Previous Tenants: A&P (1960s-2016)
Location: 1366 E Main St, Shrub Oak, NY
Photographed: May 2019
Yes, very different from yesterday's 66,000 square foot new-build ShopRite is this 24,000 square foot ACME. It's only about 2 miles east along route 6 (this one is just off 6 on a smaller street), but feels like a different world from the strip mall-packed section of Mohegan Lake/Cortlandt where the ShopRite and the other ACME are.
It's tempting to say this is an original Centennial store, but it's not. An 8200 square foot expansion has been made on the far side of the store. Despite that, the store is still beautifully original. ACME acquired this store in the 2015-16 A&P bankruptcy, and in my opinion, it's the type of store ACME operates best: small stores in small towns that are the local option. I grew up shopping at a tiny six-aisle ACME that still beat the 65,000 square foot A&P nearby. (The original ACME closed but they had the last laugh as they took over the A&P in 2016.) Anyway, speaking of A&P, we still have a reminder of the original tenant here...
Here's what this sign would've looked like originally. (Check out Pleasant Family Shopping for more background on Centennials.) As much as it is cool to see these A&P remnants, the strip here has seen better days. The buildings are mostly in good shape, although they could stand an exterior renovation, but the enormous parking lot could stand to be repaved and the abandoned auto garage at the back (which is actually kind of the front, since it's closest to Main St) should probably be demolished. Inside, the store looks much better with A&P Fresh 1.0...
Entrance on the left, exit on the right, which is strange. Especially since you make a 90-degree turn right inside to enter produce. I took this picture exiting.
The store is pretty nicely upgraded, even though the renovation was probably between 2005 and 2010. It's held up nicely over the years, with one exception as we'll see. The cases may have been replaced at some point after that.
One of the best things about the Centennial model is the huge windows along the front-end. Lets in a lot of light! Even the flooring has held up very nicely here. The ceiling, however, could use a repaint.
Looking across the back wall, with meat taking up most of it. Deli and a tiny bakery are in the back corner, with frozen in the second-to-last aisle and dairy in the last aisle. Green Fresh 1.0 aisle markers remain with slightly out-of-place black ACME decals.
Grocery aisles absolutely packed to maximize the small sales floor space.
I believe the columns we're seeing to the right are at the division between the original store and the expansion. Heading into the corner, we find the deli with, oddly, no signage.
It seems that we can see where the deli illustration would have been. I'm trying to piece this one together and somewhere in the dusty corners of the attic that is my brain I recall the deli in early Fresh 1.0 remodels being branded the Master Choice Deli accompanied by a picture of the Master Choice product if I recall correctly (a long-discontinued A&P storebrand). When the brand was discontinued, the signage was frequently modified, according to Styertowne. So is it possible A&P just went ahead and removed all the signage here? Anyway, the tiny in-store bakery next to the deli does have signage...
Really nice but really, really small bakery. I've been quite happy with ACME's bakery lately -- at the time of writing, I've recently switched to ACME (and a Foodtown without an in-store bakery) for weekly shopping for various reasons.
Some good deals to be found here, too -- $5 dozen bagels for the weekend (I think ACME has that every weekend), and buy one get one free cookies. Why didn't I buy a couple of bags of cookies? Anyway, dairy lines the last aisle and frozen in the second-to-last...
Pretty old freezer cases that look to have been updated for the Fresh renovation. Some very old air vents in the ceiling here though! That would mean the expansion happened quite a while ago. According to Historic Aerials, it was there as far back as 1974 (that's as early as the aerials go here).
More frozen foods on the front wall. Looks here like the original store would've ended where the office and customer service are, with eight aisles (which is fairly standard for a Centennial).
Looking across the front end, which is practically all original to A&P. "Thank you for shopping..." leaving us hanging with no ACME decal here. Customer service and a very small manager's office at this end of the store. I don't know how much longer locations like this are going to be around, so I'm glad I got to photograph it when I did! That said, this store was very busy at the time of my visit. Up next, we're heading east to continue along US-6 to our next stop.