Skip to main content

Update: ShopRite - Rockaway, NJ

ShopRite of Rockaway
Owner: Irv Glass / Glass Gardens
Opened: 1980s
Previous Tenants: Two Guys > Ames
Cooperative: Wakefern Food Corp.
Location: 437 US-46, Rockaway, NJ
Photographed: July 2020
What were you doing in May of 2017? The 10th, to be exact? Good thing to reminisce on, to commemorate the beginning of 2022. Anyway, I know what I was doing -- writing my post on the ShopRite of Rockaway, NJ located just outside downtown Dover on route 46. In the summer of 2020, I returned to the area and stopped by the Rockaway ShopRite for lunch and to check out its remodel which is looking quite good. You might remember our tour of Linden not too long ago, and this store (being owned by Glass Gardens also) is quite similar -- just slightly older and in a mirror image. This store replaced an older store in town, which as I mentioned on that post, may itself have replaced a very old and small store, possibly even in downtown Rockaway.
You enter through a hallway that puts you past the liquor store, pharmacy, customer service, and Dunkin' Donuts inside.
Not much seems to have changed in the liquor store, but we see the updated decor right away.
Here's the entrance/exit hallway. The cafe has been moved up to this area, with floral next to it.
And produce is along the left side of the grand aisle here.
Remodeled produce here, with new fixtures and no more carpeted flooring! This decor package was designed by Broden Design Group from Denville, and although I like it it feels a little understated here. It's also possible the remodel was not quite finished at the time of my visit and there was still more decor that had yet to go up on the walls.
Deli and prepared foods line the right side of the grand aisle in an island. The grocery aisles are behind this island to the right. See what I mean about the decor here (and I think I said the same thing in Linden) that it's a bit monotone?
This "deli to go" section is approximately where the cafe used to be, I believe. Moving on, we have a large cheese island at the back of the grand aisle and bakery behind it. The design of this area is very good.
New shelving in the bakery department, and while I'll say that Glass Gardens has never had the greatest in-store baked breads, they've been really good at bringing in locally baked ones.
Not entirely sure why I took so many pictures here in the bakery, but I do like the design of it.
Up next is some more awesome decor and new fixtures in the meat department on the back wall.
The grocery aisles haven't really changed much in the renovation, though it does appear the flooring was replaced throughout.
Glass Gardens has always been very strong on ethnic and international foods, much more so than other ShopRite members, and this store is no exception. It draws a lot of its customers from the Hispanic populations of Rockaway and Dover.
As we get to the far end of the store, that's where we see the more significant changes. Notice that the bakery has been significantly increased in size as it took over some of what used to be the seafood department, which has now been moved to the back right corner of the store.
Interestingly enough, it looks like they kept the same case and just relocated and painted it. The drop ceiling was removed from this section, too -- I have to wonder why just here and not over the whole store.
Milk to the right of seafood, in the corner of the store. The ceiling and fixtures are looking really good in this area, although I'm honestly not sold on the decor or the flooring.
Was this area with the higher ceilings an expansion? What would they have expanded into? This summer 2020 visit was my first time back in the store since 2017, so I don't remember it vividly enough to tell whether it's larger than it used to be. My 2017 pictures show 22 aisles, not 26 which is what the store currently has, so I suppose it was expanded (unless the aisles were simply renumbered to include produce and so on, which is also possible).
Frozen in aisle 26 (looks like brand new cases here) and on one side of 27.
As much as I do think this sign is fun, I think it falls a little flat because it's so, well, flat. I would want it to be more three-dimensional and actually lit instead of just with a design that makes it look like a lit sign.
Frozen continues on the front wall of what I guess was the expansion, and then we move on to breads on the front wall of the original supermarket space...
And no fewer than 26 checkouts line the front wall of the store beyond the bread.
That wraps up our return to the ShopRite here in Rockaway, and tomorrow, we head straight into downtown Dover for two smaller stores over on The Independent Edition!


  1. While there are obviously better decor packages, I think that this store has a nice decor. Perhaps the most creative part of the decor are the "drawings" behind the service departments (such as the loaf of bread in the bakery department and the ocean waves in the seafood department).

    Here's an incomplete history that I was able to ascertain:

    *Newspapers advertisements mentioned that there was a ShopRite in Rockaway that opened on May 24, 1961. These ads mentioned that this ShopRite was located on Route 46, but were not more specific.

    *The Rockaway/Dover Two Guys store opened on May 21, 1964. The store was built on the site of the old Dover Race Track.

    *The building at 279 Route 46 in Rockaway was not the first location for the ShopRite of Rockaway. This is apparent by going to you can see that the building was constructed sometime between 1970 and 1979.

    *By doing some research on, I was able to further conclude that the ShopRite of Rockaway did relocate to 279 Route 46 prior to the October 2, 1974 opening of the ShopRite of Succasunna.

    *The Rockaway Two Guys closed at the end of 1981.

    *On July 29, 1982, a new Jamesway opened and occupied 63,000 square feet of the 134,000-square foot former Two Guys building. It was erroneously believed that ShopRite relocated in the remainder of the Two Guys building at that time, but the relocation didn't occur until later. As a matter of fact, according to a January 27, 1985 article in the Daily Record, the remainder of the former Two Guys was divided into "five small shops with room for five more stores."

    *March 1984 newspaper advertisements announced a "Grand Re-Opening Sale" (at the 279 Route 46 location). These ads also mentioned that ownership of the store had recently been assumed by the Glass Family and further stated that the store had been remodeled.

    *The ShopRite of Rockaway relocated from 279 Route 46 to 437 Route 46 in September 1992. (It's hard to tell if a portion of the old Two Guys was demolished and replaced with the new ShopRite or if the building was merely renovated. But you'll clearly notice a difference in the appearance of a portion of the building by comparing the 1991 and 1995 aerial images.)

    *The Rockaway Jamesway closed when that chain liquidated in late 1995. Ames took its place in September or October of 1996 and remained in operation until that chain's demise in the latter half of 2002. After that, the space was subdivided between multiple businesses.

    *I know that you had wondered whether the portion of the Rockaway ShopRite with the exposed ceiling was an expansion. While I cannot say for sure, I suspect that it was: If you compare a streetside view (on Google Maps) from August 2018 with a streetside view from November 2020, you'll notice that a store called Avenue (which sold plus size women's clothing) appears in the former view but not in the latter. My best guess is that ShopRite took over the space formerly occupied by Avenue.

    In any event, I find it a bit puzzling that an exposed ceiling is over the frozen section of the supermarket while the rest of the store has a drop ceiling. Usually, when part of a supermarket has an exposed ceiling and the remainder of the store has a drop ceiling, the exposed ceiling is present over the grand aisle.

    --A&P Fan

  2. A&P Fan, you're correct about the expansion. The store had been originally 22 aisles, just about all of the exposed ceiling area is within the expansion, which was in other retail space, previously.

    1. SupermarketFan, thanks very much for providing verification of this.

      --A&P Fan

    2. Thanks to both of you for the history and for the specifics!


Post a Comment