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Showing posts from August, 2022

5147 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant:  Penn Fruit Address: 5147 Frankford Ave, Frankford, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  1955 Closed:  1978 Later Tenants:  Holiday Thriftway (ca. 1979-2016) Photographed:  July 2021 There are a few supermarkets out there, current and former, that are absolute classics that every supermarket fan knows about. This is surely in the top 5 best-known current and former supermarkets in this area (maybe the east coast?). In 1955, the Penn Fruit company built a roughly 16,000 square foot arched-roof supermarket at Frankford and Pratt in Philadelphia. To them at the time, it was not a particularly remarkable location -- just another store of the type they were building across the region at the time. The Penn Fruit closed in 1978 and was replaced shortly thereafter by Holiday Thriftway, which had a few locations around Philadelphia at various times. And at some point, it was expanded to just under 28,000 square feet with an additional 6,000 square feet of retail in the form of a small st

Snapshot: Saleen Supermarket - Frankford, Philadelphia, PA

Saleen Supermarket Owner: William Diaz Opened:  2007 Cooperative:  none Location:  1701 Wakeling St, Frankford, Philadelphia, PA Photographed:  July 2021 I've mentioned in a previous post that Philadelphia has fewer, larger supermarkets than New York City which tends to have many small supermarkets. That leaves more neighborhoods of Philadelphia completely without a supermarket, including parts of Frankford. Corner grocers like this one, which appears to be around 1400 square feet, have to pick up the slack. This particular one looks like it was previously the Wakeling Supermarket, and later Torres Supermarket before becoming Saleen Supermarket in 2007. It wouldn't surprise me if, way back, this building was home to some chain grocery store, probably back in the 1930s or so. Regardless, until a few years ago, Frankford was served by a larger supermarket just to the north a few blocks from here. We're taking a look at that store tomorrow on Grocery Archaeology !

6301 Roosevelt Blvd, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant: Penn Fruit Address: 6301 Roosevelt Blvd, Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  before 1958 Closed:  unknown Later Tenants:  Gaudio's Nursery > Frank's > assorted car dealers Photographed:  July 2021 Quite the dramatic sky behind today's former Penn Fruit, located on Roosevelt Blvd just west of the ACME and former ACME we've seen recently. The current car dealership building is built around an original roughly 13,400 square foot Penn Fruit building, which is recognizable by the arched roof (in the center section, seen below) and the tower sign. In its current incarnation as a car dealership, the building has been expanded out to just under 35,000 square feet. You can read all about the history of the building here , along with seeing a picture from 2009. Tomorrow, we're moving just about a mile south of Roosevelt Boulevard for our first stop in the Frankford neighborhood on The Independent Edition !

Update: SuperFresh - Roselle, NJ

SuperFresh Owner: Howard Lee / Food World Supermarkets Opened:  2017 Previous Tenants:  Food Fair > Pantry Pride > Foodtown > Food King > A Seabra Foods Cooperative:  Key Food Stores Location:  550 Raritan Rd, Roselle, NJ Photographed:  July 29, 2022 Another return to the Roselle SuperFresh finally shows something happening at the storm-damaged property whose supermarket closed almost a year ago now. It just so happened that the day I visited, there was work going on inside the store. It appears that some of the fixtures are being removed as we see the sales floor looking a bit emptier than it used to be. I also walked up to the store and looked into the front window, only to be taken aback by the produce case to the right in the below picture apparently spinning around of its own volition. A couple seconds later I saw the forklift. That's no fun. We have confirmation, too, that this SuperFresh was in fact waiting on approval from insurance to rebuild. And insurance ha

1938 Union Valley Rd, Hewitt, NJ

Original Tenant: A&P Address: 1938 Union Valley Rd, Hewitt, West Milford, NJ Opened:  late 1990s Closed:  2015 Later Tenants:  Highland's Market by Shopwell (October 2020-April 2022) Photographed:  July 2022 After 19 months, the Highland's Market of Hewitt, NJ closed in April. The store, which replaced a closed A&P, opened in October 2020. The store, which was affiliated with the Associated Supermarket Group, was perfectly adequate but had some execution issues. You can see my original tour here . I wondered in that post whether it would have a longer life than owner Nick Nasser's previous attempts in Elizabeth (two years) and Middlesex (five months). Well, it was right in the middle of those two. Nasser has since announced another Shopwell (also sometimes called Shop Well or some other variation thereof) for Budd Lake, about 32 miles southwest of this location as the crow flies. Obviously I can't predict the future, but I can't imagine that store having

6501 Harbison Ave, Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA

Original Tenant: ACME Markets Address: 6501 Harbison Ave, Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA Opened:  1950s Closed:  1979 Later Tenants:  CVS/Staples > CVS Photographed:  July 2021 Yesterday's ACME opened in a former Food Fair in 1979 as a replacement for this store, which opened as a new-build ACME in the 1950s. At just under 24,000 square feet, this store is roughly half the size of the replacement ACME, although I'm not sure how much the current ACME was expanded from its original size. We have one more stop before we move onto the Frankford neighborhood, about 3/10 of a mile west on Roosevelt Blvd. Come back on Monday to check it out!

Snapshot: ACME Markets - Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA

ACME Markets Opened: 1979 Previous Tenants:  Food Fair Location:  6601 Roosevelt Blvd, Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA Photographed:  July 2021 Well here we are in Philadelphia, land of the Ack-a-mee. So of course, it's time for another Ack-a-mee. This 51,000 square foot store was built around 1970 as a Food Fair and became an ACME when Food Fair went under in 1979. ACME moved from 6501 Harbison Avenue next door, which is now a CVS. It's interesting, to me this exterior has more in common with a Pathmark than the average 1970s ACME. I assume it's been altered, probably several times, over the years. Looking at some Google Maps photos, it looks like this ACME has a pleasant enough but extremely bland version of Quality Built these days, which is not a surprise. One other interesting thing before we move on is the fact that this store (as of last year) still had Sav-On branding outside. Most other ACMEs have had it removed. As a matter of fact, I'm writing this having returned

TOUR: Mayfair Market by Hung Vuong - Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA

Mayfair Market by Hung Vuong Owner: Phat Mot Opened:  2019 Cooperative:  none Location:  6410-12 Frankford Ave, Mayfair, Philadelphia, PA Photographed:  December 2021 Just about a quarter mile west of yesterday's ShopRite is the 30,000 square foot Mayfair Market by Hung Vuong. The Asian supermarket chain opened up shop here in 2019 following the closure of the Mayfair Shop n Bag in 2017. The Mayfair Shop n Bag was one of two that outlasted the Shop n Bag cooperative, but the other is actually still going strong as part of Allegiance Retail, the cooperative that supports Foodtown, Green Way, Pathmark, and others. Hung Vuong Food Market already had two locations in Philadelphia at the time this store opened, and a fourth opened in 2020. I'm not sure about how this store compares to the others, but it felt like they were making an attempt to add some basic American groceries here alongside the imported Asian products to fill some of the need left by Shop n Bag, but I also thin