Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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Groceteria
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Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by Groceteria » 02 Jul 2008 08:27

Hi all,

I've just about narrowed down my summer road trip destination to cover the greater Philadelphia area and maybe some of the south Jersey suburbs. Are there any "must see" 1950s/1960s stores that are still in relatively original condition? Any particularly well-preseved old shopping centers?

Thanks,
David

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by maynesG » 03 Jul 2008 19:02

Dear David,
I am not sure how far into South Jersey Subs you would want to venture. In
the town of Milville Nj their is and Acme A Frame, that has been untouched since it opened in 1962. Their is also in Milvile a few miles down the road from the Acme a former Acme that is a perfect example of a late 1960!s Acme ( every one of this model Acme to my Knowledge failed and are closed) now operated by and independent. Out side of wiliamstown their is also a small Acme A frame that is also untouched and still operating. If you are interested I will get the proper street adresses and directions for each.
What makes these stores important is that Acme in South Jersey over the past five years has replaced a dozen of these stores with Super Stores many of the A Frames lie Empty adjacent to the new stores. Their are many former Food fairs that were Thriftways or Shop @ Bags in the area that are now closed.
Also my Knowledge of Philly is about five years old butif you are intertested I will put together a list of interesting stores to see.
Gerry

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by lvkewlkid » 04 Jul 2008 04:50

I don't know if you can venture out to the shore, but i know that there is a Shop Rite on 35 or 33 or whatever in Belmar or Deal or Wall, I can't remember which one, it looks exactly like a marina safeway...

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by Groceteria » 08 Jul 2008 22:41

lvkewlkid wrote:I don't know if you can venture out to the shore, but i know that there is a Shop Rite on 35 or 33 or whatever in Belmar or Deal or Wall, I can't remember which one, it looks exactly like a marina safeway...
I think I've seen a picture of another ShopRite with that same look somewhere near NYC. Actually, I thought the one I saw was a converted Safeway, but I don't think they had stores on the Jersey shore, so maybe not...

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by maynesG » 09 Jul 2008 08:27

As I remember, Safeway had a few stores on the shore that became Finasts, Keensburg which closed in the mid 60!s after its roof colapsed after a Snow storm and Red Bank New Jersey come to mind. The one in Red bank became a Food Circus Shop Rite in the early 70!s
along with several other Finasts. They also had a unit in Atlantic Highlands that was a former Safeway but it did not have a barrel Roof.
Barrel roofed stores were popular in New Jersey in the fifty and sixties, Grand Union, Pen Fruit and A&P as well as safeway built stores in this mode. Also Shop Rite built stores them selves in this design.

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by TheStranger » 09 Jul 2008 13:46

Groceteria wrote:
lvkewlkid wrote:I don't know if you can venture out to the shore, but i know that there is a Shop Rite on 35 or 33 or whatever in Belmar or Deal or Wall, I can't remember which one, it looks exactly like a marina safeway...
I think I've seen a picture of another ShopRite with that same look somewhere near NYC. Actually, I thought the one I saw was a converted Safeway, but I don't think they had stores on the Jersy shore, so maybe not...
I do remember doing some research a while ago and finding an ex-Safeway gable somewhere in coastal New Jersey. Forgot where though...
Chris Sampang

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by rich » 10 Jul 2008 17:32

Finast bought the NY Safeways at the beginning of the 60s; there probably aren't many Marinas in that cohort; someone mentioned one in Queens.

Penn Fruit used Marina-ish barrel vault roofs and the Philly marketing area would have many legacies from that.

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by maynesG » 19 Jul 2008 17:50

Hi, The Acme market A Frame in Milville N.J. has closed and been replaced by an Acme SuperStore across the street from its former location. Initialy a sucess doing 600,000 per week , untill Shop Rite opened a new store directly behind the Acme. It now does what the old unit did. The independent down the sreeet from the A frame housed in a 1960!s Acme building also has closed. The IGA on the other side of town housed in a former Shop Rite closed last week.
Ironic, the Acme is in danger of closing but if they had stayed in the old building would be
still be profitable. ( yes Acme still owns the old building) and The Shop Rite owner is the same owner that failed in the old Shop Rite building that recently closed as an IGA.

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by MikeRa » 21 Jul 2008 20:32

rich wrote:Finast bought the NY Safeways at the beginning of the 60s; there probably aren't many Marinas in that cohort; someone mentioned one in Queens.

Penn Fruit used Marina-ish barrel vault roofs and the Philly marketing area would have many legacies from that.
The one former Penn Fruit marina style store that is still open as a supermarket is the Holiday Thriftway, located at the SE Corner of Frankford Avenue and Pratt Street. It is diagonally across the street from SEPTA's Frankford Transportation Center.

Also, in Philadelphia, PA, there is a Holiday Shop N' Bag, located at 2401 Welsh Road, East of Roosevelt Boulevard. This Shop N' Bag location was originally a Centennial/Colonial A&P Supermarket location.

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by Groceteria » 01 Aug 2008 09:02

MikeRa wrote:The one former Penn Fruit marina style store that is still open as a supermarket is the Holiday Thriftway, located at the SE Corner of Frankford Avenue and Pratt Street. It is diagonally across the street from SEPTA's Frankford Transportation Center.
I visited this store yesterday and it is absolutely gorgeous (pictures to follow). It seems to have a nearly intact interior; I'm not sure if the Fruit Stripe Gum colors are original or not, but the wall signage and layout sure seem to be. I asked for permission to shoot pictures inside, and was referred to the manager of another store who hadn't arrived for the day. Unfortunately, I was on the way out of town. Don't know when I'll get back. I did get a few (not very good) interior shots on my phone, which I'll post later.

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by Groceteria » 03 Aug 2008 16:16

For those of you who care, photos from my recent road trip to PA, NJ, and NY:

http://www.groceteria.com/journal/2008/08.html#080308

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by krogerclerk » 03 Aug 2008 23:37

Neat, amazingly with the more widespread design of the A&P centennial store and Grand Union, the East Coast supermarket design shares a lot of affinity with the West Coast. The marina and ranch designs are more proliferate than much of the remainder of the US east of the Mississippi. Penn Fruit deserves credit for taking the arched roof to a more dramatic level than the Safeway marina. I believe the gabled ACME's are a product of the 60's and a reflection of its West Coast counterpart of Alpha Beta.

The ex-Loblaw's with the signage still readable, but greatly decaying had to have been like finding a long lost ghost town. The store must have sat abandoned and touched only by time for the last 35 years or so.

The Grand Union pictures make me say I miss Big Star and A&P as well, even though the two were not my primary grocery destinations. Any way it's nice to see a 1980's Grand Union/Big Star interior relatively untouched. Grand Union originated in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania and was a NYC(actuall Northern Jersey) transplant. In my lifetime, GU had a very limited presence in Pennsylvania, despite a decent presence further south in the Washington, DC region. I wonder if the unidentified Wilkes-Barre store could be a remnant of GU's homemarket. Maybe someone more familiar with Grand Union and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre region could fill us in.

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by TW-Upstate NY » 03 Aug 2008 23:51

The Gloversville Loblaws is a building I pass to and from work every day. It closed in 1975 and I still shake my head as to why the signage was never taken down. Also a quick aside about the Grand Union in Northville. Did you take a look out by the back dock and see the old GU "Clean, Fresh and Good" trailer parked there? It was there as of a week ago yesterday becuase I was in that store. And also Photos #11 and #12 are each former GU's and are located in Fort Plain and Palatine Bridge, NY respectively-more comments on those later.

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by Steve Landry » 04 Aug 2008 06:09

Great fotos David. You WERE busy! :)

I see traces of Food Fair in many of those unidentified stores.

Too bad you did not bump into more of the signature former Food Fair buildings.

Oh, btw, the A&P on Tremont Av. is exactly how I remember it....WOW!

The Safeway turned Finast is less memorable. Side note: I know there was a Bohack somewhere around there. I moved in early 1968 (just about when the riots started), so I know there was a Bohack. Isn't that when Finast was leaving the area?

Don't you wish buildings good TALK? hee hee!
The Food Fair Empire

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Re: Summer Road Trip to Philadelphia and Suburbs

Post by Groceteria » 04 Aug 2008 12:10

Steve Landry wrote:Side note: I know there was a Bohack somewhere around there. I moved in early 1968 (just about when the riots started), so I know there was a Bohack. Isn't that when Finast was leaving the area?
Maybe it was the Fine Fare at 3680? I just found an article that let me know the CVS I shot in the same block was formerly a Grand Union.

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