More On The Old Menlo Park Mall

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 pastby Diane Norek Harrison

EDISON-I received an e-mail from Ted Pastusczak which reads: “Hi Diane, I just read your article from Jan. 30 on Menlo Park – great stuff.

“I remember when the mall opened in 1960 or so.  It had a Martin Paint store, Wallachs Men’s Shop, Archie Jacobson, Soundarama records, Canadians, and so forth.

“It also had two supermarkets – a Shop Rite and a Finest, and its own post office. 

“But I can’t seem to remember the name of the chocolate shop, and this is where I would appreciate your help.  I believe it began with the letter “B” (possibly an Italian name). The impression I had was it was a more upscale store, with large window displays. This was before the mall was enclosed. It was directly across from a women’s clothing store, which I think it was called Simon & Simon.

“Bamberger’s opened first, followed by Arcadian Gardens, and then the smaller stores.  I was only five or six years old, but I have a reasonably good memory. References generally say the mall opened in 1956 or so, but that may have been when they first broke ground. I believe Bamberger’s actually opened in 1960 or the fall of 1959. I remember during the opening, Bam’s had circus wagons with animals around the front.

“There was also a great stand-alone restaurant in the parking lot called The Wm. Talley House.

“Thanks for your help, and again for the wonderful article!”

Thanks Ted for adding more from the “old” mall in my column!  

I found reference to Loft’s Candy Store once being in the old Menlo Park Mall. If any reader knows of another one that was there please let me know.

If you have your own memories or past information for Carteret, Edison, Metuchen, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy or Woodbridge you can email me at dianenorekharrison@juno.com or send copies of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201.


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