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Showing posts from October, 2017

Happy Halloween!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Elizabeth Food Bazaar is showing its Halloween spirit with this elaborate display out in front of the store. It's actually not for sale, although the pumpkins on the side are. And the mums along the storefront are...
Food Bazaar must not be too concerned about shoplifting even though it's not the best area late at night. However, the store is open 24 hours and there's always security on site, 24/7. Also, look a little closer at what's holding up the display and the mums...yes, those are old Pathmark produce cases! Photos from my 10/7/17 visit.

TOUR: Western Beef - East Orange, NJ

Probably the most controversial, mysterious, and just plain old weird supermarket chain in the New York City area is Western Beef. Run by the son of an alleged Gambino crime family member, Western Beef was officially cleared of any possible Mafia ties in 1995, and the company shut down its wholesale operations at the same time (where some claimed the Mafia links were most prominent). You can read more about the interesting history of the company here.

The East Orange, NJ Western Beef location was opened in 1985. It was Western Beef's third location, following stores in Flushing, Queens, NY and Spring Valley, NY (presumably where the Food Fair is today). Store #004 was in Union, NJ, although I have no idea where.

The large, cartoony signage is reminiscent of South of the Border or other such attractions. In fact, looking at it from the outside, Western Beef looks like one of those tourist destinations -- past its prime but still hanging on. Actually, Western Beef does a very good b…

More Supermarkets Coming Soon!

A New ShopRite for Elmwood Park A proposed redevelopment of the Kmart (ex-Grandway) in the city formerly known as East Paterson consists of a standalone 64,000 square foot ShopRite supermarket on the property of the department store, which hasn't even officially closed yet. The next block west on Broadway was previously the site of the famous Grand Union supermarket and offices, now demolished for a strip mall. The next block west after that contains a Pathmark-turned-ACME that must be thrilled about the ShopRite coming...

Something's Up in Dunellen But we don't know what yet. The Crossroads Companies have announced a transit-centered development in downtown Dunellen to be anchored by a large supermarket (size unspecified). Love the competition map on the second page -- still lists A&P and Pathmark alongside the brand-new South Plainfield ShopRite, still has the old Stop & Shop logo, and forgoes the correct Tropical Supermarket logo for that of the Florida chain S…

Look Inside: International Supermarket

Does anyone else feel like there are more and more little, not-quite-bodega markets around in the cities or is it just that I'm only now aware of them? I don't mean true bodegas, I mean more like super carnicerias that have produce, a little deli, maybe 3-4 aisles of groceries, and a huge meat counter in the back. I always feel like they're better for a neighborhood than a convenience store, because they sell fresh meat and produce.

Both my parents grew up in the Elmora section of Elizabeth. My father worked at the Mayfair Foodtown, which is now partially the Elmora Farmers' Market. (Ironically, his family shopped invariably at the Pathmark, which is now Food Bazaar.) Their parents, mostly, always went to Jaspan Brothers Hardware, always called Jaspan's. A really old-fashioned friendly neighborhood hardware store, Jaspan's lasted until 2009 when the owner, Mr. Jaspan, retired and moved away.

Jaspan's was a True Value store. Here we see it in liquidation in…