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1220 South Ave, Plainfield, NJ

Original Tenant: ShopRite
Address: 1220 South Ave, Plainfield, NJ
Opened: 1961
Closed: 1968
Later Tenants: Pathmark (1968-1980s) > Walgreens (1986-2001) > Times Farmers Market (??-ca. 2014) > Green Farmers Market (ca. 2014-2016) > Key Food Supermarkets (2016) > Fig Tree Market (2017-2019)
Photographed: July 2020
We're returning to 1220 South Ave here at the northern end of Plainfield, outside of downtown. The 16,000 square foot space has hosted no fewer than six different grocery stores during its 60 year life, and possibly more since I'm not sure what, if anything, was in here between Walgreens and Times Farm. I'm not sure whether it was related to Times Farm in Union.
It seems that Fig Tree lasted a little less than two years, making it the second-shortest-lived store on this property behind Key Food. The entire property is slated for redevelopment now.
It's always very sad to see the "now open" signage still up after the store closes for good, but we could tell the store was not long for this world when we saw it last. There are probably a number of problems with this location that caused so many stores to fail here, such as location, an aging building, or high rent, possibly, but it's also the case that the execution at Fig Tree was pretty bad.
Store closed August 18, 2019. We can take a look at what's left inside, though, through the unobscured front windows...
Here's the store's entrance, where we can see some produce shelving to the left and some old soda cases to the right. The store used a variety of secondhand carts, as we see.
And a look inside the exit.
It looks like towards the end, Fig Tree moved some shelves and cases in front of a few of the unused registers, which is fairly common (even in stores that are doing well but have more registers than they'll ever use). Every fixture is still there, though, so it doesn't seem they were even attempted to be sold.
On the other hand, nearly all of the signage had been taken down, which was sent to the 130 Farmers Market in East Windsor.
(I don't think 130 Farmers Market, which is owned by the same people who owned Fig Tree, has a meat department, hence the Butcher Shop signage remaining on the walls.)
Just outside the store's front entrance is this cart from "Fine Fare L.A." Now, there aren't any Fine Fare Supermarkets in Los Angeles, but there are locations of Los Amigos Fine Fare in North Plainfield and just up the street from this store about a quarter of a mile, which is our other post today! And folks, we are finally coming to the end of the Plainfields. Tomorrow we're looking at a small store to the northeast in Scotch Plains on The Independent Edition, before finishing up with our final store on US-22 on Saturday!


  1. Seems like there have been some misconceptions about this location. Going by my research on, the Pathmark most likely closed in May 1974 (and definitely by the end of that year). There was a report of a robbery that month, then an article from May 1975 said it had been closed for over a year. It became the International Billiards headquarters from July 1975 until around mid-1980, then became an ARC thrift shop from December 1980 through at least 1988. The Walgreens seems to have actually opened in 1992 - it's listed as a forthcoming "new business" in February of that year, and there's a job posting in August.


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