boys book, which I hadn't already read, from another section of the store.

  6. A truly stunning example of Viktor Gruen's mid-1950's Penn Fruits, in which the frontmost arch that supports the roof originates in a triangular concrete base at both ends of the arch, rather than being "cut off" on both sides where the roof meets the side walls. The Audubon Penn Fruit/Dale's referred to above had the same design, as did the long-gone Penn Fruit at Essex Green in West Orange (Northern New Jersey) and the (now heavily remodeled) Penn Fruit / Dale's on Alternate Route 1 in Ewing (Trenton), near Olden Avenue. Magnificant buildings all!

  7. the ShopRite that was in Roxbury New Jersey...had the same airplane hanger the closed ShopRite...featured here...the Roxbury Shop Rite burned the late 60s...and was replaced by the current Roxbury Shop the early 70s...

  8. I worked in this store when it opened. It was the second store opened by the Glass Family (Abe and Ben). They are now Glass Garden Shop Rite run by the founder's son's Terry and Irv. I worked for the Glass family from 1971-1976. It was a great place to work, made many friends there and spent 40 years working in the food industry.


  10. They had this design

  11. Just to be clear, there are some main variations on the "arch-roof ShopRite" store design. (I just want to clarify this even though it's already been said.) None actually was created by any ShopRite member, they're just left over from previous stores.

    One design that you can see in a few stores is a high, Penn Fruit arch-roof. This is shown in the Audubon, NJ Acme. Look carefully at the picture in the old advertisement on the Audubon Acme's page on this website. You can see several distinct similarities between the old Paramus ShopRite and the Audubon Penn Fruit when it opened. This would lead me to believe -- although I don't know for a fact -- that the old Paramus ShopRite is a former Penn Fruit.

    For another example of this store design, take a look at the ShopRite in Belmar, NJ (,-74.0478289,3a,75y,286.87h,88.56t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0ZpQpzD_LuPzB5qn_JWJiw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x5416f7bef9ae0aff!6m1!1e1). Notice the panels on the front wall (formerly glass and now covered over); the high arch, the fact that the arch on the (viewer's) left side reaches all the way to the ground. Look where the SR logo used to be in Paramus. Now look at where it is in Belmar. No question these stores were originally the same design. And the only explanation for a former Glass Gardens ShopRite, an Acme, and a Perlmart ShopRite all being the same exact design is that they were all built as Penn Fruits.

    Now, take a look at Springfield (,-74.3306469,3a,75y,222.06h,76.72t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sr6xgJ7c88CaqNQ0antOqSQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1) as compared to Belmar SR, Paramus SR, and Audubon Acme. You'll notice the arch is substantially lower and wider. The panel on the right where the logo is in Belmar and Paramus is not there. And, the arch beams don't make it all the way to the ground. That's because Springfield is a former Safeway, not Penn Fruit. Take a look here: (,_Hamilton,_MT.JPG) and compare that store to the Springfield ShopRite. Almost identical, although Springfield has had some substantial expansions over the years.

    So, yes there are several ShopRites with an "arch-roof" design, but it's also important to note that 1. there are two main kinds, which are actually quite different from each other; and 2. that the store design was not created by or influenced by ShopRite but instead the stores that predated ShopRite in that particular location.

    Great and really interesting post, though!

  12. I vaguely remember visiting this ShopRite as a kid. Even though my family frequented the Bergen Mall (I still call it that, BTW), they almost never set foot in there. My mother thought it was filthy. By the time my family moved to nearby Maywood from Staten Island, this location was abandoned for the newer store down the street which, despite often being crowded, is one of the better ShopRites in Bergen County thanks to its Glass Gardens ownership. Their stores are better arranged and more well-staffed than most of the Inserra SRs surrounding them. The one in Hackensack is a joke.

    I know this is an Acme blog, but I just wanted to provide input.