It's time to enter Pennsylvania! If you got a little bored with my coverage of the mid-Atlantic region (and, I'll admit, there were a fair number of pretty boring stores and bad drive-by pictures, especially in Norfolk), now is the time to tune back in. We are back, just west of New Jersey, in the Philadelphia area! We're going to begin our coverage in the eastern part of the Main Line, a stretch of Philadelphia suburbs along US-30, which is the Lincoln Highway. In that area, we'll make stops in Gladwyne, Bryn Mawr, Wynnewood, and Narberth before entering the Philadelphia city limits for a look at stores around Carroll Park, Cathedral Park, and University City. My coverage of Philadelphia is not quite as dense as northern New Jersey nor northeastern Pennsylvania, but it's pretty solid, and we certainly have quite a few interesting stops as we move through the area from south to north, roughly. We begin with a look at a very small independent grocer in Gladwyne over on The Independent Edition
I'm really looking forward to your coverage of this region.ReplyDelete
Though I never lived in this region, I some of my relatives did live there, so I am familiar with some of its supermarkets. The supermarket in this region that I'm most familiar with was an A&P-turned-Super Fresh at the Gateway Shopping Center:
Before I continue, I should say that it is a bit confusing as to the town in which this shopping center is located. Depending on the source, I have read that the shopping center is located in Wayne, Valley Forge, Devon, or Tredyffrin Township. The Gateway Shopping Center is not in the town of Berwyn, though that is where the replacement store (a Super Fresh-turned-Pathmark) opened in 1996.
Josh was incorrect when he stated that Gateway A&P opened with the shopping
center in 1965. According to the Historic Aerials website, the center was built sometime between 1967 and 1971 (though it was later expanded a bit). The A&P actually opened around May 22, 1969, as an advertisement in that day's Philadelphia Inquirer mentioned that the then-new supermarket was now open.
I would be surprised if you are planning to profile the former Gateway A&P/Super Fresh. This is because the shopping center underwent a renovation relatively recently; while the TJ Maxx is still there, the Centennial facade is sadly gone. However, if you are planning to profile this store on Grocery Archaeology, I will share a bit more history about the A&P/Super Fresh in the comments section of your profile; if not, I'll share the additional history as a response to this post.
I have not been there but thanks for all the information here!Delete
I know that I said I would provide more history about the Gateway A&P/SuperFresh in a future post. My apologies for doing this so belatedly.Delete
Below is the history of that store and its replacement:
*As indicated above, the Centennial A&P opened on or around 5/22/69.
*The A&P seems to have closed during the first week of September 1982. A 9/1/82 A&P ad in The Philadelphia Inquirer listed a whole bunch of locations--one of which was Devon--in which the ad's prices were effective from August 29 to September 4. But in a 9/5/82 A&P ad, the Devon location was no longer listed.
*The Gateway Super Fresh opened on 10/10/82 and closed on 4/23/96. Apparently, the supermarket must have expanded at one point into an adjacent store that closed (though I don't know if the expansion was done by A&P or Super Fresh), since an 8/7/96 newspaper article stated that the Super Fresh was 29,000 square feet. Yet based upon memory, no alterations were made to the store's Centennial exterior during the time it was a Super Fresh (other than a sign change), which was certainly not the norm when Centennials were expanded.
*On 4/24/96, the replacement Super Fresh opened. The supermarket relocated to the nearby town of Berwyn, in the newly built Swedesford Plaza shopping center. The store was 55,000 square feet according to a 4/26/96 Philadelphia Inquirer article.
*The TJ Maxx took over the space occupied by the Centennial A&P/Super Fresh on 11/10/96. If you click on the link to Flickr that I shared in my August 2 post, I assume that the (relatively modest) changes to the store's exterior occurred just prior to the TJ Maxx opening.
*I don't know when the Berwyn Super Fresh converted to a Pathmark (or more precisely, a Pathmark Sav-A-Center), but it most likely occurred during the second half of 2008. IMO, A&P's decision to switch so many Super Fresh stores over to the Pathmark banner was quite perplexing.
*The Berwyn Pathmark closed sometime between 7/21/15 and 9/18/15. The majority of the building is currently occupied by Golf Galaxy, which opened on 3/14/20. The other portion of the building is occupied by TSX, which stands for Total Soccer eXperience. (I'm not sure when the TSX opened.) JoshAustin610 took a photo of the Pathmark while it was still in business:
Josh correctly predicted that a supermarket was unlikely to move into that building due to the proximity of the former Pathmark to the King of Prussia Wegmans.
*As I indicated previously, the Gateway Shopping Center underwent a massive renovation. In the September 2015 street view on Google maps, you can see that the renovation was already underway; it was completed by October 2016. Unfortunately, the Centennial facade of the A&P/Super Fresh/TJ Maxx was completely covered up.
Thanks for the history!Delete