Thursday, November 12, 2015

Acme – Ortley Beach, New Jersey

Acme has returned to
its rightful spot in 
Ortley Beach, New Jersey!

Photos courtesy of dougbalt

UPDATE 11.13.15:
ACME sign being installed on the store today!
A picture has been posted on the A&P Fresh Memories Facebook page.

Location: 5 Ortley Plaza Ortley Beach, NJ 

The wait is over! Time step inside the Ortley Beach A&P Acme! The store is quite beautiful inside and brightly lit as well. The interior has the 4th round of the fresh remodel, which it received back in 2012 . The interior is similar to the New Providence location but rather than having artwork from the first round of the fresh remodels, it has the artwork of the second round. Here the fresh food murals are flat and mounted to the walls rather than being wavy structures hanging from the ceiling.

A&P remodeled this store after Hurricane Sandy. The store itself was not badly damaged and only took on 3 inches of water. The surrounding area fared much worse which caused the A&P to be closed for 4 months. Much of the merchandise inside was left to rot and A&P made the executive decision to throw absolutely everything away and start over. You can read more about it all on, by clicking here.

Another beautiful produce department by Acme. I continue to impressed with the produce at the Acmes I have been frequenting in my area.

Very nice selection in the world's longest Bakery case.

The Kit-Kat wrapped, M&M topped cake is a staple at these new Acmes.

Several different varieties of light fixtures throughout the store. The lights mounted to the ceiling are original to the store and I believe the hanging lights are leftover from A&P.  They're not the same style of lights that Acme has been putting in.

Great view of the front-end with a hint of the slanted windows along the front of the store.

Might be a little hard to notice here but the candy racks are illuminated. A&P added the lighting in just the past year or so. It's quite striking in person.

A view of the front windows with a glimpse of the former Acme sign off in the distance.

Small town charm on the bulletin board.

The mini-carts are the BEST thing about the new Acmes! Not quite as deluxe as the carts at Wegmans but very nice nonetheless. I can tell you this... the cup holders do not work well with Dunkin' Donuts' cups. There a bit too soft and can slide through the holder on the left side. The cup holder on the right side is a bit too shallow. Other than that, the carts are perfection.

Another store with just a banner. A more permanent sign is most likely coming soon.  Not sure if A&P's sign, just above the windows, has been removed or just covered over with a white banner.

I believe this model was the second round of A&P's Future Stores. You can check out the first round by clicking here. For a look at an abandoned SuperFresh Future Store on the blog, click here.

The original A&P still stands to the left side. The former store is now home to a liquor store.

A shot of the magic carpet scars at the former A&P.

Entrance and exit signs have been updated. The huge parking lot sign has not.

Great view from across the street! As many of you know, the parking lot sign is leftover from the 50's Acme that once stood right where the A&P was built. The Acme closed sometime in the 80's. A&P tore it down to make way form their replacement store.

Thanks to dougbalt for the pictures above!
And now for some additional photos
sent in by Alex of Tom's River...

A&P brought back department names which were not included in the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the fresh remodels.

Surprised A&P didn't replace the floor tile. Looks a little hodge-podged in this area.

Great close-up view of the very top of the sign.

And some more submitted by
an anonymous source...

Check out this view from the second floor!


A view of the Super A&P Food Market. The signage was not updated after the fresh remodel. 

Acme's original sign capped off with "A&P".

A look at the store's proximity to the shore.... 




Acme looks closed and abandoned as of 1986 while the A&P has a decent crowd. Check out the giant shadow of the street sign in the lower left corner.

Both stores open in 1972. Nearly identical in size.

Acme was the first on the site. Lack of parking was clearly it's downfall. The Acme opened June 17, 1959.


Thanks to our 3 photo contributors for bringing us Acme's triumphant return to Ortley Beach! 


  1. One of my favorite store construction models was this Futurestore design. It still looks cool even today.

    When Wayne got the first Fresh remodel, they stuck a banner on the existing sign. So I'm assuming that, in stores like these, A&P never bothered to switch out the sign and only did so when the store was converted first to a Sav-A-Center and then to a regular A&P Food Market or Super A&P years later.

    Plus, it certainly looks like a banner covering the Super A&P logo. If they pulled it off, I would guess there would be fluorescent light tubes under it.

    1. "One of my favorite store construction models was this Futurestore design. It still looks cool even today."
      I couldn't agree more!

  2. I'm just hoping they give the stonework a powerwashing- it's very dirty.

    1. I was going to say the same thing...the inside looks nice, but the outside of the building just looks very uninviting. A splash of color couldn't hurt either.

    2. I'm thinking I'm the only one around here that finds these things hideous? The design is cold and boring, definitely a leftover from the era of Brutalist architecture (even though this store was probably built way after the end of that era). The dirtiness of the facade isn't helping matters.

      Not that I want all of these to disappear because they're interesting relics- just ugly relics.

  3. The A&P-turned-Acme in South Plainfield has the same mashup of the first and second Fresh versions (and the third if you count the Fresh logo). I remember going in a few years ago when they were in the middle of renovations. They had the walls painted and the art up, but the department names were not there, and the aisle markers and "Super A&P" exterior signage were still the old ones. Unlike Ortley Beach, they did eventually put A&P Fresh signage outside.

    I did take some pictures both right before and after the Acme conversion. I will have to post them soon.

    1. I've seen some pictures of the South Plainfield store on flickr. Very nice. Would love to post the photos you have!

  4. Yes, I will definitely have to share the pictures now. This is, of course, a comeback for Acme in South Plainfield after a decade-plus hiatus. I do remember the old pitched-roof store you've posted about on here.

    The store across the street from the current Acme is also an interesting case - it was originally an A&P with a first generation FutureStore type facade, but was branded A&P Sav-a-Center. (I assume it was opened that way, since A&P abandoned both brands by the end of the '80s.) A&P moved to its final location around 1999 - then about 10 years later the old store very briefly reopened as a *Pathmark* Sav-a-Center. It was an Asian food market for a little while in between, but perhaps A&P held the lease all along. Now, the existing structure is about to be expanded and modified (if not completely rebuilt) to make way for a ShopRite. Acme will certainly have tough competition!

    1. Abandoned in the Northeast Futurestore (and I believe even Super Fresh), Sav-a-Center was birthed in the New Orleans division, but continued to be branded that way until the bitter end (2007). Interestingly, Sav-a-Center was used there in lieu of the A&P name (instead of being tacked on after the name), so by 2006 there was at least one "Sav-a-Center Fresh" using the A&P Fresh 1.0 design.

    2. Ah yes, I meant the "A&P" division in particular. The earlier '80s monikers gave way to "Food Bazaar" around the turn of the '90s, and then that quickly gave way to "Food Market".

    3. Actually, if I remember correctly, the "Food Bazaar" stores were intended to be geared toward a more upscale clientele (as the Futurestores were). The "Food Market" branding only came about after they determined the "Sav-A-Center" branding had run its course.

      I like to think of the Sav-A-Center era as the period where A&P lost its soul. It's like they tried to be as generic as possible, just making everything green and taking away from the stuff that made the stores stand out. Sure, after awhile they started rolling the classic colors back out on the signage and everything, but too little too late.

      If I'm not mistaken, just before A&P started rolling out the Fresh format you could still find a handful of Sav-A-Centers in New York. Greenburgh had one and I wanna say Peekskill did too.

  5. When did this store open? Must have been late 1980s, as that was after Acme closed but the Futurestore look was still in style.

  6. I wish I had cool supermarkets like that near my house. Nothing like that in chester county

  7. A lot of stores are going to the lighted candy racks. Weis and Food Lion have them.

  8. One more post intill we officaly beat 2013's post count of 130!

    1. Actually one more post until the count is tied with 2013. Tomorrow it will be beat!

    2. Scratch that. Forgot there would be another round of stores opening today!

  9. A big ACME sign on that tower will look really good from the road... I remember going to this A&P when I was little with my parents on the way to Seaside or Island Beach State Park. Now I have to check it out under my local banner.

  10. Pictures of the current South Plainfield store and the former Futurestore across the street

  11. It's not unusual for a said supermarket to return to its original location. Three years ago, on the other side of Toms River, Shoprite reopened where it was stood from the 60's-early 90's. It was put out of business by Foodtown across the street, and then the new Shoprite put Foodtown out of business. Ironically, an Acme stood close to where the Foodtown was (covered by this blog).

    I think that's a phenomenon that we try to discuss and analyze on this blog: how certain locations may or may not be favorable for supermarkets....How competition nearby affects their viability? -and- How remodeling and readapting to changing trends affects their reincarnation throughout the years.

    1. Dougbait,
      Good observation about how locations, customer demographics, remodeling, affects the stores viability and sucess. And the change to universal use of automobiles has made smaller stores fade away with more centralized larger stores taking up the banner.

      One "backroom" item with Acme that also affected the size of the stores has been the change in product material handling and transportation such as the change from 40' trailers to 50/53' trailers andgoing from roller track unloading into a side door to needing loading docks and forklifts at the individual stores to unload palletized products.