Shop Rite's Newest Local Chapter
Journeys into Oradell
I must admit that I have had a change of heart.
When the plan for a new Shop Rite in New Milford was announced I was horrified. A forested wetlands was being tabbed - one of the few undeveloped parcels remaining in an area that was not too long ago rural before becoming suburban in the post World War II years. Moreover, it was in the Hackensack River Valley - once a vacation destination that was defaced a century ago by the Hackensack Water Company when they ripped up much of the river near Oradelll to create what is now the Oradell Resevoir. To put it mildly I was not pleased.
Now the new supermarket is open, sharing the property with a new Wells Fargo Bank - consolidated from branches further down in New Milford and one that closed in Oradell. The new place is clean, bright, and full of pleasing contemporary options. Moreover, it has a vibe reflecting our communities - be it New Milford, Oradell, River Edge or Dumont - a middle class sensibility in a marketplace and world that has become increasingly bifurcated, polarized and niche marketed between have and have nots. The new Shop Rite is a reminder that at our best we may have differences among us but we are still part of a common community.
The new place got us to thinking about the previous Shop Rites locally.
Most know of the Shop Rite that this place replaced - the one at 814 River Road down by Brookchester. Many may not recall when that place opened - I guess I am showing my age by relating that I remember when it opened. It was the late 1960's. Some online recall it being a Finast supermarket before Shop Rite came in. I remember that Shop Rite before moving in at 814 River Road was located to the north, ironically near the newly opened supermarket - on the other side of New Milford High School in a small shopping center that is now called Madison Plaza and is home to the likes of CVS, Sopranos Pizza and Brainfreeze.
Old timers from River Edge may recall a Shop Rite in their town - it was located in the strip mall near the River Edge post office that recently housed an Asian market. My memories go back to a Honey Dew Market at the site. River Edge is without a supermarket of its own these days. So is Oradell (Does anyone remember the old Grand Union?). I am supposing that the new Shop Rite in New Milford, there right near the Oradell border, is about as close to home town as we are going to get these days.