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100 Kirkpatrick St, New Brunswick, NJ

Original Tenant: The Fresh Grocer
Address: 100 Kirkpatrick St, New Brunswick, NJ (aka 95 Paterson St)
Opened: 2012
Closed: 2014
Later Tenants: Key Food (2015-2017) > SuperFresh (2017-2019)
Photographed: July 2020
Welcome to Wellness Plaza, a highly-touted development in the center of New Brunswick that can be described as, at best, a complex with no real effect in downtown, and at worst, a largely-abandoned, expensive eyesore that detracts from the thriving city.
The complex opened in 2012 with an RWJ (Robert Wood Johnson, a division of RWJ Barnabas, a healthcare provider affiliated with Rutgers University, I believe) Fitness Center, a large parking garage, and a 50,000 square foot supermarket. It was a location of Philadelphia chain The Fresh Grocer, which is located in several similar developments in and around Philadelphia. Almost immediately after this store opened, The Fresh Grocer's owners left the small and relatively weak cooperative Great Valu Markets for grocery powerhouse Wakefern Food Corp. (Incidentally, part of the agreement was that Wakefern would acquire the Fresh Grocer name and make it available to other members; so far, only Brown's Super Stores and Nicholas Markets have taken them up on that.) But the store was poorly located and largely inaccessible, located in a part of the city where nobody really lives. It was unprofitable from day one and closed just 18 months after opening. You can read up on the store's closure here, and though I'd say the basic facts are there, be aware that the article is heavily biased having been written by a former Fresh Grocer employee. (I'll take a moment here to acknowledge that this blog and I are also heavily biased. So draw your own conclusions.)
Shortly thereafter, Key Food operator Kevin Kim moved in to the recently-closed space with a Key Food Marketplace. (At the time, he owned two stores in Queens, here and here, which have both since been sold to Jin Park. He's had a few other New Jersey stores as well as one on Staten Island.) In 2017, this store was rebranded SuperFresh, and it closed for good -- also deeply in debt -- in 2019. While every other store Kim closed was either purchased directly from him or immediately taken over by another operator, this one remains vacant, supporting my hypothesis that The Fresh Grocer's failure was more due to external factors than internal ones, since The Fresh Grocer is such a strong brand and operation in Philadelphia.
At the time of my summer 2020 visit, much (not all) of the SuperFresh branding remained, some signage being, uh, more eye-catching than others. (See the height of the door here for comparison.)
These awnings have the SuperFresh logo on decals over the Key Food Marketplace logo. Same on the other side of the store, which like the Foodtown in Bloomfield is triangular...
And the entrance would've been at the point of the triangle.
This is where the main sign for the store was. These doors take you into a foyer which would then be the main entrance into the supermarket.
Because the supermarket isn't the only tenant in this complex, we can actually get inside the foyer. Here's the exit, with what appears to be a large mural installed by Key Food (and later fitted with a poorly rotated SuperFresh logo).
Ah yes, nice Photoshopped Key Food sign. This was never changed, and the SuperFresh logo added to the billboard wasn't placed at the proper perspective...
The exit is on the left, with the entrance just to the right...
The Fresh Grocer's decor was mostly intact until SuperFresh's closing day, since Key Food did very little to the space before opening. It's very cool decor, to be sure, and looks much better in a store that's not, ya know, closed.
Unfortunately that's really the only shot inside the main supermarket that we're going to get, since it's such a weirdly-shaped building with limited access, but we can see a few more angles of the entrance/exit...
From the stairs to the gym on the higher floors.
Inside the exit we can see the remains of a cafe...
And we can get a good look at the decor here.
Coffee shop presumably installed by Key Food, since it doesn't match the rest of the decor.
One final look at the cafe! Now this store didn't succeed because it's in an area where nobody really lives, but tomorrow we venture to the very southern edge of downtown for our final New Brunswick supermarket which is indeed where people live and a very successful store, over on The Market Report. Plus, we have a look at a small grocer across the street on The Independent Edition!