After years of legal wrangling with Eatontown and its residents, the new Monmouth Mall plan has been revealed in all its glory.

Not only has the mall, like all of NJ’s malls, been a place for shopping, but it’s also been an important piece of New Jersey history.

We are the mall capital of the country after all. New Jersey has long been considered the mall capital of the country and for good reason.

(Google Maps)
(Google Maps)

As I look back on my mall’s past, I think about how it all began with anchor stores like Bamberger's and Montgomery Ward back in the '70s.

These malls became not just shopping destinations but the heart of our social lives. times have changed, and malls are facing a new reality.

In an era where the traditional mall concept is being challenged, I looked back at how our beloved mall adapted over the years with expansions, renovations, and unique additions like a Jersey Shore-themed food court.

Monmouth Mall December 23, 2023
Mike Brant - TSM (Canva)

How many of Monmouth Mall's anchor stores do you remember?

Original anchors of the mall consisted of Bamberger's (a subsidiary of Macy's) and Montgomery Ward. Montgomery Ward became Alexander's after pulling out of New Jersey.


️—The mall was enclosed and expanded to its current size in 1975.
️—The new expansion included two levels anchored by Abraham & Straus, Hahne's, and JCPenney as of 1975.
️—Caldor replaced Alexander's in 1986.


Google Maps
Google Maps

—️Bamberger's was renamed Macy's. Lord & Taylor replaced the former store Hahne's in 1990, and closed in 2019.


️—Stern's replaced Abraham & Straus.


️—The mall was expanded to include an elevator and a food court with a Jersey Shore theme.
—️Nobody Beats the Wiz and a new 15-screen Loews Theatres (now AMC) were added.
—️Old Navy replaced the closed Caldor.


Google Maps
Google Maps

—️Boscov's replaced Stern's (and still remains).


Google Maps
Google Maps

—️Planet Fitness opened at Monmouth Mall.

As for the future of Monmouth Mall, new changes are coming. A pedestrian-friendly "live, work and play" development is on the way.

Barnes and Noble booksellers will move to another location and will be replaced by Whole Foods.

It’s a great mix for the neighborhood and will be an asset to that current stretch of highway in Monmouth County.

These are the long-gone NJ mall stores we miss the most

With so many trends of the 1990's back in style, it's a great time to look back at a strong foundation of 80's and 90's culture — New Jersey mall shopping. Some stores were a highlight, every trip.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

2022 Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge photos

More than 6,000 people took the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 26, 2022 to raise more than $2 million for the Special Olympics New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Andrew Miller/For Townsquare Media NJ

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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