Thursday, February 28, 2019

Snapshot: Former ACME - Union City, NJ

Probably the two most common reuses for 1950s supermarkets are dollar stores and pharmacies. We saw an example of the former yesterday, and we'll see another example today.
ACME tower sign still intact, with a clear and readable Dollar General sign. Acme Style has an excellent and in-depth post on this store, which you can read here. (I'm very excited that I only overlap with Acme Style on two posts of the five this week!)
My photos are from December 2017.
Not hard to picture this as a supermarket, as Acme Style points out.
The location is at 2010 John F. Kennedy Blvd, Union City, just about six blocks north of the North Bergen Food Bazaar. In our Hudson County group, our southernmost point was about fifteen blocks north of this store.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Snapshot: Former ACME - Troy, PA

Heading back up to Troy, PA for today's Snapshot. We previously took a quick look at the Tops Friendly Markets in Troy earlier this month. Now we're going to see a store that is currently a Dollar Tree, but was previously a Dollar General and presumably a Bi-Lo and before that, an Insalaco's. Before that it was definitely an ACME!
This beautifully preserved pitched-roof store, when it was a Dollar General, was actually in much worse condition. Dollar Tree fixed it up pretty nicely. We can see clearer in the Google street view that it's an early model pitched-roof store...
...since it has the beams coming out at an angle on the side walls. For a complete tour of a supermarket of the same model, check out the Confluence Foodmart in Confluence, PA. This former ACME is located at 38 Elmira St, Troy, PA.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Snapshot: Former ACME - Canandaigua, NY

Get ready, supermarket enthusiasts. Hold onto your hats and buckle up. We're going up to the city of Canandaigua, NY, which is at the northern tip of Canandaigua Lake. (Bath is maybe half an hour south of the southern tip.)

Are you ready?

Put your safety goggles on and...

Yes, that is a fully-restored 1940s ACME. It's not Photoshopped. It's not your imagination.
There's a story behind this. The building certainly hasn't looked like this since the 1940s. It had received a facade update at some point, for some later tenant.
In the process of renovation in 2016, property owner Andrew Guffey uncovered the original facade, which was porcelain. Interestingly, the Acme Markets sign was not painted on, but porcelain as well.
After a brief conflict with the Canandaigua City Planning Commission, they agreed to let Guffey keep and restore the original facade. (The sign with the year and address was added at that time, and is a new replica of what a period sign might have looked like.)
I love to think that Guffey and others probably came across the Acme Style blog in their research into the history of this store.
This light fixture is certainly a replica, but it sure looks great. (I'm also a fan of 1940s and 50s architecture and design, so sure, I'm biased.) As visible in the above photos, the store is located at 212 S. Main St, Canandaigua.

Okay, now you can take off your safety goggles, unbuckle your seatbelts, and let go of your hats. Did I overdramatize it? Probably. But not by much.

We have yet another cool photo tomorrow, so check back!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Look Inside: Former ACME - Bath, NY

Acme Style has covered this location (actually just shy of a year ago), but now it's my turn. I happened to stumble across this store while on vacation in the area and had no idea that I was in ACME country.
Starting off with a look at the former pitched-roof store just next to the newer location. The new facade disguises the roof, but you can see it's still there in Acme Style's post. Also, let's take a second to appreciate that this mall is home to both a Dollar Tree and a Family Dollar. The pitched-roof store likely opened in the mid- to late-1960s, with the replacement store opening around the late 1970s.
Here we can see the new store beginning in front, with the older store visible to the left. We can also see a hint of an angled roof behind the Dollar Tree facade.
The replacement ACME probably, as Acme Style points out, closed in 1994 before a sale to Penn Traffic. (In 1979, it had been switched to the Pennsylvania division, not as strange a choice as it might seem since Bath is only 30 miles north of the Pennsylvania border.) Interestingly, by 2009, Penn Traffic was operating a P&C Foods at 400 W Morris St in Bath (just around the corner from this store at 380 W Washington St), which was sold to Tops Friendly Markets in 2010 before being sold once again to a Save-A-Lot owner in 2012. The Eckerd next door became a new Save-A-Lot and a Tractor Supply Co moved into the former P&C. By 2009, this former ACME was open and running as a Salvation Army. It seems that the 400 W Morris location would logically have been a replacement for this location, as it looks slightly larger. However, it's clear from the photo that that's a pretty old building, so either (a) it was something prior to P&C, or (b) it was a replacement almost immediately after they took over the former ACME. Anyway, let's focus on the ACME here!
The exterior is virtually unchanged since ACME was here.
Down at the far end of the store. Bread/bakery receiving door is visible to the left.
Salvation Army probably replaced ACME's automatic doors with standard pull doors when they moved in. As Acme Style notes, the panel in the center would have shown that week's advertisement. Entrance on the left, exit on the right. Let's head in.
Entrance/exit vestibule definitely original from ACME.
Here we can see evidence of the so-called "magic carpets" which, when stepped on, would open the automatic door.
Magic carpet still intact inside the store. And yes, that's the original ACME produce flooring! But before we take a closer look at the flooring, there's plenty to see around the entrance...
Like this cart.
There's a Tops just a few blocks away, although that store is much newer than this cart, I would think.
Magic carpet still present on the exit door. This area is very much original. Taking a closer look at the walls around the doors...
Definitely an ACME sign. Looks like someone tried to scrape it off, then gave up!
And, well, Salvation Army doesn't really sell tobacco products to anyone. So this sticker on the entrance door is also clearly an ACME relic (or, I suppose, from one of the later occupants).
ACME produce flooring in beautiful condition.
It's not hard to picture this as a supermarket. Produce would have lined the left-side wall here.
As Acme Style points out, you can see a gray stripe on the floor where produce cases were probably removed.
More produce cases would have filled this space before the aisles.
Acme Style points out that the back wall was probably added later, most likely by Salvation Army, to expand the backroom space. The sales floor is quite large, so they probably thought they had room to play with.
Front corner where the bakery would have been. The bakery flooring is intact...
Front wall to the right in the above picture. Clearly there was no in-store bakery, or the floor would not be in such good condition.
Looking over towards where the checkouts are.
This sign made me laugh. That's one formal sweat shirt! (This, by the way, is a sign from Salvation Army corporate, as I recently saw it in my local SA store in Worcester, MA. This generic photo appears on all the category signs, regardless of what they say. There's a comparable generic photo of a woman for the women's clothing.) It also avoids the apostrophe placement in "men's," which is frequently misspelled as "mens'," by dropping it altogether!
Bakery flooring continues along the front of the store partway across the front-end. The registers would have begun where the yellow floor ends (zoom in to see it more clearly).

Tomorrow we have a similarly exciting former ACME, also in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. You won't believe it 'til you've seen it!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Coming Soon!

Next week is...
Continuing our theme from this week's Former A&P Week, we're going to be taking a look at five former ACMEs next week! We're actually going to see stores in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, so we're getting around this week. Unfortunately we won't be having any tours, but we do get to see two extensive Look Inside posts. Come back on Monday to head up to the Finger Lakes of New York!

Snapshot: Former A&P - Oakland, NJ

Wrapping up our Former A&P Week with a quick look at a former supermarket in Oakland, where we recently saw the ShopRite.
The former supermarket has been divided into three smaller businesses, and although the facade has been redone, it's still instantly recognizable as a former A&P. The building immediately backs up to what was previously a Grand Union in a much larger facility. It's located at 340 Ramapo Valley Rd, Oakland, NJ.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

TOUR: Seabra Foods - Kearny, NJ

The second store tour for this week is slightly farther removed from its A&P roots than the first. This A&P was a 1950s-era store (although I don't believe it was a Centennial). A&P closed in the 1990s according to Styertowne over on Flickr, and Seabra opened soon thereafter following renovations to the interior and the exterior.
I visited the store in July 2016. Since then, the property has been redone with a new parking lot and landscaping. You can see that in the street view below.
However, this store has not received updated Seabra Foods branding, even as of summer 2018, when the street view was taken. Inside, the store doesn't have much decor really at all.
You enter into this alcove next to the produce department. Produce then continues along the first aisle.
Here we will see the single piece of decor in the entire store, a sign that says "Produce." There are really no traces of A&P decor left inside, either, although I do think a few of the fixtures are A&P-era.
Deli, meat, and seafood line the back wall.
It's funny, the ceilings are high enough that there could have been plenty of decor on the walls, but there's nothing.
Seabra's butcher counter always looks very impressive, but I've never actually bought anything from a Seabra butcher.
The seafood department is also pretty extensive and contains a large selection of salted fish, something you don't see even in most ethnic supermarkets.
In standard Seabra fashion, the first aisle is dairy and packaged meat. It's a somewhat strange layout that I don't think I've seen in any other store, but it works fine.
Interesting placement of the aisle markers! It seems like this one is more over the shelf than the aisle.
Moving to the far side of the store.
Frozen foods line the far side wall of the store. These cases might actually be left over from A&P, since they look pretty old.
Looks like some of the freezer cases have been replaced. I really like the exposed ceiling in this store, which is something we don't typically see in remodels of these older 1950s-era stores. Usually the ceilings were relatively low, anyway.
Kearny is the only New Jersey Seabra Foods that sells liquor. New Jersey liquor laws require that one corporation can only own two liquor stores in the state.
Looking over to the side wall.
Seabra Foods uses Best Yet private label products, along with Exceptional Value for budget-priced items. On the other hand, Seabra's Market sells Avenue A products and Full Circle Market organics.
The front-end from the liquor store side. It's very bright because of the windows on two sides, which is really nice.
Back over on the entrance side of the store looking towards liquor.
It's funny that there are only five checkouts. The store is small, but it's not that small. Maybe it's just not a high-volume location. It's slated for a complete renovation and a small expansion in the near future, so we will have to check back -- since it's been two and a half years!

Seabra Foods

180 Schuyler Ave, Kearny, NJ
Open Daily 7AM-10PM
(201) 998-6545
My Rating: