Location: 829 Montgomery Avenue, Narbeth PA
Dating all the way back to 1951, the store looks to have had 2 expansions over the decades. The first happening quite soon after it was first built. The second occuring decades later, sometime after 2002. The lastest expansion is the portion of the building seen above (satellite photos below will more clearly reveal the evolution of the building). Albertsons did do several of Acme's smallest stores some serious justice in the early 2000's. Unfortunately, they pulled the plug on so many others.
Not the most inviting store from the street. The roadway along the brick wall leads back to the entrance and parking lot. It's a little tricky giving an exterior tour of the store as the front is kinda the back and the side is sorta the front.
The view from Montgomery Ave. Very limited signage to be seen. The lighter section extending along the wall may have be been windows along the street side. These small town stores tended to have a good amount of windows back in the day.
The entrance is at the end of the driveway. This section is part of the addition from the early 2000's. The Acme sign over which would have been just above the arch has been removed as the facade receives upgrades...
Around the corner to the back wall and parking lot.
Loading docks tucked away but still quite exposed to the parking lot. This section appears to be the original Acme that opened in 1951.
Image from the web
I missed the money shot! Never got a picture of the entrance so I grabbed this one off of the web. It seems to serve as the default image of Acme on web sites all over the internet. As mentioned above, the Acme sign seen here has been taken down. When comparing this picture to the ones above, you'll notice too that trim has been added along the facade . The windows above the entrance are now covered with images of oranges (if I remember correctly) taking the place of apples which are usually seen on Premium Fresh and Healthy stores. And in we go...
Check it out... the latest, and vastly improved version of the Premium Fresh and Healthy decor! We have seen some pictures of this decor on the blog but I had yet to experience it in person. And you know what? I love it! Simple, clean, and quite understated. A huge change from the store's former Industrial Circus decor. While I am a huge fan of that decor package, the simplicity of this decor works wonders in this small store.
One of the most interesting features I found when entering this store... a greeter at the door! You don't see that at those big fancy grocery stores. A very friendly employee was greeting each shopper as they entered and offering everyone a circular. Nice touch!
The alcove just through the entrance has the Produce, Deli and Bakery departments. The Deli is a self contained section rather than located along one of the perimeter walls. A floor plan is included down below to illustrate the unique layout here.
The pre-packaged deli foods section just around the corner from the service deli.
"Lancaster Brand" alive and well with "Butcher Block" to the rear of the store.
One last aisle of the old Industrial Circus tiling. It is being removed and replaced with a strip of tile that matches more closely to the existing tile.
Officially only 7 aisles but really more like 14 since since there is a center aisle that cuts through the halfway point similar to the set up of much larger Acmes.
The new self checkout stands here are top notch! The coolest I've ever seen. All stainless steal with everything arranged logically, all capped off with a rather futuristic look. I tried to snap a picture but they didn't turn out.
I created a very rough floor plan so you can see the general layout of the store. Hard to get a full handle on the layout from the images above. Note the small Kosher Deli next to Customer Service. Not sure what the 3 aisles in the lower right corner will be. They were not fully stocked as the remodel is not yet complete.
Back outside and heading up in the air from some aerial views of the property...
The section with the lighter colored roof is the addition of the early 2000's.
I was surprised the interior of the store was as large as it as after seeing the satellite views. Back room space here must be pretty limited. Perhaps there is a basement under the original portion ofthe building.
No addition at this point. The main parking area here would be sacrificed for the coming expansion.
Is there an Acme tower sticking up from the street-side of the store? Looks like it. It can be seen more clearly in the images below...
The left side of the building appears to be the original section with right half being an addition. This would also explain why the tower is in the center of the store (if that is in fact a tower).
Acme would be arriving about a year later.
Driving into Narbeth, I was pleasantly surprised to see a mint condition, former A&P! (Located in the upper lefthand corner of the image). The building is now a Staples but still screams A&P from every possible angle.
Looks to have started out as a barrel roof store which was expanded and converted to the "Centennial" model sometime between 1958 and 1967.
Can you believe what great shape this place is in? There are Centenital A&P's still out there that aren't in the kind of condition. Copula and weathervane still standing tall. And the fencing along the roof line... how has it survived all these years?
And now for the A&P's aerial evolution...