Previous Tenants: Waldbaum's > A&P
Location: 125 18th St, Newport, Jersey City, NJ
Photographed: December 2020
Welcome to our first of two ACMEs today! (Check out the other one in Hoboken here.) This one started out as a Waldbaum's, later an A&P, and then an ACME starting in 2015. You can check out Acme Style's earlier coverage of this location here. To my surprise, I actually stumbled into the early stages of a remodel here, as we'll see throughout the tour. We enter the 58,000 square foot store in the front right corner to produce and bakery on the right side of the grand aisle and deli/prepared foods in the island facing. Seafood and meat line the back wall, with frozen in the second- and third-to-last aisles. Pharmacy is in the front left corner. I'll note that my pictures were a little lighter than I would've wanted here due to customer crowding and security presence, but we do still see the store as it is and as it began its renovation.
Produce fixtures were what tipped me off to the remodel -- some patching on the flooring shows A&P's cases had been removed and the department was being rearranged. Floral used to be on the front wall in front of the windows, but that was all removed for produce cases. I believe floral has been downsized to an island on the other side of the entrance. Notice the 2015-era produce case at the left of this image, which Acme Style also points out, and the older A&P white shelving still remaining. As we'll see, ACME had already replaced all of the lighting throughout the store, although A&P's attractive decor and awful dingy ceiling remain. We'll revisit the lighting in a little bit.
All the bakery fixtures have been replaced, though it's clearly early in the remodel because the promotional signage on top of the bread cases hadn't been installed yet. Also notice that the service counter was cut back in size slightly to accommodate more bread cases.
All new deli cases for the service counters as well. We see they're not entirely stocked yet in these pictures. A&P's islands in front of the service counter were also replaced with these nice new black ones. The single-tiered cheese case at the back of the deli counter has been replaced with upright cases. As Acme Style notes, A&P shrunk the prepared foods counters over the years. In their latest remodels, ACME has been removing unused fixtures and making the setup look more intentional -- so notice that the hot food case is smaller, but fully stocked.
Here we see the new islands, which are at a 45-degree angle or so. They're installed consistent with the existing flooring, so I'd assume that any remodel ACME will go on to do here will not include replacing the flooring.
This area looks to have been redone too, with meat and seafood being condensed into one counter. On the back of the deli island, ACME has added some frozen foods cases, probably for frozen seafood.
This is a good spot to point out that ACME has redone the lighting throughout the store. When I was in the store, I didn't entirely realize that but just thought Acme Style was exaggerating how dingy the store was. Nope -- there's a real difference. The lighting was also redone in the grocery aisles, with the new tube lights running across the whole store, and the lighting built into the shelving removed.
Again, I'd assume that's a sign ACME does not plan to replace the grocery shelving. It's in pretty good condition, so there's really no reason to.
A cluttered seasonal/clearance area here, combined with the fact that the aisle 5 aisle marker is entirely blank, suggest that ACME reset the store before beginning the remodel, which seems to be what they're doing now. Not sure if that's true or not, but it happened that way at my ACME.
Cold cuts and dairy round out the back wall, with the rest of dairy lining both sides of aisle 14. Aisles 12 and 13 are frozen foods...
The ceiling fans were installed back in 2015 when ACME opened.
Dairy seems to have already been reset, with the layout looking more like my remodeled ACME than some others I've been to. Plus, the new category markers are up on the cases already.
Pharmacy and "Natural Beauty" in the front corner. As Acme Style has pointed out, these are the only named departments in Fresh 2.0, the decor package this store has. The ceiling is very low in this corner, as you can see, so it's possible there are offices above.
I couldn't say for sure, but I do think this is again new lighting, despite the fact that ACME just replaced this lighting in 2015.
The front end, having been redone in 2015, is looking very good despite never having received an ACME sign...
That wraps up this ACME, but if you haven't checked out Hoboken yet, you can do so here! Tomorrow we'll be heading over to Grocery Archaeology for a former supermarket in Hoboken.