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Showing posts from August, 2022

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!

7201 Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant: A&P Address: 7201 Roosevelt Blvd, Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  unknown Closed:  by 1983 Later Tenants:  Today's Man > K&G Photographed:  July 2021 A beautiful summer evening sky is the perfect backdrop to today's former A&P at the northern part of the Mayfair neighborhood. It appears that the store was originally constructed as a 15,000 square foot arched roof store, then later expanded out both sides to its present 23,000 square feet. If I had to guess, I'd bet that this store was constructed right before the centennial era, then expanded right after the centennial era, since there's no indication this store ever had any centennial characteristics. It doesn't appear that this store made it to the 1983 conversion of all Philadelphia area A&Ps to SuperFresh, but unfortunately my reliable source JoshAustin610 has little more information to offer about the supermarket. Looks like it's been clothing retailers since. A&

4011 Cottman Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant:  Penn Fruit Address: 4011 Cottman Ave, Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  ca. 1950s Closed:  by 1979 Later Tenants:  Rite Aid > Drug Palace > Rite Aid Photographed:  July 2021 Today we're in the northeastern part of the Mayfair neighborhood for a look at a Penn Fruit (without the signature arched roof, since apparently this one was built before they adopted that building style). The 15,000 square foot building was actually constructed as a replacement for an older Penn Fruit store just across the parking lot at 7303 Frankford Ave , also later home to a Rite Aid before they moved into this Penn Fruit store, and now a post office. You can read all about the history of both locations over on JoshAustin610's page here . I mentioned in yesterday's post  that full supermarkets are fairly scarce in these neighborhoods in this part of Philadelphia, but there are many small grocers that are more like convenience stores or bodegas, with grocery basics but litt

629 Eagle Rock Ave, West Orange, NJ

Original Tenant: ACME Markets Address: 629 Eagle Rock Ave, West Orange, NJ Opened:  1953 Closed:  1965 Later Tenants:  furniture store > CVS (1993-2018) > Aron's West Orange Market (2018-2021) Photographed:  July 2022 We return to this 8700 square foot building on Eagle Rock Avenue, just east of Pleasant Valley Way in the Pleasantdale section of West Orange. We first saw the store in 2018 (with some photos from 2016) showing Aron's West Orange Market in its soft opening phase, plus some older shots of the CVS that it replaced, then again in early 2019 when I got to visit it myself. I'm not entirely sure why, but Aron's operation was full of problems almost from the beginning. The beautiful displays that the original photoset captured were quickly gone replaced by empty spaces on all the shelves I noticed in my 2019 visit. I went back to pick up a gallon of milk in the summer of 2020 only to find the entire milk case empty, along with most of the bakery departm

Coming Soon!

  We are moving on to a loose collection of stores in a few neighborhoods along the eastern part of Philadelphia! For this next group, we begin in South Philadelphia and Fishtown for one stop each, before heading to the northeastern part of the city for Mayfair, then circling back in west for Frankford. (Oh, and if you're really picky, one stop in Wissinoming on the way, too.) By the way, a note on the map locations: those are very approximate, and most likely they're way closer together than they appear on the map, but there's only so close together I can put those little dots. In other words, the map is intended for representative purposes only and don't bring it out on your Philadelphia wilderness expedition and expect to be guided by it and a north star. Anyway, the Frankford/Mayfair neighborhoods, where we'll be spending most of our time, have some pretty interesting stores and we'll be taking a look at a couple former supermarkets around there too. It'

250 E Lancaster Ave, Wynnewood, PA

Original Tenant: A&P Address: 250 E Lancaster Ave, Wynnewood, PA Opened:  1960s Closed:  1983 Later Tenants:  SuperFresh (1983-2015) > ACME Markets (2015-2020) > Target (2021- ) Photographed:  December 2021 We seem to be seeing a lot of A&Ps and ACMEs here on the Main Line! Gladwyne had an A&P-turned-ACME , and Bryn Mawr had both an A&P and an ACME . Well, Wynnewood -- about two miles east of Bryn Mawr -- had another A&P-turned-ACME, which of course was also a SuperFresh from 1983 to 2015. ACME closed this store in the summer of 2020 , following but unrelated to a series of failed health inspections in late 2019. In 2021, Target took the roughly 23,000 square foot space for one of their smaller-format stores, though it looks like they may have expanded it slightly to just over 30,000 square feet. Notice the centennial facade peeking out from behind the Target facade! Here's a look at the ACME when it was still in business. Today, Wynnewood has other g