Original Tenant: A&P
Address: 1320 Parkway Ave, Ewing, NJ
Later Tenants: converted to SuperFresh in 1982, closed 2003, became CVS in 2005
Photographed: January 2021
Just about next door to Marrazzo's Market, today's store tour, is this 19,000 square foot former supermarket at Parkway Avenue and Scotch Road in Ewing Township. It was built in the 1960s as a Centennial A&P, then converted to SuperFresh with the Philadelphia-area ones in 1982 before closing in 2003. CVS opened in 2005. Tomorrow, we head into Trenton's city limits for a look at a former supermarket in the northwestern part of the city here on Grocery Archaeology!
Per Historic Aerials, the Suburban Square Shopping Center (which is the name of this particular shopping center) was built sometime between 1958 and 1963. The January 21, 1962 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer had an advertisement for available space at the center and mentioned that A&P, Grants, a drug store, a bowling alley, and a laundromat were among the tenants who already leased space. If the Suburban Square Shopping Center hadn't opened by that date, it definitely opened before April 9, 1962, since that day's edition of The Record (of Hackensack, NJ) mentioned that the New Jersey Education Association had just established a temporary headquarters in part of the shopping center (while the NJEA was waiting for their new permanent headquarters to be built).ReplyDelete
I actually believe that the A&P name lasted until 1983 at the Ewing location. The December 5, 1982 edition of the Asbury Park Press mentioned that the A&P location at Scotch Road (which intersects Parkway Avenue) would be among ten stores closing by the end of the year or in early 1983. (Other stores mentioned were the A&Ps in Mercerville, Hightstown, Princeton, Mercer Mall, Mount Holly, and Frenchtown, plus three stores in Southern NJ that weren't named in the article; Frenchtown, of course, wound up remaining an A&P.) If newspaper advertisements had accurate data (which wasn't always the case), then the A&P name in Ewing (which A&P referred to as being in Trenton) lasted until February 1983. In the 2/16/83 edition of the Daily Record (of Morristown, NJ), the following sentence appears at the end of the A&P ad: "Prices effective thru Sat., Feb. 19, 1983 in A&P Stores in Central, Northern N.J., Orange & Rockland Counties excluding Cape May Courthouse, Frenchtown, Hammonton, Hightstown, Manahawkin, Mercerville, North Wildwood, Ocean City, Princeton & Trenton." Note that this sentence appears in A&P ads that were in other newspapers.
Interestingly, the A&P name also lasted until 1983 in the Lehigh Valley (despite most everyone--myself included--believing that the name only lasted until 1982 in that region). The March 4, 1983 edition of The Morning Call (of Allentown, PA) had an article in which A&P denied rumors that its four remaining Lehigh Valley Stores--in Walnutport, Trexlertown, Hellertown, and Phillipsburg--would close and then reopen as Super Fresh. But in the 3/22/83 edition of The Morning Call, it was reported that those four stores would indeed be converting to Super Fresh (and having Super Fresh-type labor agreements for their employees). These four A&P stores closed on or around April 16, 1983. The Hellertown and Phillipsburg supermarkets reopened as Super Fresh on May 18, 1983, and the Walnutport and Trexlertown stores reopened one week later.
Back to the Ewing store, it appears that it was slightly expanded in the 1970s; a dance center and a Five Guys restaurant (that are to the right of the CVS) now occupy this expanded space. In the 2002 view on Historic Aerials, there definitely was a 70s-style A&P awning that was placed over the Centennial front. The 1995 and 1984 views are too blurry to make out. The Centennial front seems to be unobstructed in the 1979 aerial view, though you can clearly see the new addition to the shopping center (if you compare that image to the 1971 view).
Thanks for all the history!Delete
I remember this being the A&P in the 1970s and often having my Mom take me there when I was very young to do the grocery shopping. Ewing was a completely different place and world back then, but then too, so was the world itself. I still miss A&P. I've been in that CVS a couple of times and it has zero identity with the old store...ReplyDelete
Thanks for your memories!Delete
I grew up shopping at an ACME that's now a CVS, too, so I know exactly what you mean. Going into the CVS, I can still kind of picture where everything was and how the ACME was set up, but there's nothing inside anymore that would indicate how it was.