Bergen Mall; Paramus, New Jersey

Century 21 Store (Former Macy's/Stern's) at Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ

Paramus, New Jersey boasts one of the largest concentrations of retail space in the United States, with over 6 million square feet of retail clustered around the junctions of routes 4 and 17. At one time or another, there have been no less than six enclosed shopping malls within a few miles of this junction, all in Paramus or nearby Hackensack.

The true behemoths of this area are the Garden State Shopping Center and Paramus Park. The former is a 2 million square foot superregional mall, the latter is half its size but no less successful, offering top-tier tenants without the hassles associated with the GS Shopping Center. There’s also another, more upscale mall that offers top-tier tenants like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.

Where does that leave Bergen Mall, the true black sheep of this flock? Close to death. See for yourself.

The Bergen Mall opened in 1957 as an outdoor shopping center, and one of the first malls in the region. Anchored by Stern’s and Orbach’s, the mall opened to much fanfare and included many community-oriented spaces, such as a live theatre, an ice skating rink, and a bowling alley. Located at the junction of Route 4 and Forest Ave., the mall actually included a separate strip area on the east side of Forest Ave. that was (and still is) connected to the remainder of the property with an outdoor pedestrian bridge.

The mall was enclosed in 1973, and despite many changes through the years, looks mostly as it always has. Orbach’s gave way to Steinbach, who later gave way to Value City. Stern’s was acquired by Macy’s, and their store here became a (very redundant, frankly) short-lived Macy’s store before shutting. During the 1990s, the mall also positioned itself as a value-oriented center compared to its swankier brothers and sisters, and courted tenants like Saks Off Fifth Avenue, Marshalls, Gap Outlet, and the aforementioned Value City.

Simon sold the Bergen Mall to Vornado in 2003, and plans are underway to drastically convert the property. I haven’t been able to find a firm plan, but the mall was plastered with renderings of its transition that appear to suggest the mall will be converted to an open-air format, with large-profile stores (such as the Century 21 Department Store that’s already under construction, and a Target store) and architecture that recalls mid-town Manhattan. This is an interesting twist, and one that’s cognizant of the mall’s geographic location, on the new lifestyle center format so it’ll be interesting to see. Unfortunately, the Bergen Mall’s interior is such an amazingly-well preserved example of 1970s shopping mall architecture that it’s pretty hard to see it go. Let’s take a tour starting with the exterior:

Century 21 Store (Former Macy's/Stern's) at Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ Main entrance at Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ Former Value City/Steinbach at Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ

Empty parking lot at Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ Mall entrance at Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ Strip center at northern end of Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ

That last photo is of the strip center, on the far side of Forest Street. It clearly once housed a supermarket (one of the A&P banners perhaps? It reminds me of the old Kohl’s Supermarkets in Wisconsin). Now that we’re inside, let’s take a look at the floorplan to orient ourselves:

Mall directory of Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey

Pay close attention to the “lower level” there. It’s one of the things that makes this mall so unique.

The following photos were taken strolling around the main part of the mall. The former Value City space is at the mall’s westernmost end, the former Macy’s (which is in the process of being converted to the Century 21 Department Store) is at the center court, and the eastern end of the mall houses Marshalls, Saks Off Fifth, and the bridge to the strip center.

Former Value City/Steinbach at Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ Former Value City/Steinbach at Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey

Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Bergen Mall center court in Paramus, New Jersey Former Stern's/Macy's, future home of Century 21, at Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey

Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey East end of Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey Side hallway to access basement at Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey

In that last photo, we were strolling down one of the two side hallways branching off of the mall’s center court. At the end of that hallway, we saw this:

Escalators to basement in the Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ

The escalators lead to the basement. There’s one long corridor in the basement, that provides access to a local museum, the performing arts center, and the 34-year-old Carmelite Chapel of St. Therese, which due to Bergen County’s blue laws, is–like the rest of the mall–ironically closed on Sundays.

Basement corridor at the Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ Underneath the escalators in the basement of the Bergen Mall in Paramus, NJ Bergen Mall basement corridor in Paramus, New Jersey

Most interesting, however, is the “Village Mall,” a drab collection of very small stores tucked into a space near the bottom of the stairs. Made to look like a wild west village–but clearly untouched since the 1970s–this eerily quiet space hosts only a few active tenants (including a psychic, a hobby shop, and a few other businesses) but otherwise feels as though it has been abandoned for decades. There are several “streets” in this area, forming a pattern not unlike an “8,” and room for maybe 20 or 30 different stores, though each individual store space is probably only about 500 square feet. Note the dreadful carpeting:

Village Mall entrance at Begen Mall in Paramus, NJ Village Mall in the Bergen Mall basement in Paramus, NJ Village Mall in the Bergen Mall basement in Paramus, NJ

Village Mall in the Bergen Mall basement in Paramus, NJ Village Mall in the Bergen Mall basement in Paramus, NJ

Now that is a treat. It may not be very successful, but I’d like to see a lifestyle center try something this unique. Also, if you want just a little bit more, check out this short documentary on the Bergen Mall by filmmaker Robin Groves. It was clearly filmed a few years ago now (Stern’s was still present), and it gives a good impression of what made (and makes, for now) the Bergen Mall so strange.

ADDED 9/29/06: Someone even set up a MySpace page on the Bergen Mall! Check it out; there are some photos from when Stern’s and Value City were at the mall, amongst a ton of other great stuff. People seriously love this mall. Why can’t we clean it up and save it?

Author: Caldor

Jason Damas is a search engine marketing analyst and consultant, and a freelance journalist. Jason graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a minor in Music Industry. He has regularly contributed to The Boston Globe,, Amplifier Magazine, All Music Guide, and 168 Magazine. In addition, he was a manager for a record store for over two years. Currently, he focuses on helping companies optimize their web sites to maximize search engine visibility, and is responsible for website conversion analysis, which aims to improve conversion rates by making e-commerce websites more user-friendly. He lives in suburban Boston.

136 thoughts on “Bergen Mall; Paramus, New Jersey”

  1. I love the lights that hang down into the mall, which I can only describe as “Elephant earrings”; look for some more pictures of Bergen Mall from 2001 and 2004 soon.

  2. When you look at the interior of this mall, you can clearly tell where the old outdoor canopies were. They just covered them with paint or drywall and kept on truckin’.

    It’s a fascinating structure, and hopefully the renovation won’t ruin what makes this place unique.

  3. Back in the 80’s the basement Village Mall was really hopping. Antique shops, gift shops and a very active and semi-famous marionette/puppet theatre.

  4. I’m the creator of the Bergen Mall Movie, and I am so glad I made it, and glad that so many people like it. These retro (not faux-retro but REAL retro) spaces are so awesome and need to be preserved! But alas, most people prefer the steel and glass to the plastic and concrete. I worked in Stern’s corporate offices in 2000, and I spent many lunch hours exploring the nooks and crannies of the BM, even the places that were off-limits. Everyone should go visit, take pictures and video and enjoy while they still can, and we can have something to remember it by. New Jersey rules. Those of us who live(d) there know it!

    Steven Swain; I loved that cute-and-paste canopy coverup. There was some weirdass carpentry going on that clearly said, “Oh well, no one will look up here. Ever.”

  5. I’m already sad about the soon to be demise of the mall. Anyone know where one can find old pictures of the mall, from the 50’s thru the 90’s?

  6. By the way, the supermarket once housed in that curved roof building was a ShopRite, not an A&P. Sometime in the Eighties they closed up shop and moved slightly north — several hundred yards — to a larger, more modern location.

  7. These place’s need to be preserved. There will never be historic places from the 50’s and 60’s. Place’s like this need to be preserved. And I hope Wallgreens or those other pharmacy stores doesn’t knock it down and build another one of the 180,000 already in the 75 mile radius. Too bad someone didn’t win the lotto and bought it to preserve it.

  8. Just came across your site and only had a chance to briefly look over it. For all intense purposes I grew up in this mall.
    Please understand that for most of the 70’s and 80’s the design of this mall went untouched. Mixing wonderful design touches from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s (this mall probably contributes most to my love for ultra cool retro styling’s of these periods). Not having been there for a while in the late 90’s I visited one of my old favorite comic book stores to find that a lot of the little touches had gone and said comic book store had moved up from the Village Mall. Again on a recent visit finding out about the renovation I was tad more heartbroken. I regret not having a collection of pics from those times in the 80’s.
    The store across the street that you mention was in actuality a Shop Rite for many years and if someone can confirm for me as I was a bit younger at the time may have been the location of the ice skating rink that existed at the mall at one time(I could be wrong on the ice skating rink part).

  9. The skating rink was in the other food store building across Spring Valley Road. As noted here, the Shop Rite was in the building with the arched roof. On the other end of the little group of stores was another food store, which I remember being a Pantry Pride at one point in the 1960s or early 70s. Later, it became the skating rink.

  10. This is a great site, thanks!

    I spent a lot of time in the Bergen Mall growing up in nearby River Edge. It was a great place back in the ’80’s and early ’90’s, though clearly dated. I haven’t been back for a couple years, and have mixed feelings about its redevelopment. A few comments for the record:

    The Village Mall was steady through the 80’s, with a great baseball card shop (Norm’s), a comic book shop, and various other small specialty stores drawing various types of shoppers. The rest of the lower level was pretty empty/creepy by the mid-80’s.

    On the top floor of Sterns was a classic department store restaurant, with great views of Route 4 down below. A lot of school clothes came from Sterns, if not nearby Bradlees or Bamburgers, two other lost chains.

    In the same building as the old Shop Rite was a popular Bonanza steakhouse and a RadioShack.

    Festivals were common, including a blueberry celebration one August.

    Lots of memories, but it’s time for rebirth at a great location.

  11. I used to love going to the Bergen Mall when I was a child…I loved it so much better than those other over-crowded malls…I can’t believe they took out the fountain! I just wish I was old enough to have seen the Mall Theatre when it was still open. 🙁

  12. Hello,

    This is a very good piece on the Bergen Mall. I’ve been going to the Bergen Mall since I was in a stroller. Hehehe. So, that’s almost 33 years now!! I lived in Teaneck, about ten minutes away. So, trips to the Bergen Mall were frequent.

    Thinking back, I remember all the stores that were there years ago. Such as, Orbach’s, Steinback’s, Record Town, PastryTown Bakery, Wolfie’s, The Magnovox Store, CVS, Norm’s Baseball Cards, Lerner Shop, Stern’s, and J.J. Newberry’s. Just to name a few. Well maybe more than a few.

    Newberry’s was probably my favorite store of them all. They had a nice luncheonette in the back with great hot dogs and ice cream. I still have the Coca-Cola glasses they used to sell every Christmas. I remember that Stern had two restaurants at one point. One up on the top floor, called “The Dining Room” when I used to go there and a “sidewalk cafe” type of place on the first floor in front of the main enterance. These were usually places where my family would go to eat during a trip to the Mall. Also, there was a small luncheonette downstairs in the Village Square too.

    I have tons of memories of the Bergen Mall. This mall had everything, a bowling alley, comic book store, dentist office, post office, barber shop, a theather, etc etc. It was always a great place to hang out in. Talk about one stop shopping!!!! The Bergen Mall was one of a kind.

    Even today, I work right across the street from the Mall and i usually go there on my morning breaks at the Burger King or K & J Bean Co. and stop there on the way home too sometimes.

    I will miss the Bergen Mall very much as it is right now. It seems that this place never really changed much at all in all the years. Honestly, I had always hoped that it would be restored, not totally remodeled.

    It’s sad to see the mall these days however, many stores have closed and only a few of them remain. No matter what you call it though after it’s been remodeled, it will always be the “Bergen Mall” to me.

    Best Regards,
    Bob Pepicelli

  13. Can anyone tell me exactly where the single-screen movie theatre was located in the mall? It lasted into the 80’s, last operated by Cineplex Odeon.

  14. The Movie Theatre was in the back of the mall by Newberry’s. It did not have a inner mall enterance. And there was a skating rink at the mall, I remember that it was in the old Pantry Pride building. And I do remember the walkway to EJ Korvettes,

  15. I’m very glad you did this. You beat me to it. I have this same set of pictures, more or less, taken up to and including this past month. The arched ShopRite structure has recently been demolished. The Village Mall still plays hosts to the D&D people, the tailor, and a few other odd businesses. The chapel still stands at the ready, praying for a miracle. Most businesses in the mall have left over the past year.

    The ShopRite moved in the mid-90s, I think. I have some pictures of the old Lear Siegler/Bogen complex on about its present location (or at least its parking lot) being demolished in early 97.

    In the mid-90s there was a Paramus 75th anniversary booklet whose cover showed picture after picture of retail storefront from 4 and 17 over the years. Sadly, it’s not in the Paramus history section of the borough library, nor do I know who published it. Someone must have a copy around.

    Finally (I could talk all day about Paramus), there are some great photos of old scenes in town hanging in The Fireplace restaurant on 17N at Ridgewood Ave. (itself a relic of a bygone era, as evidenced by the 1960s pictures inside showing trees in the Route 17 median in front of it).

    Somerville, MA

  16. To all,

    Speaking as a fan of supermarket architecture and as a student at nearby Fairleigh Dickinson in the 1970s, I’d like to clear up some apparent misconceptions about the stores across the Spring Valley Road pedestrian bridge from the Bergen Mall.

    Signage during those days designated that area as the “Bergen Mall Food Center”. There were two supermarkets: the squarish one was Food Fair (very visible labelscar on the brickwork as recently as a few years ago), and the other was — surprise! — one of Penn Fruit’s stores (in 1970 the store was Dale’s, PF’s discount division — may have been a “real” PF prior to that); the store was taken over by Glass Gardens Shop Rite in the early 1970s and remained a Shop Rite until that store moved to a new building nearby in (I believe) the late 1990s.

    To the posting about whether the site was ever a Kohl’s supermarket: Penn Fruit actually had two supermarkets in North Jersey that I am aware of (Bergen Mall and Essex Green in West Orange), and perhaps a third on Route 17 South at the Paramus/Ridgewood border (now KMart); to my knowledge Kohl’s has never had a store in New Jersey.


  17. Grew up in Paramus and spent many times shopping at the Bergen Mall….I’m 43 and have vivid memories of the mall before it was enclosed….They used to have a kiddie amusement park in the downstairs area…..I loved that train….also remember Grossman’s Lumberama and a Horn and Hardart Store how 60’s suburbia can you get!!!. and the old toy department at JJ Newberry’s was the greatest……My parent’s always shopped at Food Fair and I can remember the magazine aisle in the side of the store with many a teen magazine with the Monkees plastered on them. So this was definetly mid 60’s I can’t recall a Kohl’s supermarket but I do know there was a Hills which later became a Stop & Shop supermarket across Route 4 next to the Korvette’s….My Mom used to drag us to Korvette’s for one last half hour of shopping after the .Bergen Mall closed at 9:30…..Korvette’s closed at 10

  18. I dont get why one feels affection for a mall
    I mean, its just a mall innit?
    I love the Bergen Mall, but its just a mall isnt it
    Its a tricky question, to be sure


  20. I worked at the Bergen Mall office in 1958-1860 while a student at FDU. The office was located downstairs in the long corridor pictured. James F. O’Grady was the mall’s first General Manager. He died in 1961 in his early 40s.

    The buildings across Forest Avenue contained two food stores if my memory is correct. The Curved roof building was a Philadephia company, there first and only store in the area. I think it was Pantry Pride. The other supermarket was Food Fair.

    I remember that we had seven shoe stores. They dominated the Mall’s main area.

    The Bergen Mall Playhouse opened while I was there. One of the people involved was a Broadway producer Robert Ludrum who later became famous as a writer of espionage thriller novels.

    I left NJ in 1970 and have returned very infrequently and haven’t seen The Mall. I wondered what had happened to it with the disappearance of all the department stores. When the Mall opened with Sterns, the Garden State Plaza had Bambergers and Gimbels, while Arnold Constable was in Hackensack and Quakenbush was in Paterson. Later, EJ Korvette opened across Rt 4 from the mall and Alexanders across from GSP.

    Originally, there was to be one mall, the GSP, but Macy’s, who owned Bamberger’s,and Allied Stores, who owned Stern’s, couldn’t come to an agreement, so Allied moved down Rt 4 and built their own center. Allied had hoped to attract an upscale department store like Bloomingdales to the site across Rt 4 which is why they built the crosswalk over Rt 4 when the mall was constructed. Now, Macy’s owns all those brands and has concolidated them as Macy’s.

    I hope this information fills in some of the blanks for folks who are interested.

  21. Correction:
    I realized later that the original food store tenant in the arch building was Penn Fruit not Pantry Pride.

    Also, a point of information, Forest Avenue was lowered during the construction of the Mall. This was done to provide an outlet for the delivery tunnel that ran underneath the Mall. This also required the construction of the pedestrian bridge over Forest Avenue to connect the Mall.

    The original concept for the lower level skating rink was to be like Rockefeller Center’s skating rink and have a restaurant looking out on the rink. The restaurant never materialized.

    The Mall and the GSP were revolutionary at the time. No one expected them to kill downtowns, like Hackensack. Rt 4 & Rt 17 had some minor stores at the time, but no major shopping center, then there were two.

    You can’t sit still in retailing or you wind up out of business. Therefore, the new plans for the Mall by the new owners should be praised. Better a new, exciting, revitalized shopping center than the wrecker’s ball, or worse yet, a deteriorating shopping center heading for oblivon.

  22. I wonder if anyone has gone to the psychic down in the basement and asked “Will Bergen Mall survive?”. It would certainly be humorous if someone asked and posted the “answer” here. It may be true, or not be, but it would be interesting. Reading the names of the stores of the Village Mall, it to me resembles a type of stores a strip mall would have.

  23. Wow! Love Love Love this mall I grew up there as i lived and still live walking distance. Im Now 40 with 2 Children who I take there in the stroller allthe time. I so so remember the amusement park in the lower promanade before the mall was closed in during the 1973 renovation. Does anyone have any pictures pre 1973. Im looking everywhere and Nothing. The skating rink i remember vividly it was where Spa 2 was a few years ago. Also the Playhouse on the Mall was so cool. I remember going there every christmas to see the Nutcracker. Additionally, Way Cool was the Bowling Alley I am die-ing to get in there I know its still down there the doors are still there but locked I even check them the other day, figuring maybe with construction going on someone left them open but no. LOCKED . The Village Mall is gated and empty the carpeting is still there if you peek through the gates but every little store is empty now. The old photo developing booth that was out front is gone and paved over and the drive up bank little kiosk is gone as well. Things are disappearing everyday over there. it is very sad and will be missed. I can still remember every inch of Newberrys (they sold everything from toys to live animals as well as had a great little luncheonette upstairs, Sterns was awesome also they had a cool mall level cafe and a fancier restaurant on the upper level. the cafe was known for there cinamon rolls they sold by the box-full. Wolfies with the chefs cooking burgers on an open flame right at the store front and then there was Baracini Candy Company they had a huge space in the center of the mall accross from the great fountain (gone) . Seems like yesterday. Very Very sad to see it all go.

  24. Everyonce in a while…..go on Ebay and put Paramus, NJ in the search….I’ve found some great old Bergen Mall postcards

  25. According to the Bergen Mall website,, there will be a grand opening ceremony on Friday, Sept. 28 for the new Filene’s Basement located below the Century 21 (as far as I can tell, it will only be accessible from the exterior, but it’s a good sign that “the Berge” has attracted its first new store since Century arrived last fall). It says that there will be light refreshments and “local dignitaries”! I have to work, but is anyone going to this?

  26. Another memory I truly forgot is the Ten Pin on the Mall bowling alley……During the late 1960’s my mom and my next door neighbor used to bowl in a league every Monday afternoon……They had a supervised playroom that she and the other mothers would bring their kids to play in while they bowled

  27. I’ve lived in bergen county since i was seven years old and i’m now a senior in high school so i’ve baically grown up here. Bergen mall started in 1957 as an outdoor mall and it was a big deal to have a mall cause it was the first in the area. Now when you say you’re from bergen county people know it for all it’s damn malls! I would know because being a jersey girl living in this area my friends and I are alays going to the mall, (not bergen mall). Bergen mall has gone downhill since paramus park mall and garden state plaza opened up. There is a basement there and people always ask questions about it. There used to be a chapel that’s no longer there that m y dad used to go to. There is also The Village Mall. It was made to look really old fashined and has street names. I went there one day while my dad was down there and went off on my own to look at it. It’s kind of scary i can’t lie. It’s dimly lit and there are only about three stores actually there. There’s a pyshcic and a cleaners. It was so creepy so i bolted out of there!

  28. Wow – this is cool! Bergen Mall – man that was a neat place as a young kid – they used to have these muics nights on Fridays (tons of people would go) Kiddielane with the train, etc – very neat memory. The sad thing is the mall in my opinion was classic only as an open air mall as it was intended – it went down fast when it enclosed. I remember walking into Sterns at Christmastime – they had these huge heat blowers as you walked in from the Maywood side. As far as the Supermarket it definitely opened as a Penn Fruit (I have an ad from opening day). Does anyone remember the big live tree they used to put up by the highway? Garden State Plaza had the huge chimney Santa and Sterns had the tree – it actually fell onto some cars in 1961 after a strong wind! Luv sites like these! Thanks!

  29. I almost forgot – did you know that the Today Show broadcast live from the Bergen Mall the day it first opened? It was quite a big deal – JFK spoke there in 1960, LBJ in 1964 – its amazing how stuff like this gets lost on us Amercians – regardless of what kind of history – important, fun or pop-culture – we just don’t appreciate history of any sort as a rule – very sad! Even all the actors and actresses that have acted there when the theater was a big deal (sat more than 600 for plays!) – so much went on there!

  30. The truck tunnel under the Mall was the best, dark and scary.

  31. Just heard the other day that “Bergen Town Center” will be getting a Nordstrom Rack…New Jersey’s first.

  32. It is true like everyone said, that the grocery store across the street was a ShopRite which I believe closed in 99 or 2000. The new store is maybe less than half a mile behind it. Also, interior shots of the supermarket were used in the 1993 Coneheads movie which took place in Paramus.

    I, myself, have a small history with the Bergen Mall. My grandfather was an artist for Sterns back when the mall was still outdoors back in the 50’s. Also, when I was in my junior high school band, we played a concert by the water fountains in front of the then Sterns. I believe I have it on video somewhere, but not uploaded from film.

  33. Went there today to see for myself. I promised myself I wouldn’t go, but I did. Lots of sections are walled off as the exteriors are gutted. Mounds of dirt everywhere. It is starting to look unrecognizable, except in certain spots.

    I sat outside of Century 21 and had a soda and hot dog looking at the results of this “progress.” I guess I shouldn’t have expected that this mall would continue looking the way it did in December of 1980 when I started taking the bus there with my little brother.

    A lot of what made the Mall for me went away when Pizza Pizazz disappeared and the Village Mall was closed. I know the mall is prime real estate. But it still bothers me.

    You can’t stop progress. Or bulldozers.

  34. The Bergen Town Center website used to actually have the Village Mall in its Interactive Map. Psychic of Paramus was still there. They closed the whole area now. How much % of the existing mall will still be enclosed?

  35. Jonah, ask about pics on the Bergen Mall myspace account linked in the text at top. There are people who have taken pics of it lately and you should be able to get them by asking around.

  36. This is like a story…
    Once upon a time there was a charming 2-level mall in the 50s that was outdoor. It was wonderful. Competition soon forced it to enclose, and it thrived again. However, retail patterns changed. Demographics shifted. Overmalling took its toll. The mall lost anchors and forced redevelopment. Bergen Mall? No, Blue Ridge Mall. Seriously you guys. The mall is still going to be mostly enclosed, not knocked down for a Wal-Mart. Before renovation is always the most charming…but things change.

  37. Just to add a few notes to this Malls History. The large branch of Stern Brothers (Stern’s) wound up becoming that chains Flagship Store and Headquarters when they closed their former Flagship on 42nd Street in NYC in 1969. Stern’s was owned by the Allied Stores Corp, and under it’s ownership new branches were built as other Malls opened. The interesting thing is that Stern’s was much more upscale in the 60’s and early 70’s then it was in later years. As an example it had a large Gourmet Foods Department, 2 Dining Rooms, and it often featured Fashion Shows in it’s 3rd floor restaurant. The Headquaters Staff was located in the lower level, westside of the building.

    Ohrbachs also was notable as that companies chain wide Credit and Customer Service departments were located on the upper level of their building. These corporate functions were moved there when Ohrbachs closed their store in downtown Newark, in January of 1974.
    Ohrbachs also featured an in-store dining room.

    The Supermarket building opened as Penn Fruit, then became, Food Fair, and finally was rebranded (as were most Food Fairs), Pantry Pride.


  38. wow. just amazing that people have these same memories. i can remember going shopping for school clothes at stern’s and ohrbach’s, buying school supplies at newberries – where i would also look at all the animals downstairs in the pet department, getting buster brown shoes in the shoe store next to wolfie’s where they had big open buckets of dill pickles on the tables and the charbroil chefs working behind the counter with flames shooting up almost to the ceiling it seemed at times – (their restrooms were downstairs and i remember there was a regular old fashioned (now) phone booth with the bifold glass door there as well – sort of like the ones they had at the old baumgart’s in englewood) we would go to wolfie’s for dinner after shopping (unless we had time to go to the restaurant at the top of stern’s)- i used to love wolfie’s burgers and chocolate egg creams, a few years ago i was in miami beach and went to the original wolfies just north of miami beach – it was very close to what i remembered, but no where near as ‘clubby’ as i remember at the bergen mall. i can remember leaning over the railings to watch the kiddieland rides in the concourse, and have some dim memories of seeing something in the theater – maybe it was a christmas show. there was also a ‘fine’ restaurant over there – does anyone remember what it was? seems to me it was like a cocktails and steak house sort of place then maybe it became a chinese restaurant??. there was also a restaurant right at the entrance to the mall before it was enclosed, near the kiddieland , and i can’t remember the name of that as well – just remember it had lots of glass windows. i remember there were flat giant light up christmas ball decorations on the outside of stern’s, and their fine glassware department was in the basement, as was a watch maker/ clock repair shop. i do also remember the christmas tree out by rte 4. i also remember the big heat blowers at the wide open entrances on the mall side of stern’s – nowadays you would be fined for wasting all that energy i am sure, seems to me that ohrbach’s was not always there however – was it a macy’s originally? i also remember being a teenager when they put in the village shops downstairs where the kiddieland rides used to be – and that at one time they were incredibly busy selling all kinds of useless paraphernalia. thanks for the stroll down memory lane…

  39. I remember that restaurant too! But I can’t remember the name……..It was right next to Trepel Florist and later became a Magnavox store, where my Dad bought our first color TV in 1975.

  40. Does anyone have any photos of the old ice skating rink that used to be there? I believe this was there prior to Kiddieland being built. Such wonderful memories!

  41. “The Bergen Mall Playhouse opened while I was there. One of the people involved was a Broadway producer Robert Ludrum who later became famous as a writer of espionage thriller novels.”

    Author’s name is Robert Ludlum, not Ludrum.
    Among other great books, The Rhinemann Exchange

  42. Went there yesterday and there working on it like crazy.The new celings look instering.There are a few stores open inside(Including a very large gamestop ;).)
    The 2 other anchors in the mall are going to be a whole foods lol
    and a….wow 2 story target lol!
    This mall is going to thrive now that Xanadu is in the area(Meaning that the BTC will be a locals mall while Xanadu will be a dive for people from newyork.)

  43. Growing up in the area, can’t help but have a lot of connections…

    Remember going down to that basement mall to the comic book shop several times, also buying “penny candy” at a candy store down there. Saw several movies first run in the crappy little one screen movie theatre, including Monty Python and The Holy Grail (I believe the only theater in New Jersey playing it…it didn’t get too many bookings) and later, Risky Business. Also got a tuxedo there for my cousin’s wedding in 1976 when I was 10…yes, it was pastel blue, with a ruffled shirt and HUGE collars! And yes, it was a rental, not a purchase. Finally, we had our high school graduation party at the skating rink/sports center across the street…an all night affair. Good times.

  44. The Bergen Record’s retail blog makes note of the stores opening at Bergen Town Center.

    In addition to what was already noted, Nordstrom Rack and Bobby’s Burger Palace will also be opening there.

  45. I was hired as an Usherette for The Playhouse on the Mall in 1975 – it was my first job! The rumor was that the backstage area of theatre was haunted! We always joked that one day, the Playhouse would become a shoe store – we were close…it became Lane Bryant! Ah, take-out from Wolfie’s!!

  46. Saw one of the last shows at the Playhouse…most likely in the early 80’s….A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum….one of my friends was on the stage crew and he snuck a bunch of us in….Was sad to see it go…..also my Mom used to work at Ohrbachs….she told me one day a very nice attractive blond came in and said she was pressed for time on her break and asked her if she could help her find something……after the woman left the store…My Mom realized it was Lana Turner!! most likely on a break from rehearsals

  47. Went there last night and the Target there is open(Ahead of Schedule I may add).
    New stores are starting to open up in there(Whole Foods is the next biggie on the property) but because of the new desgian of the mall and the lack of stores, the interior feels like a long cave/tunnel.It’s still a WIP.

  48. One of the tv stations here in New York had a story on who has been hiering dispite all of the job losses. It turns out the manager at the new Paramus Target was just let go from Linnins ‘n Things a few days earlier.

    Talk about good luck.

  49. I remember taking my son’s, now 42 and 39, to the kiddie rides at the Bergen Mall. They were in the center of the mall in a pit that you could look down at. That was so much fun for them. I thought that it was such a great idea. I guess noone else does as I never saw it again at any mall except for the merry-go-rounds. Since Palisades Park had closed the only other time the kids could go on rides were down the shore or if a fair came to the area. I don’t really remember fairs back then though.
    I also remember the theater but only remember going to it once or twice. I wish that was back again too. Now I can afford to go, then I couldn’t. The theater was not like the little town playhouses as you could see the Broadway actors.
    I also remember Rose’s dress shop where we all got our gowns for the Prom.

  50. So many memories! Wow. We always made a visit to the chapel, and went to Mass there when we were out of school for religious holidays. I loved the tiny chapel gift shop full of statues and rosary beads.

    We always walked along the walls around the planting beds- hated to skip one (Garden State Plaza had even more and bigger). Loved going down the escalators to the “tunnel,” and the little amusement park- it felt like being at the bottom of a huge empty swimming pool. And the Playhouse on the Mall seemed so glamorous. Somewhere I still have a paper menu from the restaurant on top of Sterns- I remember it as being a real old-fashioned coffee shop/tearoom until the end. When we were small we went there for Breakfast with Santa Claus. I loved the French onion soup and the grilled cheddar and tomato sandwiches, and my mother and grandmother used to order a plate of three different seafood salad sandwiches. There are no ladies’ lunch places like that anymore, sad to say.

    When they opened the Village Square shops my sister and I felt very grown-up being allowed to leave our parents and wander the little “streets” and have a soda at the “cafe” in the middle. Dollhouse miniatures were a trend then and there were two miniature shops- we bought things there for our dollhouses. It had that gaslight/Gay 90s ambiance that was popular in a lot of places in the early to mid-70s, in retrospect not nearly as cool as the midcentury modern of the older parts of the mall, but very stylish at the time. By the 80s the place was going downhill, but there were still some antique stores downstairs and I bought a few pieces of jewelry there in college. My mother got her wedding dress at Roses and I tried on dresses there 30 years later.

    I’m sure the revamped mall will be good for local revenue, but it’s too bad it couldn’t have been preserved in retro style.

  51. I forgot to mention that BTC will have cart-welding bastards in the concourse.

  52. @Elinor Bernstein,
    HI, I’m working on doing a website for my friend, actress Judi West (The Fortune Cookie, Gunsmoke, Man From Uncle) who did two plays at the “Paramaus Playhouse”. One was “Scuba Duba” with Dick Shawn, and the other was a play with Judd Hirsch. Was that this playhouse people remember here? Does anyone remember these plays, or know where I could find out more info (dates, programs?) “Scuba Duba would have been before or (probably) after Jan 1970, when she did it briefly in LA. Hopefully I will find out more about the Judd Hirsch one. You can email me at “”.

    This sounds like a great “old” mall. I live down in the Oranges, and I’m sure I was there, probably several times, but I just don’t remember. Thanks!!

  53. In the 80’s Newberry’s rented space to a photographer in the lower level of the store. I gave the photographer the only picture I had of my father for a color touch up. When I went back to pick it up many months later he was gone.

    Unfortunately Newberry’s was already starting to go out of business and when I asked the name of the photographer who had now since left, no one seemed to know or care who he was.

    There was not internet at that time, so without help from someone who cared it was fruitless and I never did get an answer. After 20 years i’m still trying to find out who the photographer was and hopefully can get back the 8 X 10 picture of my dad in his police uniform.

  54. Is the Village Stores in the basement gone? And the chapel?

  55. @Dave W,
    The village stores are gone, the chapel I think is located in the upstairs offices (The entrance to that is somewhere between Marchalls and Saks 5th Ave on the outside of the building).

    P.S Is this post going to be updated with some after pics of the renovation?

  56. The mall is not open-air format, and the renovation is complete. The mall looks amazing, and is much better than before. The new parking deck how-ever, is very creepy, and I would not want to be in it alone at night, or alone on one of the upper floors (3, 4, or 5).You should really go back to take pictures now that the renovation is complete, as it looks much different than the renderings.

  57. Well the Bergen Town Center is not as 21st century as it tries to be =p.

  58. Went to Bobby’s Burger Pallace over the weekend. The mall was somewhat quiet for a Saturday, but there was a line out the door at the restaurant. A burger + a soda is about $10 per person & sides are extra. The location is in the side of of what passes for a food court with the entrence outside.

  59. I visited “the Berge” for the first time in over a year this weekend, and I was very impressed with all the renovations. The mall has a really sleek, clean look, but I think the architects did a good job incorporating some of its original modernist style in the new design: hanging pendant lamps, seating areas beneath wooden pergolas, a neat circular ceiling motif. While there was no fountain (aside from a small one inside the Whole Foods), there were two aquariums. And lots of customers. Some of the stores still seem like they might be temporary, but they’re better than vacancies. Overall, job well done!

  60. @William, the shporite closed in the late 1990’s and that little strip housed a radioshack and florest. the spa2 building closed around 2005 and that building used to be a Food Fair supermarker

  61. According to USA Today and Macy’s Inc. Bergen Town Center alongside Dolphin Mall, Potomac and Saw-grass Mills malls were chosen to have the first four “Bloomingdale Outlets”, they are supposed to be somewhat like Marshall’s and will have Bloomingdale’s clearance/salvage alongside exclusive merchandise, what i don’t get is where is it going to be? The former Steins is now Century 21, Filene’s and another store.

  62. There are still a few sections that haven’t opened such as the area below the food court. Bobby’s Burger Palace is just outside & the food is FANTASTIC! Whole foods Market is enormus & includes a wine shop. The rest of the mall leaves a a lot to be desired in my opinion.


  64. Burn the new one down and open a Walmart, Kmart, and Sam’s Club! Keep the Target beacause it looks like its making good bisniuess! To heck with Bobby’s Burger Palace! Sounds desertitive

  65. I moved to Bergen County at the tail-end of the old Bergen Mall era so while I did get to ‘enjoy’ the pre-renovation interiors I wasn’t able to access the infamous basement level (it had already been sealed off.) It was a desolate and dreary place, though, even with the traffic draw of Century 21. The mall is completely transformed now and say what you like about “Town Center” renovations, it’s heartening to see the massive amounts of consumer traffic — I assume largely thanks to Target and Whole Foods (the interior of the mall while sleek and clean is a bit meh). It’s bustling and lively even on Sundays when most of the mall is closed thanks to NJ blue laws.

  66. i like the new bergen towne center. i do remeber the old bergen mall id o miss sterns and steinbach. i hate macys for taking away sterns abraham and straus and filenes at palisades mall. i think bobys burger palace is great. its worth the trip from rockland to go to bergen towne center and garden state plaza.

  67. The only reason I come here is for Bobby’s Burger Palace, mmmm delicious! Whole Foods is also great fun, but Target at Palisades Center is a nicer store. Heck even the White Plains & Westbury Target’s are better than the Paramus location.

  68. did bath and body works and suncoast used to be at this mall

  69. @Gran, Suncoast yes, Bath and Body Works….beats me.

  70. Corbo jewelers, wolfies, the bakery wih the red brick wall- can’t recall the name, And Perkins tobacco store (loved the smell), hickory farms with the giant glass jars of real beef jerky! The village square was open and busy- my favorite place was the Lionel train shop, there was also an old fashioned candy shop down there. Great memories!! What a shame things have to change.

  71. I loved the Paramus Skating Arena!
    I am heart broken that it is no longer there.
    Here is a link that will get you a picture of the rink from the outside and some old pictures of other folks who skated there. I made the picture my “Wall Paper” on my computers desktop!

    Enjoy!!! Let keep sharing whatever we find on our beloved Paramus Skating Arena.
    Jimmy Gibson

  72. @jf, Hi,

    I am trying to recreate the Grilled Open Cheddar and Tomato Sandwich from the Sterns Restaurant. I see you also remember it. Can you help me??

    Thanks, Kim

  73. @Bob Pepicelli,

    What was the name of the bowling alley. Anybody you know have any pictures?


  74. I practically grew up in Bergen Mall when I was a kid in the 60’s. I remember riding on the rides in the kiddy park and going to the Theater On The Mall to watch movies. I also remember bowling and eating French fries at the bowling ally. In the 70’s I worked for a year as a janitor there. It was great, I had access to every part of the mall…even the GM’s office..he had classic 60’s office décor…it was all faded and worn out looking. I did a lot of exploring that year. The truck tunnel was pretty cool. I managed to get into an old prop room that was used by the Playhouse on the Mall, which was in the truck tunnel. It looked like no one had been in it for years. At that time the Village Square was in full swing…that was a good idea but a bad location. Too bad I never took pictures.

  75. James O’Grady, who was the Bergen Mall’s first General Mgr., was a neighbor of ours in Montclair. A veteran of WW II in Italy. He was in his early 40’s when he died in 1961. He left a wife and seven children between the ages 1 – 12.

  76. Have to echo so many of the previous comments on here. Grew up in Leonia in the 70’s and the trip out to the Beregn mall was always a treat. Some memories: That crazy fountain in the middle with all the metal stems that sort of looked like an exploding firework…Spencer Gifts, with all the lava lamps, black-light posters, and paraphanalia (Great for my older brother)…Wolfie’s, with the pickles…JJ Newbery, with the lunch counter…Linens-N-Things, with well, linens and things?… The Gap, with the old-school font…the Magnavox store, with some really first generation video games around the time of Pong, only cheesier…Ohrbach’s, for back-to-school shopping…Village Square, the place for baseball cards, concert tickets, old coins, and that “cafe” in te middle…and who could forget the bridge—connecting over to Korvette’s. That was awesome. I hated when they first took down the connecting ramp to the other side, and then the one from the mall itself. Remember when it crossed the whole thing, both parking lots included? Now it’s just up and down over Route 4 (has been for some time). Like many others, that mall is such a huge part of my childhood–indelibly branded into my brain like old classmates whose names you still remember, but you can’t remember the guy you were just introduced to 5 minutes ago. That first walk down the sloping entrance on the “Food Fair” (I remember the faded lettering even though the actual letters were gon) or “Skating Rink” side was magical. It was as if you had the whole day and a world of possibilities ahead of you. The bus from Leonia went right there, and I was taking it at a relatively young age. Or Mom and Dad would go and just leave me, only to meet back at a certain time and place. Haven’t been in a while (have lived in California for 19 years now), but still pass by it every once in a while when back in NJ. Glad to share the memories with everybody. We all seem to feel the same way about this place. I wonder why our feelings are so strong?

  77. Does anyone have any idea what the heck they are doing with the old Chuckie cheese/spa buliding?

  78. @Mr.D,

    A few months late, I know, but it’s been torn down and they’re building a new, free standing REI (outdoors and camping) store. Supposed to open later this year The temporary offices for it are next to chapel upstairs at the moment.

    As for general memories: while I didn’t spend as much time at this mall growing up (I lived closer to, and therefore more often frequented, Paramus Park), in the years immediately before the renovations began I spent ridiculous amounts of time there, as the comic shop was my regular haunt. Sadly, I lost touch with them after they loved out of the place (as I was forced to cut back on the comics due to financial issues).

    It’s odd, though. Despite the renovations, there’s still something a bit strange about the place. Maybe it’s that all the major tenants are outlet/discount places, which give it a different vibe than Garden State or Paramus Park.

    Or maybe that the renovations were completed just as the economy downturned, meaning there’s still many vacancies, especially on the discontinuous lower level. It just reminds me of the strange and a bit creepy old lower level.

    I guess the more things change, the kore they stay the same.

  79. Great memories as a kid growing up in Maywood in the 60s and 70s. The best parts were those you couldn’t always see – the rides downstairs and the basement shops and bowling alley. I am sure the bowling alley is still there – like an old relic just waiting to be rediscovered!! Hank Aaron, the home run king, once appeared outside Magnavox’s after he hit the record breaking home run. The hockey rink was occasionally used by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1970s for practice when the Garden was booked. What a thrill for us kids who got to watch them shoot pucks into the net on the fly the lenghth of the ice!! The Mall was cool because of its funkiness and unusual characteristics that should never be forgotten. Thanks for a great film!!!

  80. @Dave Z,
    About the basement, they are putting an Old Navy outlet down there.

  81. I used to work at a sporting goods store in the Bergen Mall around mid 1970’s but can’t remember the name. I guess the Sports Authority type of store put this store out of biz. There was another one on 5th Ave, NYC as well.
    Can anyone remember ths name of this store???

  82. @Mr.D, The Target is actually one story with a parking garage underneath,just next to the entrance of the tunnel.I used to love coming here as a kid in the 80’s & 90’s.Though I wish it was still as unique as it was back then,the sad reality is that most of the retailers have either gone out of business or been sold to larger corporations the shut them down.I spent many weekends there with my mom and aunt,usually ending with a trip to ShopRite or later Chuck E Cheese’s.My cousin would take me to Village on the mall whenever he would go to buy comics & I remember how cool it was to feel like you walked into another place and time. That is something I wish had stayed,but its not.That area will soon be home to an Old Navy Outlet and there are other spaces for lease as well.I love Retro Style and they say everything comes back eventually,so maybe someday in the future there will be a developer that shares the passion for Bergen Mall and will revive it in a new location.(Wishful thinking)

  83. Took a gander at the directory and next year there is going to be three new restaurants.
    Some Ale House (Behind REI)
    Olive Garden
    Bahama Breeze
    (My guess they are going to demolish the old Lincoln Tech building to make way for the two)

  84. I was born in ’61 and remember being around 7 and going to the basement for a clown or puppet show. Boy the photos sure bring back memories! Went back about 15 years ago, but it was on the downslide then. Too bad Bergen County has become so “upscale”. Was a GREAT place to grow up in the 60’s and 70’s. Too bad they didn’t renovate with a “retro” theme. Now Asbury Park, thats a crying shame! At least the mall is there in some fashion. AP is a big pile of rubble now, ALL of it!

  85. Looking at these pictures brought tears to my eyes, it really is sad to see it in such an awful state. I spent a lot of time shopping at this mall as a child with my mom. She could not drive so we use to take the 82 bus to get there. Much of my school clothes and shoes throughout the years was purchased there. The first rainbow I ever saw in my life was over the footbridge crossing Rt. 4. I can remember Newberry well. We often ate our lunch there. They made excellent turkey club sandwiches. One day the manager heard my mother comment wondering what the kitchen was like. The manager proudly took us back there, everything was EXTREMELY clean, shiny and stainless steel. Ahead of it’s time. Besides Newberry’s, I recall Sterns, and Orbachs and Korvettes on the other side. I also remember the mall being open aired and later enclosed. Was I happy to see it enclosed, as you would freeze during the winter months. It would be lovely to see this mall restored to it’s original state. IMHO Simon should be ashamed of themselves for letting it deteriorate so. I now live in Florida, we have a local Simon Mall (Edison Mall), I always say it’s a poor imitation of a mall, nothing like the ones in Paramus.

  86. Would be interesting if there was a “revisit” companion article to this mall featuring some new pictures.

  87. @Mr.D, Interestingly enough, Old Navy relocated from Garden State Plaza within the last two weeks. The sudden closure raises some serious red flags in my mind. Somebody knows something & told security not to say what’s going on.


  89. @rob, The Old Navy closure at GSP was extremely odd. No notice of any kind & security was told to keep quiet on what actually happened. They only do that when it is something really, really bad.

    No news on Nanuet lately, well that semes to be the case since you haven’t been posting much if at all the past month or so & most of the news I’ve been posting here are on other pages.

  90. @SEAN, This is like over a month later in reply, but if any of you guys haven’t heard, the former Old Navy location in GSP is going to be replaced by UNIQLO.

    I don’t mind this move one bit. We still have two Old Navys in town. A third one would’ve been a bit excessive, I think. Plus, the GSP Old Navy has been fairly quiet. (Ironically, that was the last Old Navy I visited not too long ago.)

    Furthermore, I’ve been wondering where UNIQLO was going to open up its location in the GSP. See, I’m a big UNIQLO fan. I keep shopping in their stores in Taiwan, and avoid the ones in NYC. So, to have a UNIQLO on home turf is great for me.

    However, I’m a bit surprised how swiftly the move of the GSP Old Navy went. I was looking at the UNIQLO blueprint, before they locked it, and thought it was my imagination that it looked like Old Navy’s layout. My suspicions have been confirmed within this week.

  91. @AnonymousNJ, So that’s it, Uniqlo grabbed Old Navy’s space.

  92. Just a few things I have noticed:
    1. The Ale House is going right next to the gym (lol).
    2. The old Lincoln tech building is being demolished for an Olive Garden (?).
    3. There is an “Asian Diner” in one of the outparcles.
    4. There is (another) yogurt place behind the REI store.

  93. I grew up going to the Bergen Mall. We would go to Newberrys, Sterns and Waldenbooks. My mom and I would take the bus there and do my back-to-school shopping and then eat at Wolfie’s. I worked at the Stride Rite in the Bergen Mall from ’94-’97. Sometimes during my breaks I would get food and hang out in the somewhat creepy lower level near the Village Mall. I also remember going to see Carole and Paula from the Magic Garden perform in the theater there when I was 7 or 8 yrs old.
    I am glad the mall made a comeback!

  94. @AnonymousNJ,
    UNIQLO Opens Store in Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in NJ
    UNIQLO’s largest mall store in the world
    Published Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2012

    NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — UNIQLO, the global clothing retailer, will open their new Paramus, New Jersey, store in the Westfield Garden State Plaza this Friday, September 28th.

    At 43,000 total square feet and two stories, the UNIQLO Westfield Garden State Plaza store will be their largest mall store in the world and will serve as the prototype for UNIQLO’s many future U.S. shopping mall locations.

    Shin Odake, UNIQLO USA CEO and Richard LaBarbiera, Mayor of Paramus will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on opening day at 11:45AM and will officially open the doors at 12:00 noon.

    “Friday will be a very special day for UNIQLO as we open our doors to New Jersey. At UNIQLO, it is important for us to be a responsible neighbor in the communities we operate in, and to improve the world through our clothing. We look forward to showing the patrons of Westfield Garden State Plaza our innovative products, exceptional customer service and brand philosophy,” says UNIQLO USA CEO Shin Odake.

    “We are pleased to welcome UNIQLO to the Paramus community. They have already stimulated the North Jersey job market by hiring more than 220 employees, and will help us continue to make Paramus a center of U.S. and global commerce,” said Mayor Richard LaBarbiera.

    UNIQLO Westfield Garden State Plaza consists of two floors with a separate street entrance on the main level in addition to the mall entrance. At each entrance area, UNIQLO shoppers will be welcomed by two large LCD monitor walls that can be seen from outside both entryways. Illuminated glass display windows will house mannequins featuring the latest product offerings from UNIQLO. The complete offering of UNIQLO products including men’s and women’s basics, Heattech, Premium Ultra Light Down, an endless array of colorful cashmere, and the new UNIQLO kids and babies collection.

    In celebration of the grand opening of the New Jersey store, UNIQLO is offering special promotional pricing during grand opening weekend and the following week. UNIQLO NYC stores at 5th Ave, 34th St., and Soho will extend the celebration by also participating.

    •Grand Opening Weekend Special Prices for the first 500 customers each day (Sept. 28-29 in NJ; Sept. 28-30 in NYC)
    ◦Men’s & Women’s Broadcloth cotton Shirts $9.90 (reg. $29.90)
    ◦Men’s & Women’s Fleece Full Zip Jackets $9.90 (reg. $19.90)

    •Special Grand Opening Prices (Valid from Sept. 28-Oct. 6 in NJ; Sept. 28-Oct. 7 in NYC)
    ◦Men’s & Women’s Ultra Light Down $49.90 (reg. $69.90)
    ◦Men’s & Women’s Japanese Engineered Denim for $9.90
    ◦100% Cashmere V-Neck Sweaters $49.90 for women’s and $59.90 for men’s (reg. $89.90/$99.90)
    ◦And many other UNIQLO signature items

    UNIQLO Westfield Garden State Plaza will welcome customers with entertainment, activities and promotions on both Friday, September 28th and Saturday, September 29th:

    •Grand Opening Weekend Special Gifts (no purchase required)
    ◦Chance to Win a $1,000 gift card – Customers will have one opportunity to spin our prize wheel for a chance to win UNIQLO gift cards with a grand prize card of $1,000
    ◦1,000 Free Special Tote Bags to the first 1,000 customers each day

    •Traditional Japanese Taiko drum performances will be in various locations throughout the mall during the grand opening weekend.

    This will be the company’s fourth U.S. retail location with their fifth U.S. store scheduled to open on October 5th at 111 Powell Street in San Francisco.

  95. @SEAN, I will have to check it out when i get over to paramus soon. I went to Dicks in Palisades mall big store 2 floors. Sean JcPenney looks so shaky. I see them filing chapter 11 after the holiday season. I dont know how Manhattan or garden State Plaza jcp is doing the one in Palisades is a mess. Palisades should kick them out and get Boscovs in.

  96. @rob, Where the BLEEP, have you been lately! LOL I’ve left several posts for you to check out.

    I was at GSP today & saw the grand opening referenced in the article above. Also Zin Burger is under construction while Townhouse still hasn’t opened.

    JC Penney wasn’t busy when I passed through, but it was rather early so I find it difficult to pass judgement on if it was a store issue or just the time of day.

    I could see Boscov’s working at Palisades without an issue, that is if Penney’s does leave. I read an article called “The end of the supercenter” yesterday, I think you should take a look at it. Personally I think it is nothing but white noise with wild predictions, but it is still interesting.

  97. @rob, Update; Townhouse is not opening at GSP, rather a new restaurant called Bon Apatite has taken over that location. In adition, Tesla Motors is opening a store above Zin Burger. Tesla is opening another location at Roosevelt Field & has a shop at The Westchester that is already open.

    Popped into the Palisades for a quick look at Yardhouse & it is in a word, huge! A bit surprised that there’s no alfresco seating there. Forever 21 & Dicks ate large amounts of square footage that for years management had difficulty filling with stable tennents, the Dicks space in particular. Looks like the Palisades is finally finding it’s nitch as a mid-tier/ big box hybrid mall with many higher end stores focusing on Paramus & White Plains as we discussed on the Nanuet thred before. This forces the new Nanuet mall to follow a similar path as Ridge Hill in store & restaurant selection as there options will be limited since they don’t want to copy what already exists at Palisades Center.

    One interesting wild card in all of this is American Dream Medowlands & all it’s issues. Is it going after the Palisades shopper? the Paramus / Riverside shopper? NYC tourests? alittle of each? These are valid questions that need answers & in my eyes rather soon before it is totally forgotten about by all involved.

  98. @SEAN, The only fly in the ointment in Palisades is they have 5 stores empty I suggested to Pyramid and Palisades these stores Fossil, Chicos, J.Cr ew Cold Water Creek J.Jill Palisades does not need any more shoe stores . I would like to see California Pizza Kitchen in the former Chevys.

  99. @rob, They have more than five empty stores at Palisades as you know, but filling them is easier said than done.

    J. Jill & Coldwater Creek have been shutting stores across the country & in the case of J. Jill, the brand may outright vanish if figgures don’t improve.

    Fossil & J. Crew may work at Palisades, but they would be most suted for the shops at Nanuet. You can say the same for CPK as they were opening restaurants in almost every new mall expantion or large lifestyle center project over the past 15-years. The fact they haven’t opened should tell you what they thaught of Palisades & there management team since they avoided it.

  100. @rob, Retail vacancy rate declines in North Jersey
    Tuesday, October 2, 2012 Last updated: Tuesday October 2, 2012, 7:29 AM
    The Record

    The amount of empty retail space along highways in northern and central New Jersey reached its lowest level in 3 1/2 years in July, dropping to 7.7 percent, down slightly from 7.9 percent in January, according to the annual midyear survey by retail brokerage firm The Goldstein Group.

    Crowds gathering at the opening of a Fairway in Woodland Park in June. The market’s arrival helped keep the vacancy rate down. But while retail space is filling up at a strong pace, it is still a “tenants’ market,” with 7.6 million square feet of space still empty along 22 highway corridors, according to the report. “Opportunistic retailers are leasing at attractive rental rates and securing locations” and “taking advantage of market conditions,” said Chuck Lanyard, president of The Goldstein Group, a retail brokerage firm based in Paramus.

    The Goldstein survey monitors more than 4,250 properties, and close to 100 million square feet of retail space along the highways. It doesn’t include downtown or mall retail vacancies.

    Lanyard said he expects the vacancy rate to continue to decline this year and next year. “But we do know it’s going to still be a long haul” before northern and central New Jersey return to the 4 percent and 5 percent vacancy rates in 2007 and 2008.

    Even so, the retail vacancy rate in northern and central New Jersey is much lower than the national average. The Goldstein report estimates the national vacancy rate for retail corridors at 13.5 percent.

    The North Jersey highways with the lowest vacancy rates were Route 3 in Clifton (1.6 percent), Route 17 from Rochelle Park to Rutherford (2.3 percent) and Route 4 in Paramus (6.3 percent).

    The highest North Jersey vacancy rates were Route 17 in Paramus (10.9 percent), Route 4 in Elmwood Park and Fair Lawn (10.2 percent), and Route 46 from Totowa to Fairfield (9.4 percent).

    Lanyard said the Route 17/Paramus vacancy rate most likely will decline in the next survey, when the 57,000-square-foot former Einstein Moomjy store will be occupied by the new PGA Tour Superstore that has leased that space.

    The overall rate shrank because of new tenants in some of the empty big-box stores, including Fairway Market taking over a former Pathmark Store in Woodland Park and DSW Shoes occupying a former Borders Books store in Ramsey.


  101. Malls, Shopping Centers Survive the Hurricane with Minimal Damage
    Nov 8, 2012 10:36 AM, By Elaine Misonzhnik, Senior Associate Editor

    Retail property owners in the Northeast seem to have fared better in the eye of the storm than their counterparts in other commercial property sectors, with loss of power being the most serious problem reported by the companies interviewed for this article.

    New Jersey’s Bergen County and Long Island, in particular, serve as homes to some of the largest and most productive malls in the country, including Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J.; Roosevelt Field in Garden City, N.Y. and Palisades Center in West Nyack, N.Y., among others. As of Wednesday, most of these properties were operational.

    “We really escaped and dodged a big bullet here,” says Michael McAvinue, general manager at The Mall at Short Hills, a Taubman Centers-owned, 1.37-million-sq.-ft. center located in Millburn, N.J. “The damage could have been a lot worse.”

    The most serious problems The Mall at Short Hills experienced included a few downed trees and minor roof damage at a Bloomingdale’s store. These had been fixed within days and The Mall reopened to customers on Nov. 1, according to McAvinue.

    Since then, shopper traffic at the property has been quite robust as people have been coming to the Mall to recharge their smartphones and tablets, as well as to buy hot meals at sit-down restaurants, he notes.

    Overall, Taubman’s portfolio escaped the storm with only some landscaping and signage problems.

    A spokesman for Simon Property Group, the largest retail property owner in the country, estimates that though anywhere from 15 to 20 of its centers had been impacted by the storm the most serious issue has been power failure.

    “The infrastructure, the properties themselves, came through pretty well, we were very lucky,” says the spokesman. “The damage was nonexistent or really minor.”

    At the beginning of this week, only one Simon center in the storm-affected area—The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack, N.J.—remained closed, as a result of a power outage. The mall reopened on Wednesday morning.

    The Westfield Group reports that nine of its malls had been impacted by the storm, including three in Connecticut and Maryland each, two in New York and one in New Jersey. As of Wednesday, all nine were open for business. The Garden State Plaza is also currently being used by the State of New Jersey to deliver water and dry ice to residents without power.

    Daniel M. Taub, COO of DLC Management Corp., which operates anywhere from 4.5 million sq. ft. to 5 million sq. ft. of retail space in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, said the biggest problem his company encountered was the loss of a 6,000-sq.-ft. portion of a roof at Mid Valley Mall, a 244,378-sq.-ft. center in Newburgh, N.Y.

    Other than power failure, “that was the only damage we had as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which is ironic because it was fairly far from the epicenter of the storm,” says Taub. “It’s shockingly, a pleasant surprise. We got lucky.”

    By now, all of the centers in DLC’s Northeast portfolio are back to business as usual.

    Similarly, Levin Management Corp., a third-party retail property manager based in North Plainfield, N.J., witnessed only minor damage at its centers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Even Bayshore Plaza, a 59,232-sq.-ft. power center Levin manages in Barnegat, N.J., Ocean County, came through relatively unscathed. The most serious problems the company has been dealing with include damaged roofs, fallen trees and displaced lights and signage.

    “We were fortunate enough not to suffer any major infrastructure damage,” says Matthew K. Harding, president and COO of Levin.

  102. @SEAN, I have been to Short Hills since the storm and did observe many a downed tree around the property. Just before the storm, and smartly, they took out the trees in the median of the mall entrance from JFK Parkway to the area of Papa Razzi/Bloomingdale’s.

    Other malls I’ve been to since the storm are Menlo, Quaker Bridge and Freehold…most common thing I’ve noticed is that Santa’s arrival has been delayed, which, really isn’t that bad a thing. (with the exception of Menlo…he’s there already)

  103. Curious to know how Willow Brook survived the storm? Wayne always seems to flood.

  104. @mallguy, If the extent of the dammage was limited to a few trees, that’s fantastic news considering what could of been. Just ask NJ Transit or the MTA.

  105. This is off topic, but both of you gentlemen may be interested to learn that the Morristown, NJ A&P Centennial store (which I think opened in 1968) will close at the end of 2013 (and be replaced by a Whole Foods in 2014 or 2015). I am absolutely devastated by this news, as I do my shopping there and think that A&P Centennials were the most beautiful retail prototype ever envisioned. Though once so common, there are now so few Centennials that remain: the only other ones I know of are in Bedminister/Pluckemin, NJ; Little Silver, NJ; Goldens Bridge, NY; Katonah, NY; and Shrub Oak, NY. (There is also a small number of them under the Waldbaum’s and Superfresh banners.)

  106. @SEAN, The malls, for the most part, did pretty well. Willowbrook has the potential to get hit hard (most of the lot floods because of its location along the Passaic River) and Paramus Park is in a flood plain.

  107. @Max, Yes, I heard about Whole Foods coming to Morristown. Been to the A&P in Little Silver many times!

    Interesting to note, with the exception of Chatham, each town along Route 124 (Morristown, Madison, Millburn) will now have a Whole Foods! And on the subject of supermarkets, Morris County is also getting a Wegman’s and I know many are excited about that!

  108. @mallguy,

    I think that Whole Foods will make a great addition to Morristown, but I just don’t want it coming at the expense of my beloved A&P.

    Despite its small size, the Morristown A&P seems to do pretty good business, since Kings is the only other supermarket in town. I seriously wonder if A&P decided to close this store because the chain felt that it could not compete with a gigantic ShopRite that will soon be built off of Ridgedale Avenue (which will replace their Morris Plains store).

  109. @mallguy, Didn’t know that Paramus Park was on a flood plain, so I assume that the nearby streets & the Garden State Parkway are as well since there’s little change in elevation around there?

    Back on the supermarket topic for a moment… If you notice, the triditional supermarket chains have been struggling like A & P. Now if you look at the specialty stores like Whole Foods, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s & The Fresh Market have all been doing fantasticly over the past few years. In my neck of the woods, TJ’s just completed an expantion of a store doubling it’s size. This has forsed ShopRite & others to compete on a level they’re not use to & as a result, they will continue to struggle unless they have deep pockets & make serious changes to there business practices.

    Have you been to the WF stores at Time Warner Center or Ridgewood NJ? The TWC store is in basement & is over 60,000 square feet & the Ridgewood location is on Godwin Ave, in a reclaimed shopping center near the train station. I hope the Morristown store is in or within walking distance of downtown.

  110. @SEAN, The Morristown store is about 2-3 blocks from The Green. Morristown is pretty walkable.

    Most ShopRites can still hold their own in NJ, but when Wegman’s opens in Hanover Township, it’s going to be like an awakening for Morris and Western Essex residents!

  111. @mallguy, Been to downtown Morristown twice & it’s great. They have everything you need & you can do it on foot which allows you to save some green by not needing to feed the meeter. I would love to see a TJ’s downtown even though there’s one in Florham Park.

    Oh Mallguy, are you going to buy one of the condos at 40 Park? I mean once Whole Foods opens, you can walk there when ever you want. LOL

  112. @mallguy, Let me add that A & P has been closing stores throughout Westchester County. As of today 11/16, the following stores have closed or will be closing…

    Hartsdale Pathmark – now H-Mart
    Portchester A & P – becomeing Whole Foods in 2013
    Harrison A & P closing 2013 – several grocers looking at that space including The Fresh Market

    Rye Brook A & P closing 2013 – same thing as Harrison.

    This info comes from employees of TFM & a local chain Decicco Food Markets.

    In adition A & P is closing four stores in southern NJ under the Superfresh banner.

  113. @SEAN,

    Sean, thank you so much for the well wishes regarding the hurricane. I hope all is well with you.

    These A&P/Superfresh closings suck, but come as little surprise. (Although I thought that the Westmont Superfresh did good business.) According to an article on, the Pluckemin, NJ Centennial will be also closing once its lease expires (though no exact date was given). An anonymous poster at AcmeStyle stated that A&P wants to rid itself of its few remaining Centennial locations, not only because they are too small to make sufficient profit, but also because the company is looking to be bought by Kroger or Safeway (and would look more desirable if only stores in excess of 50,000 sq. ft. remained).

    Do you know where I can find a complete list of the store closings (if one exists; I know A&P never publicly releases such lists)? I am pleasantly surprised that the Westchester County Centennials in Goldens Bridge, Katonah, and Shrub Oak have yet to close (although we all know their days are numbered).

  114. @Max, I know what you are asking for, but I don’t know where you would find such information. Perhaps contacting the A & P corporate office is your best bet. Are they sure once these stores are divested , that Safeway or Croger would want to involve themselves in a company with such horable finantials?

    Believe it or not, there are grocery opperators that would jump at these Centennial stores if they are in good locations & are around 15,000 to 20,000 square feet. I’m thinking of Kings, Decicco’s, The Fresh Market & trader Joe’s as these are specialty stores wich are the rage in the grocery business right now.

    Everything is good around here now that the power supply is stable.

  115. @SEAN,

    I was just assuming there was some list on the internet somewhere (though I can’t find it). Unfortunately, contacting A&P is completely useless, as they are so secretive about store closings.

    Thank you anyway for trying to help and for the info on the Westchester store closings.

  116. @Max, your welcome.

    Keep your eyes on some of the newcomers filling the A & P void in the NYC area. I’ve mentioned some of them in prior posts including Fairway, Trader Joe’s, The Fresh Market, Kings, Whole Foods & a favorite around here Wegmans. Most of these Centennials will be a valuable asset to another opperator as a specialty store.

  117. @Tony Patti,
    My grandfather had a jewelry store in the basement called bliss creations

  118. @Joanna,

    I grew up going to the village mall with my grandfather and I was always scared

  119. What is in the basement level of the Bergen Mall now? I know it used to be the Village Mall.

  120. During the renovation, the basement level was decommissioned and no longer exists today 🙁

  121. Vornado Realty to spin off shopping center business

    Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:36pm EDT

    (Reuters) – Vornado Realty Trust, the owner of office buildings and retail properties chiefly in New York and Washington, said it would spin off its shopping center business into a publicly traded real estate investment trust.

    The company also named Jeffrey Olson, currently chief executive of Equity One Inc, as CEO of the to be separated business.

    Equity One, the American arm of Israel’s largest real estate investment company Gazit Globe Ltd, said in March that Olson would not renew his contract when it ends in December.

    The shopping center business comprises 81 strip shopping centers and four malls including the Bergen Town Center in New Jersey, Vornado said.

    The new company’s 2014 net operating income is estimated to be about $200 million.

    Vornado said it would retain for sale 20 small retail assets.

    Goldman, Sachs & Co and Morgan Stanley are acting as Vornado’s financial advisers, while Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is its legal adviser.

    Vornado’s shares closed unchanged at $98.15 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

    (Reporting By Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

  122. I worked at various stores during river dell and farleigh Dickinson in the 70’s
    Dales supermarket, stenchevers shoes and sterns
    Also outside newberrys across from the pedestrian bridge was a major bus stop for public service and inter city buses
    The mall was closed Sunday’s and only open at night on Thursday and maybe Friday
    Wolfies had the best burgers
    My mom would buy coats at Nelson furs

  123. @Kim Hafner, I too loved the open cheddar cheese sandwich served at sterns with lettuce and tomato on the side. I can only guess that it was pimento cheddar-cheese that they used. Have you had any luck recreating it?

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