Original Tenant: A&P
Address: 325 NJ-35, Cliffwood, Aberdeen, NJ
Opened: 1990s on site of older store
Later Tenants: subdivided
Photographed: December 2020
Our first Monmouth store is one of several large, relatively new stores left without a replacement tenant scattered around the New Jersey area when A&P went under in 2015. (Another example, by the way, which is about the same age as this store, is the Pathmark in Linden.) The 59,000 square foot store was later subdivided, with LA Fitness taking 37,000 and the remainder staying vacant at least until my visit in December 2020.
While LA Fitness removed the A&P facade, the rest of the storefront still has it intact, just painted.
LA Fitness seems to take up A&P's grand aisle and the first few aisles on the right side of the store, meaning that their entrance is approximately where A&P's was. A&P's exit remains as the door to the remaining space. Let's see what we have as we approach the store...
As with many A&Ps of this era, the entrance and exit would've led to a foyer which we see here. What else can we see here?
That's right, the same window decals we saw in Clark! Crazy to think that store is only a few years older than this one, although of course that store replaced a much, much older Foodtown while this one was a new-build. And taking a peek inside the store...
We can see the remnants of the foyer still intact inside the store, looking in through those diagonal windows. The wall we see straight ahead here was constructed to divide the space and LA Fitness is on the other side of the wall.
There's a variety of construction debris and other materials stored inside the former supermarket space, and the large black pillars seem to be light fixtures removed from the parking lot.
Here we can see more clearly how the supermarket space really was just kind of chopped in half. Notice the drop ceiling that just kind of... ends. But of course I have to save the best for last, and through the front windows on the main building to the left, we can get a very good look at the interior of the supermarket...
Wow! The decor is fully intact, the flooring is still there (under a lot of dirt and dust), the ceiling is left over but partially removed... this is quite the sight! There's a room on the front wall to the left, which may have been a pharmacy if it wasn't next to the entrance, or it could just be an office...
Definitely quality over quantity at this location, because we get a good view from this angle but that's basically all of the supermarket we can see. Very much worth the stop, though! We will be visiting many more former A&Ps as we move through Monmouth County, but for now, we're heading just to the east along 35 to Keyport for a store over on The Market Report tomorrow.