Original Tenant: Mayfair Foodtown
Address: 52-56 Westfield Ave, Clark, NJ
Address: 52-56 Westfield Ave, Clark, NJ
Later Tenants: A&P (1989-2006)
Photographed: December 2020
Quite the relic here in downtown Clark. This 24,000 square foot building was built as a Mayfair Foodtown, later being sold to A&P in 1989. A&P, in turn, moved a little over a mile northwest to the location that's now ACME in 2006. Since then, the space has remained vacant, with A&P even holding on to the lease until 2012. The township, then, condemned the space in 2018 with plans to forcibly acquire the store by eminent domain, although I'm not sure where those plans stand now.
As much as a retail relic like this excites me, I also understand it's quite the eyesore in a downtown location. The building's exterior has deteriorated extensively over the years, with paint peeling and mold forming around the walls.
I believe the panels above the doors here are something to do with ventilation, which may be a sign some early work is beginning on the facility, perhaps asbestos removal.
The main A&P sign might have been removed (and unfortunately, I don't believe there's a picture of the store with its A&P sign still up available online), but these smaller supplemental signs remain around the property.
Looking in through the entrance door. The bulletin board is still intact! As we can see, you'd make a 90-degree turn to enter the store since the entrance and exit were on the side wall of the store, facing the parking lot.
And looking in through the exit door. I believe the floor was removed, since I don't see any remnants of the tile pattern nor do I see the metal divider that would've probably been along the bottom of this exit door.
Let's move along the front wall of the store to see what else we can glimpse. Notice that the underside of the overhang here on the front of the store seems to have been removed.
All the decals on the front windows are still intact, although they are badly faded.
These decals line the entire front wall of the store.
My first assumption upon looking into this building was that the drop ceiling had been removed for some reason after the store's closure. However, it does look like the store didn't have a drop ceiling while it was operating -- notice that the ceiling on the right, which I assume would've been over the grand aisle, was painted a different color, and over the main store, the lighting is actually hanging from the ceiling and doesn't appear to have been built into a lower drop ceiling.
Closer look at what I'm assuming was the produce department. We can also catch a glimpse of a clock on the wall to the right (maybe that was customer service?) but I couldn't get a better photo, unfortunately.
Notice that we appear to be looking at the subfloor here. I'm also intrigued by the walls -- here we can see pretty clearly that there's no decor on the walls, but it doesn't so much look like the decor was ripped off the walls, either. Is it possible the walls were painted or in some way freshened up after the store closed? The roof too, seems to be in much better condition than it should be 15 years after the store closed. Is that actually a sign of work having been done here?
Looking to the left side of the store where I assume dairy was.
Long-gone space available sign, I think.
Looking back over to the entrance/exit side of the store.
Now back to the entrance/exit foyer...
And the inside of the entrance/exit doors.
Let's take a moment to explore the rest of the property. This (very retro) light post has been painted green, making me wonder if the store was a Sav-A-Center before becoming a Food Market.
Moving around back to check out the loading docks and so on. Even this is in surprisingly good condition for a 15+-year vacancy.
There is one loading bay on each side of the store.
And what do we see in front of this loading bay on the left side of the store?
Some very faded stripes, and this is the only part of the building they're painted on. That's a little weird, but I also can't place the color scheme. I suppose it would be somewhat related to the Food Market decor this store probably had. (Look especially at the meat department.) Anyway, as glad as I am to have checked out this store before anything else happened to it, I do hope a revitalization of this property is imminent. It really needs it. And that, folks, wraps up our suburban Union County coverage! We'll be seeing the Plainfield area to the west in a while, but first we'll continue down the east coast of the state starting with the greater Elizabeth area tomorrow!