Friday, July 22, 2011

Jersey Shore Acme – North Cape May NJ

Location: 3845 Bayshore Road, North Cape May NJ

Photos courtesy of Rob Ascough

The arrival of the North Cape May Acme to the blog nearly completes our tour of the southern most portion of New Jersey. One more Cape May location to go. I have had a little trouble keeping them all straight. For others who may have had the same problems, here's a list of the Acmes in the Cape May area:
Also in the Southern most tip of New Jersey:

Rob traveled to this location last August to photograph it for the blog. From the outside, it's certainly not the most exciting Acme location we've seen. As he explored the area, he did stumble across a very interesting surprise that will be revealed down below. 

Update: Originally I reported that this location had been a former Jamesway and later Ames. That is incorrect. The building has always been an Acme. Thanks to Zach for clearing that up in the comments.

A few shots of the interior...

Albertsons Marketplace decor. 80's checkerboard flooring remains in place, with a bit of a twist in this area with the combination of blue, beige and white tiles. The flooring, seen here and in the images below, would indicate that the Acme opened in the very early 90's at the latest. By 1993, Acme had rolled out the Red/White/Blue decor for it's new stores and the checkerboard flooring would have been history. We'll see in the historical aerial shots that the shopping center was built sometime between 1987 and 1995.

The wall tiling might be leftover from the 80's decor. The green used in Produce and Deli went from kelly green in the remodels to dark green in newly built stores. One thing is for sure, it's not the usual tiling done in Albertson Marketplace remodels. The floor is all 80's-Deli here. 

Premium Fresh and Healthy aisle markers throughout the store. The 80's beige and white tiling in the grocery aisles.

A look around back...

And up for some aerials... 

As previously mentioned, the historical aerials show the entire shopping center arriving sometime between 1987 and 1995. Obviously much closer to the 1987 mark. 

Heading across the street...

The former pithed-roof Acme of North Cape May! Rob happened upon it by accident as he was heading out of the area and stopped by for a closer look. 

The current satellite images show the former Acme as being a movie theater. This is no longer the case. 

As you can see, the pitched-roof had an addition put onto the left side. The store opened in July 1963. Closing date unknown. The addition was done sometime between 1970 and 1987, according to the historical aerials. Additions were commonly put on pitched-roof stores during the 80's remodels but there is no way to know for sure. 

Looks as though exit doors were added out of each theater.

And now to Rob's photos of the old pitched-roof store as it was last August...

The movie theater is gone and the building was undergoing major renovations. Would it be great to get a look inside?

Back Corner Cafe isn't kidding. Not exactly a prime location. Judging from the leasing company's website, nearly all of the Acme/Movie Theater building is still available for leasing. 

Most of the old Acme elements still in place looking fresh and clean with a new coat of paint. 

And now, let's take a look inside...

Wow! Rob took a chance walking up to the door not thinking there would be much to see. Quite a surprise. Look along the back wall and you can see Acme's second floor where the break room, bathrooms and compressor room used to be. We've never had this kind of look at the interior skeleton of a pitched-roof store. The "Mezzanine" remains in place. If you scroll all the way down on the leasing companies website, you can see in the illustration that it is included in the available space.

Former Acme sign structure reaching higher than the new one peeking through the trees across the street.

This Acme is about 15 blocks from the beach.

Going back in time for some interesting views...




No shopping center across the street in 1987.

The addition to the left side of the store had arrived by 1987. 

No addition in 1970.

Looks to still be under construction in the 1963 image. 


North Cape May Acme has liquor!


  1. The current North Cape May Acme did open as an Acme. I don't know exactly what year it opened but it did originate with the 80's decor. The facade of the store is unchanged from when it first opened(the red oval logo was where the current logo is now). It might have been one of the first "true" Acme superstores. The store got the Red/White/Blue remodel sometime in the late 90's and then not long ago, the Albertson's marketplace decor.

    The Jamesway existed where Big Lots does now. It wasn't a very big Jamesway, it closed when the chain liquidated. Ames took over the spot a year or so later until it went out business and then Big Lots moved in.

  2. Thanks Zach! I originally called this place out as an original Acme but then found two different sources online saying that it had started out as a Jamesway. I thought that was odd since Jamesways tended to be in rectangular buildings while the Acme is a square. The Big Lots looked too small to be a Jamesway although I do remember Jamesway building a very small store in Newton NJ.

    The post has now been updated.

  3. It would be really cool to see this store with the red oval

  4. Those are some great shots. Especially that interior shot!

  5. Jamesway and Acme. A classic combination...and a common one and that.

  6. A frequent contributor to this site who has a vast collection of Acme stores featured on a photo site (I don't want to call him out- I'll let him do that if he so decides) has the current Big Lots as a former Acme location, obviously having come after the A-frame store closed and the current one opened. The back of the building seems to have the necessary loading docks (or traces of ones that existed) so is it possible there have been three North Cape May Acme stores?

  7. Several sources have now confirmed that Jamesway/Ames occupied the Big Lots space and the Acme was always an Acme.

  8. If you're referring to me, I thought it was the Jamesway/ Ames as well based on info I had found, probably the same info AcmeStyle had. Not long after the first comments on his post started coming in saying it was always the Acme I changed my Flickr pics as well. We're a relatively small community, so news travels fast. :)

  9. As I previously commented a few weeks ago. I grew up within 2 miles of this store. What I am able to recall, the newer Acme was built around 1989 or 1990. It was a big deal since it was the biggest grocery store in the area. Then Shop Rite in Rio Grande expanded in 1991. These two stores were the main stores on the mainland for this part of the county. I remember as a kid, I was about 12 or so riding my bike through the construction site with my friends.

    The new store did go through some changes. When it originally opened, it did not have a pharmacy or sell liquor. I believe the liquor was added in the past 5 years or so. From what memory serves there was a rearrangement in the isles and they were extended closer towards the regiseters sometime around 2000 or so. As for the tile I only remember what is there now.

    For the original Acme across the street, it was always the same as far back as my memory goes. So the addition had to be done sometime in the mid 70's. I never remember it being a pitched roof store. The only two I remember would have been Cape May Court House and Cape May. I remember as a kid the store entrance was on the far right of the store with the old automatic sliding doors. When you walked in, you entered the produce department. I do remember it having the slate floor tiles in this area. At the rear of the produce department was the deli. I remember a lot of dark wood, oranges and yellows in this store. The dairy was down on the far left corner with bread in the front left. There was no bakery. The new store was actually the first in store bakery in the area.

    As I mentioned before the store sat empty for about a year then was gutted out as a flea market. That lasted about one summer. Then it sat empty until at least 1998 when it was converted into the movie theater.

    I think I have picked my brain as best as I am able to remember. I just dug up some childhood memories.

  10. Since you don't remember it being a pitched-roof store, maybe a ceiling was added when the building was expanded? Perhaps it didn't look like an A-frame from the inside, and maybe the exterior was given a new facade? The new (current) North Cape May Acme is huge by comparison, so it must have been doing very well to have required a new store of that size!

  11. Yes you are correct about this store doing well. Other then a Shop-n-bag that closed around the early 90's, probably as a result of both the shop rite and acme stores being built or remodled. Acme is the only grocery store in Lower Township. Residents of the area would either have to drive to Rio Grande to Shop Rite or go into Cape May. As it was documented earlier the Cape May Acme is extremely small leaving the North Cape May Acme the only grocery store at the southern end of Cape May County.

  12. The North Cape May Acme lost power during Hurricane Irene. The power was out for almost 3 days. Store associates returned and had to throw out all perishable items from this HUGE STORE!!

  13. Every Post That I've Read On Acme Style When THey Go Around Back Always Has The Red Oval Logo! Acme Could Always Just Use Their Block Letter Logo, But In The Oval. I Forget The Post, But An Abandoned Acme With The Fish-Eye Logo Had The Block Letter Logo On It, So Why Can't They Do That? It Would Be Less Money Then Getting New Trucks.