Original Tenant: A&P
Address: 2328 Plainfield Ave, South Plainfield, NJ
Opened: early 1960s
Closed: mid 1990s
Later Tenants: CVS (1995-present)
Photographed: July 2020
Quite the find here tucked away on a small street in South Plainfield's residential district! This store -- of just 16,000 square feet -- was built in the early- to mid-60s as a Centennial A&P, and remarkably not just made it to the mid-90s as an A&P, but was actually extensively upgraded. The bulky facade we see here is a scaled-down, if unsuccessfully so, version of the facade we can also find in Peekskill and LaGrangeville, among others. But Peekskill was double this store's size, at 32,000 square feet, and LaGrangeville was just under that at about 31,00 square feet. Highly unusual to see such a major upgrade on such a small store.
I believe, though I'm not entirely sure, that this facade was coupled with the Sav-A-Center branding and decor package, and that that store model was also paired with the pylon sign we see here. It looks like CVS would've painted it red, but I'm pretty sure it's original to A&P. This store coexisted with A&P's other South Plainfield location at 3600 Park Ave, which later became a Pathmark and is now the site of a ShopRite with an identical street sign -- making me fairly certain this is an A&P relic. We'll be seeing that ShopRite and another former supermarket across the street in two days, but first, we're going to stop by an independent grocer also kind of tucked away in a residential neighborhood and a former supermarket across the street from that on The Independent Edition and right here on Grocery Archaeology!
This A&P opened on November 6, 1962 per an advertisement in the prior day's edition of The Courier News (of Bridgewater, NJ). The June 2, 1995 edition of that same newspaper stated the A&P would close the following day. The CVS moved in very shortly thereafter: October 24, 1995 (per an article in the 10/27/95 edition of The Central New Jersey Home News).ReplyDelete
The Courier News article discussing the A&P's closing has a picture of that store's exterior. As you suspected, the bulky facade was put in place by A&P. While this store may have been a Sav-A-Center, the only sign on the exterior was an A&P sign.
I personally think that the store's current facade is really ugly. And after viewing historic aerial images, it surprisingly appears that this store was never a Centennial.
Thanks for the history!Delete
You're right, it was never a Centennial. I got that from JoshAustin610's photo but didn't bother to check it myself. Strange that it wasn't, given that it was built in peak-Centennial period.
Zachary, you're very welcome. It's my pleasure to provide this history.Delete
A&P still opened non-Centennial supermarkets during the Centennial Era, but (I believe) the two most common reasons for doing so were (1) to comply with a particular shopping center's design or (2) because A&P preferred to open non-Centennials in certain states. (For instance, I think that there were relatively few Centennials in Florida, and it's possible that A&P didn't open a single Centennial in California.)
Both of the above reasons don't apply here, so it is indeed strange that this store was not a Centennial.