Friday, August 18, 2017

Acme – Ortley Beach, New Jersey


Location: 5 Ortley Plaza, Seaside Heights, NJ


Acme/Former A&P Ortley Beach, NJ

Officially the most extensively upgraded store acquired from A&P. We have seen a few stores who received a more deluxe remodel to the inside but no store has received such an extensive facade and front-end make-over.

Entrance and exit on this side of the store not used often. Very few cars parked on this end of the parking lot. Shoppers prefer to cram themselves into the other half of the parking lot.

The new facade is beautiful, even more so in person The Acme looks alive and vibrant.

This happens to be one of the best reviewed Acmes on yelp and Google! I couldn't find a single complaint about long lines and lack of available registers. 4 and a half stars on Google.

The original A&P is now Spirits Unlimited. The Acme sits on the same spot it did back in the 50's!

Entrance to right which leads into Produce. Exit is through the doors to the left.

Quality Built has arrived in Ortley Beach! Wasn't sure if this was in the plans. The facade and front-end were completed with no change to the décor but maybe Acme could only do so much at once.


The A&P was still looking great when Acme took over. The store was remodeled after Sandy hit back in 2012.

You'll also notice in the tour that the store is currently congested with tons of displays. Acme is clearly maximizing inventory during the busy summer months. The photos showing A&P's décor were taken off season when the store wasn't busting at the seems with inventory.

Oops... looks like they mounted the produce sign a little too high on the wall. It's kinda levitating above the cases.

The new lower prices are working out pretty well for this Acme shopper! After I complained about the ridiculous price of Rao's tomato sauce, Acme put it on sale and has kept it on sale for the past few weeks. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.

Quick look across the front-end. I was here early on a weekday morning and the store was extremely busy.

Someone came up with the idea to put kids beach toys on top of the light boxes. I get it... they look cool lit up but they kinda make the store look messy. And toys really need to be where kids can reach so they can get their hands on them and beg their parents to buy them.

Acme's Signature/Love Local signs are still up here. This store could use a major reduction in hanging signs.

Health department in aisle 2. At first I thought Acme put in the gray shelving. Turns out it's left over from A&P. Looks great and is still in good shape throughout the store. And there's the Rao's! Low low price for at least two weeks now.

Acme replaced the cases here. Not sure why. A&P's cases are actually the style that Acme has used in remodels in other stores.


Acme also replaced the cases in the bakery. Seems strange since the ones left over from A&P seemed perfectly fine...


Don't get me started on Acme's lack of "artisan" and "specialty" fresh baked breads despite the signs. When Stop & Shop has you beat by a mile in this department, it's time to head back to the drawing board. If Safeway can't come up with better options then Acme should bring back the Culinary Circle fresh baked breads and stick them in Signature Select bags!

The all new front-end. A&P's future store slanted windows are gone.

I should have taken a closer look at the tiling to find the line between A&P's front-end and Acme new front-end.

I thought Acme had put the darker tile in when the front-end was redone but it's been here since the A&P days.


Former self-checkout area currently home to some of the short express registers. None of them were open on this particular morning. Some of the full registers are also express and were open.

The sign structure has a fresh coat of white paint. Still can't get over the fact that Acme reclaimed this sign and the location after being gone from the property for decades!


The aerial portion of this post has been brought over from previous coverage of the store. We start of with 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.  The two stores were nearly identical in size but the same cannot be said for the parking lots. Acme rules in that department, as expected. It's a mystery why Acme didn't expand since they had the space. A larger, more modern store could have knocked A&P right out of business. Check out the giant shadow of the street sign in the lower left corner.

Both stores open in 1972. 

Acme was irst on the site, opening June 17, 1959 . Even on a busy day the parking lot was barely a quarter full. 



  1. I visited this store around Thanksgiving last year, when the exterior work was just about completed. What a difference! This went from being ugly to one of the company's better-looking locations. Glad to see the interior finally got some attention too, even though it wasn't in bad shape (it just looked like an A&P, not an Acme).

    I can't figure out why Acme gave up this location in the first place. The shore towns have always been good to them. Maybe A&P bought them out of their lease? I can imagine the company having taken a ton of money to "go away", especially since A&P was strong back then? Funny how it all came full circle.

  2. Maybe they had to replace the cases because of mold? It did get flooded, so maybe there was mold growing underneath the cases, and obviously that would be breaking the health codes...

  3. The Ortley Beach location must be one of the very highest grossing Acmes. They have no competition anywhere on the peninsula, and even the location itself is highly visible and easily accessible. They did a wonderful job beautifying the store. My only suggestion would be that they carry more organic and high end products because of the very high income crowd that has summer homes in nearby Seaside Park and Lavellette. But we all know Acme's trouble in marketing towards the local population.

    I am from the area, and I have asked older locals whether they remember the Acme and the A&P from back in the day. Most older folks say they remember the two original stores were right next to each other on the Boulevard, which is the original downtown Seaside Heights. I imagine they looked very similar to the original Margate locations. I've searched historic aerials and have searched many old photos of Seaside, but I was only able to find a quick glimpse of another old grocery store in a promotional film from 1961. It is my hunch that the buildings no longer exist. Does anybody have any ideas?

  4. The Wayne store had the same Futurestore outside as the Ortley Beach store did but they at least went to the effort of identifying it as Fresh. However, it was minimal at best- they just stuck a sign on the gray Food Market bar and never got any of the subsequent remodels after the first Fresh. (Funny thing with that store is that it was one of the last Sav-A-Centers in North Jersey and they never even added the colored bands back to the logo; it was the same monochrome green until they changed it to a Food Market.)

  5. 16 registers on the front end! Acme has a hard enough time keeping 3 registers open! Can you imagine Acme having 16 open registers? �� LoL

    1. At this store? Absolutely!!! They had six registers going when I was here. It was 10:30 on a weekday morning with shoppers checking out at every one of them.