Original Tenant: Food Fair
Address: 680 Memorial Pkwy, Phillipsburg, NJ
Later Tenants: Food Lane (1979-2001) > Ahart's Market (2001-2017)
Photographed: January 2022
Returning to the Ahart's in Phillipsburg almost five years after its closure to see what was going on with the property. To my surprise, the building remains and is still abandoned. For some background, we begin with my own pictures
of the store in business in 2016, then the news of the closure
, then the news of the intended replacement
. The site is no longer advertised as available, but there's also no evidence of any progress going on at all.
Ahart's had locations in Phillipsburg, Bethlehem, Allentown
, Bath, and Blakeslee. Phillipsburg closed in 2017, Bethlehem closed in early 2021 with renovations to convert the store to a new Ideal Food Basket well underway, and Allentown closed in November 2021 with plans to replace it with a Grocery Outlet. Bath and Blakeslee, for now, remain in business and I've been only to Blakeslee.
I wonder what's holding up the redevelopment process of this property, but I suppose I can't complain if I get some extra time (like five years, to be specific) to come and photograph the place!
As we see, there's been deterioration since the store closed years ago but the store was also in pretty rough shape at the time of its closure. Check out my post from 2017 and you can get a clear sense of the store's age and poor maintenance.
Here's where the entrance and exit were to the right of the storefront.
It will forever puzzle me that there was no lit signage on the store, nor any lettering facing the highway on this side (save for the little square of Ahart's Market in the window).
Here's an overview of the whole building from the right side near the entrance.
The property was fenced off, but I managed to get a few shots from inside the fencing. Here's a nice one of the whole building. Love the tower! And now for a very exclusive interior shot showing the store's really bad condition inside this long after closing...
All the fixtures were removed, although it's unclear what exactly happened to them. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority just went into the garbage because of how old and poorly maintained they were. Very cool to get a glimpse of the interior all cleaned out, though! Don't forget to check out our other Phillipsburg stops, by the way, at Towne Market
, Cather's Food Mart
, and Gino's Market
Fantastic interior shot! Yet another one where it seems like you are IN the store. Of course I was dying to see the inside as I was reading through the post. Thanks for getting it!ReplyDelete
I needed to build the suspense...that's why I put the interior picture last. Thanks!Delete
Thanks very much for these photos. While this store does appear to be in sad shape, it's far from the worst abandoned supermarket I've seen. IMO, there's a two-way tie for that dubious distinction. First, there was the super creepy former ShopRite/Pathmark/Acme in Clementon, NJ (that has since been demolished):ReplyDelete
And then there's the equally creepy former A&P/Key Food on Spruce Street in Newark:
I've been wanting to learn a detailed history of that A&P, but I've had little success in doing so. I can tell you that it was still open on February 5, 1984, since that location was mentioned (along with the other A&Ps open at that time) in that day's newspaper advertisements. Unfortunately, I discovered zero information regarding the Key Food which later opened in that space. In any event, that building isn't salvageable in any way, and it's depressing to see a once beautiful Centennial deteriorate to the degree it has.
I have had more success in learning information about the former Clementon supermarket(s). The Clementon ShopRite opened on May 2, 1963 (just one day after the former Dunellen store that you profiled). It converted to the Pathmark name sometime between September 25 and October 2, 1968. Though I was unable to ascertain an exact closing date for the Clementon Pathmark, it appears that it closed in April or May of 1977. The Acme opened on April 22, 1979. (Another Acme opened that day as well: a location at 1720 South 4th Street in Allentown, PA.) Though I don't know the exact date the Clementon Acme shut its doors, it was still open on September 24, 1990.
Here's another one for your list A&P fan. My personal fave...Delete
When I first photographed the store, there was no way to see inside. Pictures came in later revealing a mess of an interior.
Acme Style, the former Egg Harbor City Acme sure is hideous. IMO, that building's interior is in even far worse shape than the exterior. And it is so hard to believe that supermarket was open until 2002.Delete
Also, it's an interesting coincidence that both the Clementon and Egg Harbor City Acmes had parking lots that were so ridiculously large relative to the size of the retail space. Perhaps humongous parking lots were somewhat common among stores built in the 1950s and 60s, since retailers might have wanted the option of being able to expand in the future.
Great discussions of the most memorable abandoned supermarkets out there. There are also some really incredible ones that I've seen but not yet posted, so lots to look forward to...Delete
Zachary, I'd be very curious to read your opinion regarding which abandoned supermarkets are in the worst shape. Feel free to include any former supermarket buildings that have since been demolished.Delete
Well of the ones I've been to, the one that was objectively the worst was the SuperFresh in Roselle, but that doesn't exactly count because the store flooded when the roof collapsed in Hurricane Ida and is not so much abandoned as under construction for reopening. I have some updated photos of that store from the other day that I'll post soon.Delete
Acme Style has covered lots of great abandoned locations including Clementon and Egg Harbor City, but as for the ones I've been to, some highlights include this one, the Whitehorse ShopRite I posted a few days ago, the Holiday Thriftway on Frankford in Philadelphia which I'll post soon enough (a really sad one because that is a beautiful building), the Price Chopper in Lee, MA is in pretty bad shape, A&P in Clark, Kings in Berkeley Heights, and probably my favorite of all time, 50 Mill St in Worcester, MA. That one was a Big D for many years and then became a Price Chopper before they moved to the existing Main & Cambridge location. There are probably more but those come to mind!
Zachary, thanks for sharing this really fascinating list. The former supermarket building at 50 Mill Street in Worcester, MA is a major eyesore (and would definitely make my list of top ten abandoned supermarkets that are in the worst shape). And I agree that it's really sad that the former Holiday Thriftway building in Philadelphia has deteriorated so badly.Delete
You're welcome! By the way, sorry -- looks like I accidentally marked this comment as spam. Fixed!Delete
Just noticing how your shot of this store is nearly identical to the shot of the former ACME in Lambertville. If you look quickly, you'd almost think they're the same store! Fascinating to me how the two stores from different chains have such similar design, although various sorts of towers were popular for stores back in those days.ReplyDelete
Yes, definitely true! It helps that they were shot from roughly the same angle with the wide-angle lens feature, too.Delete