Owner: Mitchel Lopez
Opened: ca. 2005
Cooperative: Retail Grocers Group
Location: 125 Avon Ave, Central Ward, Newark, NJ
Photographed: January 2019
ShopRite of Newark opened in 2015, it was the largest supermarket in this part of the city at about 32,000 square feet (the ShopRite is over 70,000). It's part of a remarkably ugly strip mall and the property immediately backs up to an abandoned public housing complex. The city has invested heavily in this part of Newark, one of the last areas to redevelop after the 1967 riots that cleared out most of the city, with projects like the beautification of Irvine Turner Boulevard, which runs along the side of the supermarket's property. Huge swaths of the city's blocks after blocks of abandoned storefronts, factories, and residential buildings have been bulldozed and replaced with new residences in the past 15 years, many of which are public-private partnerships to house lower income residents. Anyway, the ugly strip mall and yet-to-be-demolished abandoned housing complex behind this store didn't give me much hope for the interior of this independent store, which opened in the mid-90s as a new build independent, originally as an IGA and later apparently under the now-defunct Shop N Bag group. However, I am pleased to report that this supermarket is very attractive and clearly well taken care of inside.
City Supermarket in nearby Irvington, which shares an owner, Mitchel Lopez. We've also previously toured Lopez's Jersey City, Newark-Ivy Hill, and Fairview locations, and the other Extra Supermarket in Weequahic, Newark which is just across the border from the Irvington Superfresh, is owned by a different owner -- and is coming soon to the blog! I'll point out here that it seems the store has been painted with the same beige color scheme as Fairview. I don't believe the decor in the City Supermarkets in Newark or Irvington, which had the same decor package as this store, has been changed.
Grocery Archaeology to check out an abandoned supermarket just a few blocks away.