Original Grocery Tenant: A&P
Address: 1520 Northampton St, Easton, PA
Address: 1520 Northampton St, Easton, PA
Opened: 1950s (?)
Later Tenants: ShopRite (possible?) > Cramer's Home Center (1980s-1998) > CVS (1998- )
Photographed: January 8, 2021
This 17,000 square foot store was clearly a centennial A&P, but interestingly enough also has an arched roof behind that facade with a small flat section on either side, suggesting it may actually have been an earlier build converted to a centennial in the 1960s. According to JoshAustin610, it may have later become a ShopRite before a series of non-grocery tenants, most recently CVS. We have one more stop in the Lehigh Valley before we move on, which is a small former grocery store just north of center city Easton that we'll be seeing tomorrow right here on Grocery Archaeology!
Historic aerial views show that this A&P opened as a newly built Centennial, sometime between 1958 and 1962. The earliest A&P ad in The Morning Call which referenced this location was printed in the 9/13/62 edition. (The ad actually identified the location as 1500 Northampton St., but it is safe to assume it is the same location as the CVS you photographed.) An A&P ad in the 5/15/58 Morning Call referenced a store at 1242 Northampton St. in Easton, so apparently this Centennial was a nearby relocation from an older supermarket building.ReplyDelete
This A&P, along with supermarkets in Bangor (N. Main St.), Northampton (2006 N. Center St.), Quakertown (371 N. Broad), and Allentown (1901 Hamilton St.) closed during the first quarter of 1982. After these closures, I believe the only A&P's still operating in the Lehigh Valley were those in Hellertown (Main & McAdoo), Trexlertown (Rt. 22 & McCungie), Walnutport (200 S. Best Ave.), and Phillipsburg, NJ (Rt. 22 & Rosenberry).
Per a 3/4/83 Morning Call article, an A&P spokesman said (the previous day) there was "no substance" to rumors that the remaining Lehigh Valley locations would be converted to Super Fresh. But on 3/22/83, an article ran in The Morning Call stating that those supermarkets would indeed be converted to Super Fresh. Those four A&P stores closed on April 14. On May 18, the Hellertown and Phillipsburg stores reopened as Super Fresh. One week later, the Trexlertown and Walnutport Super Fresh locations began operations.
I really enjoyed your coverage of the Lehigh Valley. From 1980 to 1984, when I was very young, I lived in the Northampton County town of Lower Saucon Township, and my first memories of any supermarket were of the nearby Hellertown Super Fresh and IGA which I mentioned in a post over on The Market Report. (I have no memories of when the Super Fresh was an A&P, and the Acme closed prior to my moving to the area.)ReplyDelete
The Hellertown Acme was located at 60 Main Street. According to Josh's Flickr companion page, the supermarket opened on August 5, 1959; this is consistent with an Acme ad printed in the 8/6/59 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer which stated that a brand new Acme was now open at that address. The Acme was part of a small shopping center that was also anchored by W. T. Grant, which I am pretty sure lasted until that chain's 1976 liquidation, as the 8/24/78 edition of The Morning Call stated that Grant's had been closed for over two years and that a McCrory's five and dime store had opened on August 18. That same Morning Call article mentioned that a roughly 15,000 square-foot Acme closed about a year prior and that Dan's IGA Foodliner was moving into the former Acme and leaving its current space at 800 Main Street. According to newspaper advertisements, the relocated Dan's IGA opened on or around December 17, 1978.
The McCrory store was converted to Newberry's sometime between July and September 1995. A tragic fire started in the Newberry store around 8:00 P.M. on the night of October 7, 1996 and destroyed the entire shopping center. One of the owners of the IGA, Dan Palank, stated that he planned to rebuild, but that of course never happened. In July 2001, Barry and Lee Palank--Dan's sons who were also co-owners of Dan's IGA--pleaded guilty to illegally redeeming nearly $800,000 in manufacturers' coupons. That along with the upcoming opening of the Hellertown Giant very likely explains why Dan's IGA was never rebuilt. In any event, a street view of 60 Main Street on Google Maps shows that (pretty much) nothing is currently there.
Because there is a limit to how long a post can be, I will submit another post (immediately below this one) in which I discuss the Hellertown A&P-turned-Super Fresh.
The Acme-turned-IGA was located a very short distance from the A&P-turned-Super Fresh (albeit on the opposite side of Main Street). Josh was correct when he stated on his Flickr companion page that the Hellertown A&P opened in August 1970, as newspaper advertisements mentioned a new A&P which had opened at the corner of Main & McAdoo. (I believe the full name of the street was McAdoo Avenue, though Google Maps indicates the relevant street which intersects with Main Street is now called Polk Valley Road.) I have some photos of this store (as a Super Fresh), and it was a really beautiful Centennial, and one that was obviously built very late in the Centennial era. Like the Acme-turned-IGA, the A&P-turned-Super Fresh anchored a shopping center; in this case, the outdoor strip of stores was named the Spring Hill Shopping Center. I do not remember all the stores in the center, though it definitely had a True Value Hardware and a Thrift Drug (back when I lived in Lower Saucon Township).ReplyDelete
I already mentioned that the Hellertown A&P closed on April 14, 1983 and reopened as a Super Fresh on May 18, 1983. There is a photo of the inside of this Super Fresh in the 5/22/83 edition of The Morning Call. The original Super Fresh decor (which is very visible in the photo) is one of my favorite supermarket decor packages, and I absolutely love the funky lettering that was used. The Hellertown Super Fresh was my mother's supermarket of choice, and I do remember our trips to the supermarket (even though, as I said previously, I do not have any memories of the A&P).
As I indicated in a post on The Market Report, the Hellertown Super Fresh presumably closed on December 4, 1998, the day before a replacement store on Route 378 in Bethlehem opened. The Spring Hill Shopping Center has since been renamed The Shoppes at Hellertown. The True Value relocated and now seems to occupy roughly two-thirds of the former Super Fresh, with Dollar General taking up the rest of the Centennial building. Although I am not crazy about the renovations, they could have been much worse. Here is a link to a photo that Josh uploaded to Flickr back in November 2008:
I believe the former A&P-turned-Super Fresh still looks like that today.
A&P Fan, thanks so much for all your history and input! Much appreciated.Delete
Zachary, thanks very much for your kind words. Coming from you, it really means a lot.Delete
Though I have said this before, The Market Report family of blogs is the gold standard for blogs across the Internet (on any subject). I am grateful for all your hard work, and it is a joy to participate on your blogs.