Friday, January 29, 2016

Acme – Ocean City, New Jersey

Acme has returned to West Avenue, 
Ocean City, New Jersey!

Location: 100 West Avenue, Ocean City, NJ

Acme opened on this property on June 28, 1950 and remianed here until about 1980. The chain made its triumphant return on November 15, 2015 giving Ocean City its second Acme location. The following comment from deepstblu left under the Simpson Ave Acme post gives some more details on the West Avenue's Acme...

The Ocean City SuperFresh is built on a former Acme site. The Acme closed around 1980 when the company could not reach a lease renewal agreement with the landlord (Howard Stainton, who owned a department store a block away). The Acme building was renovated into a Pontiac-Cadillac dealership. After the car dealer closed A&P acquired the site, demolished the ex-Acme and built a new store to replace a '60s Centennial they had near 16th and Haven.

Some observations of the store from our Jersey Shore contributor...

The building feels as if it's a square- as deep as it is wide. That's not to say it's very big, and it feels smaller because the ceiling is low (and lacks ceiling tiles, which are found in just about every A&P store I've visited except for the Clark location). The ceiling is low because the store sits on the second floor of the building- below it is a parking garage with a very low ceiling. This is why the building appears to sit atop a small hill (which you don't usually find on these barrier islands)- although the loading docks are on the second floor as well, and not on the first where I expected to find them.

If these photos are any indication, this store is bright, white and clean! A completely different atmosphere the the Acme on Simpson Avenue


Acme now owns and operated the two major supermarkets on the island. Vacationers do have the option, however, of stopping at ShopRite before getting to the island...

A relatively new ShopRite in Marmora (lower-left) with another location at Somers Point (top of the photo). Be sure to check out Acme in Somers Point by clicking here.



The Acme is a little hard to see here. It's the building directly under "Historic" on the lower right side of the property.

Acme Markets
The car dealership up and running in 1987.

Acme in business in 1970.



Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Next Celebration Begins...

Acme has reached it's 125th anniversary and is in better shape than ever! Things weren't looking so good for the 120th anniversary back in 2011. Store closings were happening on a regular basis and it had become painfully clear that SuperValu, Acme's owners at the time, had zero interest in reversing slumping sales and rapidly eroding market share. What a difference 5 years can make. Acme's 125th Anniversary may just be its most triumphant yet! While the Acme banner wasn't established in 1891, it was the year company founders Robert H. Crawford and Samuel Robinson opened their first store in South Philadelphia. After opening a few more stores the company became known as "The House That Quality Built" which evolved into the American Stores Company in 1917. The Acme banner made it's official debut in 1937 on two new stores in Patterson, New Jersey and is still going strong in 2016!. You can read extensive details about the company's history by clicking here

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

100th Anniversary Thermos!

Courtesy of John from

Acme is about to reach another big anniversary!
Check back tomorrow for preview of the celebrations. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Abandoned A&P – Basking Ridge, NJ

Location: 407 King George Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ 

This very unique A&P opened on June 29, 2002 and closed November 18, 2015. I never made it here during it's final days but have since checked it out since it became abandoned. Only shopped in the store once and while it was a fascinating A&P for a supermarket fan to enjoy, shopping here was not very pleasant. It's funny cause I was wracking my brain to remember why I disliked this store so much. I kept coming back to a memory of the place having a horrible smell. Just a few days ago I was reading some reviews on yelp to see what other people thought of the store and one reviewer pointed out the bad smell! I also remember the produce being less the fresh, which may have contributed to the oder and to my decision never to return.

The exterior appears to have been modeled after to the Centennial stores of the past. The A&P in Patterson, New York has a very similar look. (Click here to jump over to a picture of that store on Dan Asnis' flickr collection) The design of the A&P is carried out through the whole shopping center here. The inside may have been a custom design to compliment the exterior and appeal to the demographics in Basking Ridge. While not particularly high-end, the interior design did seem a little more upscale that a typical A&P. Of course this was all before the "fresh" remodels began which never made it to this location. We'll be getting a peek inside a down below, but in the meantime you can see some interior shots on the architect's website by clicking here.

Doors and windows all papered over. Thought I was out of luck getting any interior pictures. I returned at night hoping to find some holes to shoot through. There was also a bench under one of the windows that I figured I could stand on to get higher than the paper on the windows. My plan worked! Also discovered on my return that I could hold my camera up high enough to get shots through other windows. Love a good challenge when covering an abandoned store!

Exit here.

Emergency exit at the far right end.

Nice details all around...

A lot of work putting fake windows along this whole side, which faces away from the shopping center and main road.

Around to the left side which faces out of the main road...

This section housed the Pharmacy along with all health and beauty aids and baby products. Truly a strange design decision. This section was completely separate from the supermarket portion. Double doors about two thirds down the first aisle lead to the Pharmacy. But it wasn't even a direct route! First you had to walk through an atrium to get to the other building. Found it baffling when I was here for the first time. Not sure if A&P was trying to create a certain kind of shopping experience or if this design decision was dictated by the property configuration. Either way, it was jus todd. I guess there is something charming about having a separate pharmacy building, especially one with such an attractive design, but it's not very practical for the everyday shopper.

A separate entrance to the Pharmacy here with a peek inside below...

You can see the doors leading to the rest of the store on the upper right side of the photo.

I believe this is behind the counter of the Pharmacy.

The atrium between the Pharmacy and the rest of the A&P which we'll head to now...

Self-checkouts still in place but the rest of the registers have been removed. When I was here for the exterior shots, there was some activity going on inside which is why I didn't attempt any interior photos.

This photo was added after the original post went up. Realized I left the one with the clock out!

Frozen food and dairy cases removed as well.

16 aisles total which includes the aisles in the Pharmacy building. The grocery section of the building is only 30,000 square feet.

Floral was located in this corner.


The Dewy Meadow Village sits right between Route 78 and Basking Ridge. Heading south on King George Road takes you right to the Acme in Warren Township.

Seems like a terrible location for a supermarket buried all the way to the rear of an already isolated shopping center.


Finishing touches happening in this image from 2002.

A truly beautifully designed building who's time may soon be up. Plans are on the table to tear down the A&P and replace it with affordable housing units. You can read more details by clicking here.