Skip to main content

Posts

Coming Soon!

    We are moving out from Philadelphia into lower Montgomery County! The space between the Philadelphia area and the Allentown area (the Lehigh Valley) is mostly filled by Bucks and Montgomery counties. We are beginning with a look at the southern part of Montgomery County with Elkins Park and Cheltenham/Wyncote right on the Philadelphia border, then moving north to Glenside and Jenkintown. This is a pretty short group, so we're going to spend two weeks in this area before beginning to head west farther into Pennsylvania. On Monday, we're going to see an Asian supermarket over on The Market Report , so head over there to check it out!
Recent posts

301 W Chelten Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant: Penn Fruit Address: 301 W Chelten Ave, Germantown, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  1950s Closed:  ca. 1976 Later Tenants:  ShopRite (ca. 1976-ca. 2003) > The Fresh Grocer (ca. 2003-2011) > subdivided Photographed:  July 2021 Not a great picture, but a quick shot of the former Fresh Grocer in Germantown. This store, just a block west of Chelten Market , was originally a 1950s-era Penn Fruit before being sold to some ShopRite owner in the late 70s (probably in 1976), which closed around 2003. The Fresh Grocer opened shortly thereafter and then closed in early 2011. The 33,000 square foot store was subdivided into several smaller stores, including a Dollar Tree. At the same time, Save-A-Lot built a new store behind this existing building with a roughly 17,000 square foot footprint. Interestingly enough, at least initially, the Save-A-Lot was relocating from 5753 Wayne Ave and would be, like the closed Fresh Grocer, owned by the Burns family . Interestingly enough, the

Coming Soon!

  It's time to move on to our final group of stores in Philadelphia! Again, the map in the graphic above is approximate, but it gives you an idea. We're in northwestern Philadelphia, starting in Germantown which is about five and a half miles outside of Center City. From there, we move into seriously suburban Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill in the far northwestern corner of the city. Germantown has a small business district area, where we'll be seeing three stores (plus one out in East Germantown). Mount Airy has a few scattered supermarkets and so does Chestnut Hill. It's not a very long group -- it'll only take up about two weeks before we move on to our next round of Philadelphia suburbs. But there are certainly some interesting things to see around here. Head to The Market Report on Monday for our first stop in East Germantown!

6150 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant: Penn Fruit Address: 6150 N 5th St, Olney, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  1940s Closed:  by 1979 Later Tenants:  CVS (ca. 1985- ) Photographed:  July 2021 Quick stop here just west of yesterday's H Mart . This roughly 13,000 square foot building has been a CVS since at least around 1985, and according to JoshAustin610 , it was built on the site of a demolished Penn Fruit. Looking at Historic Aerials, we can see that there's been a building here since at least 1948, but I can't find any evidence that the building was demolished at any point. In fact, there's a pretty clear progression of the building staying exactly as it is and being expanded several times. The original structure appears to be a 6100 square foot Penn Fruit with a 2400 square foot smaller store next to it. An addition of roughly 3200 square feet was built out on the other side of the property, towards the parking lot. If you look carefully, you can actually see the seam between the Penn Frui

766 Adams Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant: Food Fair Address: 766-776 Adams Ave, Lawncrest, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  1950s Closed:  by 1980 Later Tenants:  car dealership > Strauss Auto > STS Tire > Advance Auto Parts Photographed:  July 2021 We're starting out in Lawncrest with a few drive-by photos of this former Food Fair store on Adams Avenue at Roosevelt Boulevard. I got lucky with a very beautiful sunset sky as I was going by on a summer evening. Unfortunately, I don't have much more information on this store's history, beyond the fact that it appears to have opened in the 1950s and closed by 1980. Not sure if it ever was a Pantry Pride, but it doesn't seem to have been. Once it closed, it was a car dealership building before becoming an auto parts store. The store looks to have been originally around 15,000 square feet and later expanded by roughly 4600 square feet. If I had to guess, I would bet that that was done after Food Fair closed and not by Food Fair. In the first two

Coming Soon!

  Starting next week, we are onto our second-to-last group of Philadelphia neighborhoods. (Remember when I told you I don't have a whole lot of coverage in this city? In just 18 more posts we'll have seen all of my Philadelphia stores.) We begin in the southern part of Lawncrest near Roosevelt Boulevard for three stores, then checking out some independent stores in central Lawncrest. Once we finish those, we're crossing the Tacony Creek to Olney for two chain supermarkets and a former supermarket there. Monday will be our first stop here on Grocery Archaeology!

5147 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant:  Penn Fruit Address: 5147 Frankford Ave, Frankford, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  1955 Closed:  1978 Later Tenants:  Holiday Thriftway (ca. 1979-2016) Photographed:  July 2021 There are a few supermarkets out there, current and former, that are absolute classics that every supermarket fan knows about. This is surely in the top 5 best-known current and former supermarkets in this area (maybe the east coast?). In 1955, the Penn Fruit company built a roughly 16,000 square foot arched-roof supermarket at Frankford and Pratt in Philadelphia. To them at the time, it was not a particularly remarkable location -- just another store of the type they were building across the region at the time. The Penn Fruit closed in 1978 and was replaced shortly thereafter by Holiday Thriftway, which had a few locations around Philadelphia at various times. And at some point, it was expanded to just under 28,000 square feet with an additional 6,000 square feet of retail in the form of a small st

6301 Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant: Penn Fruit Address: 6301 Roosevelt Blvd, Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  before 1958 Closed:  unknown Later Tenants:  Gaudio's Nursery > Frank's > assorted car dealers Photographed:  July 2021 Quite the dramatic sky behind today's former Penn Fruit, located on Roosevelt Blvd just west of the ACME and former ACME we've seen recently. The current car dealership building is built around an original roughly 13,400 square foot Penn Fruit building, which is recognizable by the arched roof (in the center section, seen below) and the tower sign. In its current incarnation as a car dealership, the building has been expanded out to just under 35,000 square feet. You can read all about the history of the building here , along with seeing a picture from 2009. Tomorrow, we're moving just about a mile south of Roosevelt Boulevard for our first stop in the Frankford neighborhood on The Independent Edition !

1938 Union Valley Rd, Hewitt, NJ

Original Tenant: A&P Address: 1938 Union Valley Rd, Hewitt, West Milford, NJ Opened:  late 1990s Closed:  2015 Later Tenants:  Highland's Market by Shopwell (October 2020-April 2022) Photographed:  July 2022 After 19 months, the Highland's Market of Hewitt, NJ closed in April. The store, which replaced a closed A&P, opened in October 2020. The store, which was affiliated with the Associated Supermarket Group, was perfectly adequate but had some execution issues. You can see my original tour here . I wondered in that post whether it would have a longer life than owner Nick Nasser's previous attempts in Elizabeth (two years) and Middlesex (five months). Well, it was right in the middle of those two. Nasser has since announced another Shopwell (also sometimes called Shop Well or some other variation thereof) for Budd Lake, about 32 miles southwest of this location as the crow flies. Obviously I can't predict the future, but I can't imagine that store having

6501 Harbison Ave, Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant: ACME Markets Address: 6501 Harbison Ave, Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  1950s Closed:  1979 Later Tenants:  CVS/Staples > CVS Photographed:  July 2021 Yesterday's ACME opened in a former Food Fair in 1979 as a replacement for this store, which opened as a new-build ACME in the 1950s. At just under 24,000 square feet, this store is roughly half the size of the replacement ACME, although I'm not sure how much the current ACME was expanded from its original size. We have one more stop before we move onto the Frankford neighborhood, about 3/10 of a mile west on Roosevelt Blvd. Come back on Monday to check it out!