Friday, June 24, 2011

Acme and Former Acme – Yardville, NJ

Next stop... the Yardville Acme! You can't miss the place. Signs everywhere directing you to the store... 

Location: 4400 South Broad Street, Yardville/Trenton NJ

Overcast and interior photos courtesy of AceJay

This post marks a return of sorts to Yardville. The old pitched-roof store made an appearance on the blog back in March 2009. I had yet to visit the location so the post relied on a photo from flickr along with some satellite images. I've since been to Yardville several times but never got the best collection of photos together to do a worthwhile post. AceJay sent in an excellent sent of pictures about a year ago but I am only now getting them up on the blog. There was one key shot still missing from the collection that was holding up our return to Yardville. More details on that down below. 

From all indications, Yardville is a premier Acme location. Certainly one of the best looking 90's stores from the outside. Signage has been switched over to white but this store does not have the "Premium Fresh and Healthy" interior. 

"FOOD" labelscar.  The sign was removed back when the Sav-on Pharmacy signage was added to the front of the store. 

An unusual set-up for the receiving docks at the side of the store.

UPDATE: I originally reported this store as having an extensive remodel in the early 2000's as it's interior decor was used at that time. In a surprising twist, thanks to information suppiled by Bill Haines int the comments section, the Yardville store opened on October 9, 2001. Turns out this model of store lived on longer than the 90's. I thought it had been phased out by the end of the decade and was officially dead after Albertsons took over the chain in 1999.

Fun fact: A customer recently hit is big at the Yardville Acme! The store sold a $250,000 winning lottery ticket back in February. You can read about it here.   

In for some great interior photos...

Acme Theme Park Decor aka "Grocery Palace" (it's official name which I was informed of after I came up with the nickname for the decor package). Remodel not done at this location! The store opened with this decor package.  

One thing is for sure... this decor package is not cheap! Yardville does lack some of the props that are seen in other Acme Theme Park stores but Yardville's interior is extremely deluxe nonetheless. Besides Yardville and Milltown, does anyone know of other stores with this interior? I believe they are few and far between.

Milk mural is one of the only decent shots I was able to get of the interior. Stores built with "Grocery Palace"decor have a 3D barn up on the wall. Check out Milltown's milk department

Drop ceiling added over Frozen and Dairy.

I swear the first time I was in Yardville there was a giant town clock standing near the Floral Department. It was gone the next time I visited the store. Either that I was seeing things. 

Yardville does have the "Premium Fresh and Healthy" aisle and category markers.

The aerial images still show the front signage in red. 

Lack of room at the back of the property for the receiving docks.

Windows on right side of building also covered over, although these windows only serve as exterior decor.



And now over to the former pitched-roof store which is now... you guessed it... a CVS.

Location: 1 Sunnybrae Boulevard, Yardville NJ

Photos courtesy of AceJay

Sunny-day photos are from my last trip to the area. One of things holding up this post was a lack of interior CVS shots where the very front of the store still has the pitched-roof section in tact. This post would not have been complete without a closer look...

The registers line the front with the area above exposed all the way to the top of the peaked roof...

Very cool of CVS to keep the glass front here. Certainly adds some interesting atmosphere to the store. Looks like they did replace the old Acme interior tiles with glass panels. 

The building still screams "I used to be an Acme!"

A before and after look...

Image courtesy of subliculous' photostream on flickr




I don't have an opening date for this store but from the date of this aerial shot we can see that this store was built near the very end of the pitched-roof era.


  1. Yardville opened 9 Oct 2001, with the current "Grocery Palace" decor package, which explains why the "renovations" were so extensive. It was probably the last "fortress" style store to open. When the new Bordentown store opened, it received a minor upgrade including the PF&H aisle signage, the removal of "an Albertson's Company," and the white exterior LED lit ACME Sav-on signage. I to remember the town clock near floral. Don't know when it was removed!

  2. Thanks for the info Bill! I thought this model had been phased out as of the late 90's and that all new stores as of 2000 were getting the Albertson's exterior look. I'll update my comments.

  3. The Acme in Middletown DE has this decor.

  4. It does! I do have some interior shots of that store that were sent in a while ago. A Middletown post is in the works with an interesting surprise.

  5. There is a Lucky in San Jose, CA that also has this decor. Although it was modified after Albertsons sold off that region to SaveMart.

    Coincidentally I saw a sign in the Milltown store that someone purchased a $100,000 winning lottery ticket there.

  6. If I didn't know better I would have assumed this store was built in the 2000s. But that is judging by the Supervalu white Acme sign treatments. They look cheap in my humble opinion, but better than the old red. Funny, I thought Acme A Frames were proprietary to the 60's and were "dead" by decade's end. Some of the early ones I think began the transition to Super Saver as early as 1969. That 1970 aerial view could very likely be mislabeled. Same with the 1970 imagery of Cape May Court House. But I do recall reading Bill Haines confirm that the Princeton Junction store was built in 1970. That Acme just MIGHT have opened with the pitched roof but with an extra wing and the roof line covered in front. If not, the store would have been expanded/remodeled by the end of the 70's or maybe 1980-81. Either way it started with the fish-eye sign with the "lava lamp" tiles. The Acmes in South Philadelphia (Oregon Ave) and Berwick PA which have both closed ended up looking like Princeton Junction. Strangely both Acme and A&P seemed to be inconsistent with building designs in the late 60's/early 70's. I had thought the current Acme in Folsom/Ridley PA (has the newest signs) was built by Albertsons in 2000. But the outside and lighting look like what American Stores last used. Maybe the store opened in the early 90's but was given "upscale" Albertsons ceiling and lighting treatments in 2000, like the Acmes in Bala Cynwyd PA and Somers Point NJ. Those two had Starbucks, which closed in 2006, but I don't remember it at Folsom. Maybe it had Starbucks for a very short time. I heard one of the 3 Acmes in Northeast Philly (Harbison) did for less than a year. The Acme in Millsboro from last week's post, along with many Albertsons built at the same time with Starbucks, crashed and burned.

  7. Al- The Ridley acme opened in early 1999 (February I believe)It was a combination of the holmes acme which was across from the nifty fifties and the woodlyn acme which is now bally's. They both closed the day before ridley opened. Ridley # 7893 opened with the chalk board decor and was remodeled in 2008 to the pf & h decor, hence the white sign on the front of the store. they never had a starbucks in the store. it opened the same day as the paoli store (they are sister stores) I remember Ridley having a bulk dog bone section which I never saw in grocery store and the pet aisle had paw print tiles. They also had a bulk candy aisle. Both were removed well before the remodel. A good amount of stores had starbucks in them. Some were changed over to seattle's best (Eagle, Newark, Thorndale, and more) and some removed all together such as Granite Run, Devon, King of Prussia.

  8. Sorry a continuation- All starbucks were removed by 2008 I believe. Some were before that (KOP)

  9. Thanks! Did the old Holmes store (now CVS) look like Sharon Hill? I have heard about the old Holmes store but never caught it in person. Are you sure it was in Holmes? I thought it was already in Folsom. But MacDade Mall a block away actually sits on the Glenolden-Ridley (Holmes) line. That Acme started in 1969 as a Super Saver. I guess Super Saver was different enough from standard Acme to coexist less than a mile apart. The old Woodlyn store was a Penn Fruit. Acme moved there in 1979 from the old A Frame on the Woodlyn-Chester line. Woodlyn, Folsom, Holmes, and Secane are all in Ridley Township.

    And why did Acme ditch Starbucks? Does Albertsons still have them? All Albertsons in Houston had them by 2001, and the stores Kroger bought in early 2002 still maintain them.

    By the way "Al Rubin" was an appliance store next to the A&P in Holmes. I had to choose a quick nickname.

    1. I worked at the Sharon Hill store from 1983-2002. The Holmes store (which is now considered to be "Folsom" CVS) was very similiar to the Sharon Hill store ... both were "neighborhood" stores that had a lot of regular customers who walked to the store. Granny carts were frequent in the Sharon Hill store. Sharon Hill thrived after the closure of the Yeadon store in the late 80's, and did $250K+ in business one Thanksgiving week (high for an 8 aisle store). Sharon Hill was always behind the times in terms of remodels and updates and hardly changed over the years (except for reduction in registers from 7 to 3 plus CSR desk), but had a great group of core enployees during my 19 years there. My dad worked for Acme as a meatcutter for 42 years, and his favorite store was the Holmes store (familiar smiling faces and people knew each other) Progress is good, but the days of smaller neighborhood stores will be missed.

  10. Al you may be right. I think it is Folsom there, hence why the Ridley acme calls its self Ridley not Folsom. Sadly, I do not remember exactly what it looked like, even though it stood vacant for several years and kids ruined the building. Then it was torn down and built as the property is now. To be honest, I do not know why starbucks was removed from all acme's, possibly Albertsons believed they could make more of a margin off of selling their own coffee in the locations they removed them and seattle's best is the value brand if you will of starbucks.

    For years I have been looking online for old photo's of the folsom acme, woodlyn acme, and the shopping center where the ridley acme now is. Before 1998, there was a bowling alley, another supermarket (which closed years prior- I believe was the wise owl) and a few small stores.

  11. Well ShopRite built their Folsom store in 1967, which became one of the very first Pathmarks in 1968. Something is fishy about the Home Depot between Pathmark and Acme. This store has the "Pennsylvania's Home Improvement Warehouse" tagline on the front. I thought that was an early Home Depot thing in the 80's and was gone by 1995 or so. But this store opened in 2001 or 2002!

  12. Acme had a third store in Hamilton Township (besides this one and Hamilton Square), next to the Kmart at White Horse Avenue and Kuser Road; probably a '70s or very late '60s opening. It closed shortly after this store opened. According to news reports at the time Acme had intended to keep all three stores open but the new Yardville store took so much business from the one on White Horse that they pulled the plug. A furniture store moved into the space but didn't make it. The store is boarded up now.

  13. ACME in Logan Twp. NJ has this same decor. The interior looks very similar but the out side is completely different.