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.
Cactus Holdings, is announcing the introduction of several new banners, including the smaller Western Beef Market, the Delicioso Carniceria, the Farm Fresh Market, and the 1906 Artisanal Butcher Shop.
it is. Universal in Rahway used to be a Western Beef and retains many of its Western Beef fixtures and some of the decor. However, this store was much cleaner and better-maintained than Universal.
The seafood counter, which is actually an independently-run business, is in the back corner of the refrigerator room, where the fish is out on ice.
Seems to me the ice is a little unnecessary.
Heading back outside, the store actually felt hot. The last aisle is frozen foods.
This small case for rolls and bread on the left makes up the store's entire bakery department. And the freezer cases are quite old, but they all seem to work just fine. Look how clean that floor is!
The small front-end. Only two registers were open (which you couldn't tell because there are no register lights on anyway). The line stretched from register 3 to where I'm standing, to the right of the photo. Western Beef is known for keeping too few registers open, so this wasn't necessarily surprising. The experience was great until it came to checkout. Luckily, the lines were moving very quickly. Earlier, when I was in the produce department, a manager who was walking by smiled and greeted me (I was the only customer in produce at the time). This was, however, canceled out by my cashier, who didn't say two words to me. And I love that sign high up on the wall -- "Please ask for help". Not with anything in particular, just in general!
Customer service empty, but fully stocked with HABA.
I'm putting this photo here again, to show the location of the exit. You leave the store under where the word "Thank" would be on the orange sign, and make a 90-degree turn to the left to exit towards the parking lot.
Western Beef is just a little weird. I really liked the prices, and the fact that it wasn't quite a discount store -- the produce was pretty good, there is service meat and seafood -- but with the prices of a discount store. This store, which is only 11,000 square feet according to Cactus Holdings (I find that hard to believe, I would estimate more like 30,000 SF), is small, so selection is limited. And be prepared to wait. But say hi to Charlie if you visit!
Open Daily 7AM-9PM
My Rating: ★★★★☆