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Look Inside: Ahart's Market - Bethlehem, PA

Ahart's Market
Owner: George Ahart
Opened: 2001-2021
Cooperative: Great Valu Markets
 410 Montclair Ave, South Side, Bethlehem, PA
Photographed: September 10, 2016
We saw the Ahart's stores in Phillipsburg (now demolished) and Allentown (now a Grocery Outlet), and although I photographed the Bethlehem location at the same time as those -- as a matter of fact the same day back in September 2016 -- for whatever reason it didn't quite come around to my radar to post until now. Bethlehem and Phillipsburg were definitely the worst two stores, and my lingering memory of this store was just how strongly the store smelled of rotting meat and mildew.
The 17,500 square foot store is just a few blocks from the very attractive if very hilly campus of Lehigh University, but was the only supermarket on the South Side until the CTown opened. That store, by the way, has been remodeled since I visited, but is only about half a mile away.
You can see coverage of the store's closure from the Lehigh University student newspaper here. The produce and bakery departments are in the front right corner of the store, with deli and dairy on the right side wall, meat on the back wall, and frozen on the left side.
I'm not sure these pictures fully capture how dirty the store was and felt. The store was built in the 1950s as a Food Fair, then became a Laneco-owned Food Lane in the 1970s before switching to Ahart's around 2001.
The store was acquired in 2021 by Juan Diaz, the owner of the nearby CTown, and is currently under construction preparing for the opening of a new Ideal Food Basket. Head over to The Market Report tomorrow to see the Ideal under construction! Plus, don't miss this weekend's special reports: