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Ocean City Loses a Beloved Landmark: Roses to Close

News of Roses Department Store’s closure and eventual demolition has brought a wave of nostalgia and disappointment to Ocean City. For over 40 years, this store was more than just a place to shop; its familiar aisles stocked everything from beach toys to garden tools, from lady’s dresses to electronics, from groceries to home furnishings. It has become a fixture in the lives of locals and visitors to Ocean City, looking for a quick shop at a reasonable price. 

Roses made the things you need and want for your vacation, affordable. It was never the most glamorous store, but usually you could find what you needed there, and it didn’t break the bank. On my first visit to Ocean City, some 30 years ago in 1994, myself and some friends were looking for a place to buy film for our cameras. “Try Roses” our boss told us. Then someone said they wanted an Ocean City T shirt and some sun screen. “Roses will have that” our boss mentioned. “Where’s the best place to get our photos developed?” I asked. “Roses” I was once again told. My friends and I couldn’t wait to see the store that was the solution to our all needs. All coming from the UK, we had never heard of Roses, and had no idea what to expect, except for an amazing store that would allow us to shop till we dropped. We got off the bus at 94th Street and saw the store at the front of the Mall. We headed inside, and it has to be said, we were left a little disappointed by what we saw. It lacked glitz to say the least, and walking in, we realized it wasn’t the sleek, modern stores we were used to back home. However, an hour later, when we were back on the bus headed north to our condo clutching full shopping bags, we realized that we had in fact managed to purchase everything we needed and had money left over, and so Roses became a regular destination throughout our summer in Ocean City. All our photos were developed there, new film bought, snacks gathered, and many souvenirs purchased to take back home stacked in our suitcases. While Roses might not have been the most beautiful store around, it held a certain charm. It was a snapshot of a different time in Ocean City, a place where practicality trumped fancy displays. Looking back, it feels like a piece of that summer we captured within those full shopping bags.

So like many visitors to Ocean City, and locals in Ocean City, we want to say thank you to Roses, our less than glamorous friend, who has always been there for us. We will mourn your loss and remember all the good times you allowed us to have.

Roses is scheduled to close permanently this June. It will be replaced by a new ACME Supermarket that will replace the existing ACME, which is also slated for demolition.

 
Anne
Anne
Anne grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and came across Ocean City for the first time over 30 years ago and shortly after it became her permanent home.  When time allows, Anne still loves to travel. She has been with OceanCity.com since September 2014.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi my name is Dannielle and I use work at roses a long time ago I can’t believe they are closing all to put a acme grocery store there I’m sure the Salisbury location will stay open which that roses is worse

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