Archive for the ‘pharmacy’ tag
Varn's Drug Store / Safran's Antique Galleries / Arcade Auction / I. Pickney Simons Gallery / Thai On Gervais, 926 Gervais Street: 2011 12 comments
I don't know anything about Varns Drug Store other than it was listed in Walsh's Columbia South Carolina City Directory for 1907-08, had "E H Varn" listed as the proprietor and is not there now.
Thai On Gervais was obviously many iterations after Varns. I know they listed in the phonebook from (at least) February 2007 through February 2011, but not in Feburary 2012. Given that, and the current state of the space, I think they must have closed sometime in 2011.
Traffic was heavy enough that I could not step into Gervais Street to get a good frontal shot of this place, but you can see from the sidewalk and side views that it has sort of a "work is being done" look. I did not see any permits or indications as to what is next here however.
UPDATE 11 June 2012: Commenter Larry casts doubt on this actually being Thai On Gervais, at least within the time period suggested by the phonebook. I will try to check the city directories next time I am at the library, but for now I am leaving it. (Varn's I am more confident about).
UPDATE 20 June 2012: After consulting city directories at the RCPL, I can say that from (at least) 1960 through 1970, this space (actually 926-930) was Safran's Antique Galleries. After that, it was apparently vacant for a good while. In 1995, it was listed as Arcade Auction (Charlton Hall Overflow) and from 1995 to (at least) 2000, it was I. Pickney Simons Gallery. That seems to have been the last tenant. No city directory lists Thai On Gervais, but that is definitely in phonebooks..
Well, it appears that the old Big-T/CVS at the corner of Pickens & Taylor Streets is once again a pharmacy, as Hawthorne Pharmacy & Compounding Shoppe has moved down the block from its long-time home at 1500 Taylor and into the Big-T building.
Well, that's not quite true as the whole building isn't a pharmacy: It appears that during the refit and remodel, it was split up into two suites, and that one of them is an endoscopy clinic. Since Hawthorne has always been something of a specialty shop, it makes sense that they wouldn't need the space to sell all the extraneous non-medical stuff a CVS does. It will be interesting to see what happens to the old Hawthorne building. As of yet, there is no For Sale sign.
G-E-X Membership Department Store / Intertec Data Systems / Home Gold Financial / Phar-Mor / Home Quarters Warehouse / Blue Cross Blue Shield / Palmetto GBH, 2340 Broad River Road: 1973 32 comments
I never heard G-E-X pronounced Gee-Eee-Eks as the spelling here would imply. It was always just "Gex" to rhyme with "Vex". Not that I heard about it that often. Given the 21 Dec 1969 phonebook listing (ie: for 1970) above, it sounds like it was a Costco or Sam's before its time -- certainly we did not have a membership, and I never went with anyone who did. (There are some pictures of the membership cards here.)
The building (behind Applebee's just North of I-20) is certainly massive, and it seems to have had a department for everything, including groceries and meat, which really makes it sound ahead of its time. Wikipedia says G-E-X was another label for G.E.M the Government Employees Mart and that the electronics department eventually morphed into Circuit City by way of Ward's. The December 1972 phonebook is the last one to list the Columbia G-E-X which meshes with Wikipedia's claim that the chain went under "during the discount store shakeout of 1973".
After G-E-X the spot seems to have been a number of different operations including Home Quarters and Blue Cross. In fact, LoopNet says Blue Cross has a lease on the whole building that lasts until September 2012. Currently the building seems to be empty, with the last branding on the street sign as Palmetto GBH which seems to be some sort of Medicare related operation (their sign is still on the storefront in the LoopNet listing).
UPDATE 21 March 2011: Added "Intertec Data Systems" & "Phar-Mor" to the post title. Those apparently closed in the early 1980s and 3 October 1992 respectively. (Also fixed spelling of Applebee's..)
UPDATE 6 April 2011: Added the 1970 Bellsouth Yellow Pages ad for the pharmacy department (which apparently was open to the general public).
This isn't quite the post I thought I would be making. Here's the thing: I remember a local restaurant that was on this side of Rosewood Drive for many, many years. It was on my "someday" list though I didn't get to it and it was torn down after I moved out of town. The only anecdote I can remember about it right now was that in the late 80s, or maybe the 90s, USC had a famous football coach (whose name I can't remember, let's call him Freddie) commit to come coach the Gamecocks. The whole town was in a commotion, and this restaurant put up on their signboard: Freddie heard about our food!.
Then, of course, the Chicken Curse struck, and he reneged on the deal and decided not to come to Carolina -- leaving the restaurant flat-footed for a couple of days with a very ironic sign.
Anyway, I was pretty sure this was the spot, but the only thing I can see before the old building was torn down to put up the Eckerd's which became Rite Aid is a pool hall called Charlie's which tried several times (apparently with success in the end to get a liquor license).
UPDATE 7 Dec 2010: Updated post title to Charlie's Cue & Cushion based on the coments.
Edens Food Stores, Inc. / Greenbax Stamps / Community Thrift / Eckerd's, 818 Harden Street: Mid 1950s 6 comments
I posted before about bygone Columbia grocery chain Edens. After I located one of the buildings on Rosewood, I have been looking for some of the others from time to time when I remember. I didn't have any luck with the two Main Street locations, but here is the Harden Street one.
Growing up, this was always Eckerd's to me, and it never really occurred to me that it had not been built as a pharmacy. Looking at it now though, I'm pretty sure this must be the original grocery building from the 1950s. In particular, I don't think anyone would site the doors on the street instead of the parking lot on any building newer than that. In fact, thinking about it, I'm surprised nobody ever changed that.
UPDATE 24 Nov 2010: Added Greenbax Stamps and Thrift Store to post title based on comments.
UPDATE 30 Nov 2010: Changed "Thrift Store" to "Community Thrift" based on Dennis's comment.
Main Street, Columbia S.C. Showing location of ECKERD'S Modern Drug Store, Located at 1530 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina
ECKERD'S Modern Prescription Department Employs Six Registered Druggists. 1530 Main Street, Columbia S. C. "Creators of Reasonable Drug Prices"
ECKERD'S Modern 42½ Ft. Soda Fountain. Seating Capacity of Luncheonette Dept.: 176. "Creators of Reasonable Drug Prices". 1530 Main Street, Columbia S. C.
ECKERD'S Modern Drug Store, Employs a Personnel of 42 Sales People. "Creators of Reasonable Drug Prices" 1530 Main Street Columbia, S. C.
There is no date on these postcards, but from the cars in the first shot, I'm guessing post-war, but not by much -- I'm sure a car expert (hint) could pin it down much more closely.
To the best of my memory, I never visited the downtown Eckerd's, and in fact don't recall it in operation at all. Given that, tempered with the fact that some people have mentioned from time to time in the comments that they do remember it, I'm putting the closing as probably the early or mid 1960s.
The building is certainly an imposing one, and one which does not say "drugstore" at all, with the stone facade and dramatic arches on the second and third floors. You might almost expect to see someone clutch his chest dramatically and fall over the third-floor railing as a gunshot echoes up and down the street..
And, in fact, the name plaque styles the building as the "Historic Canal Dime Savings Bank", so presumably it was built for that long vanished operation. The last postcard suggests that Eckerd's was a deep, narrow, one story operation. Does anyone know if there was another business upstairs?
I only went into Superpetz a few times. I'm pretty sure I got pigs ears for my sister's dogs there once, and think I was in there one other time, though I can't remember what for. The place was kind of a Wal Mart for pet paraphernalia, with the non-WalMart touch that you could actually take your pets inside with you.
According to the chain's web site, this was the only Columbia store, which makes me suspect issues with the chain as a whole rather than the standard "things don't do well on Decker" issue. This closing is a further blow to the Fashion Place plaza which housed Superpetz, although it did recently make good the Cici's Pizza vacancy with the opening of Gabby's Pizza in that spot.
(Hat tip to commenter Matt)
UPDATE 8 Oct 2010: Added Phar-Mor to the post title based on the comments.
UPDATE 10 September 2011 -- It appears that Goodwill will be moving across the plaza from its current location in back to this location:
I first wrote about this building in a closing for The Big T (Taylor Street Pharmacy).
After The Big T sold out, CVS ran the old pharmacy as one of its stores for a number of years though it was no longer a 24-hour store, and in fact was not even open on Sundays. I guess the rise of 24 hour Wal-Marts pretty much obviated the need for an all-night store, and the downtown location was just not a draw anymore for residential shoppers.
As of today (10 Feb 2010) it appears that they are still moving things out of the building. There was a rental truck in the lot, and I saw a couple of people go in and out.
UPDATE 9 March 2011: Added the store number (5766) based on the comments.
UPDATE 10 March 2011 -- Remodeling work is ongoing, and some of the original Taylor Street Pharmacy signage is visible now:
Here's yet another of Columbia's (or West Columbia's in this case) former Eckerd Drugs locations, and like a number of former drugstores in the area, it's been re-purposed as a discount store, a Dollar General in this case. I didn't get any front-on shots because people were in and out constantly while I was parked next door at Walgreens, but it's the standard Eckerds look.
I'm not sure when the Walgreens went in, but its being there may have something to do with why this Eckerds did not continue life as a Rite Aid.
UPDATE 13 May 2011: Changed the closing date in the post title based on commenter Andrew's research.
I find this Rite Aid closing interesting because it happened so soon after the conversion from Eckerd's, so in 2007, they paid a lot of money to redo all the signage and branding, interior and exterior, and then in 2009, closed the store.
I think it was a classy touch to transfer the store's perscriptions across the street to their competitors at CVS rather than sending customers to a Rite Aid further away. I hope the building can be re-used, it's still fairly new and appears quite nice.