Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another Victim Of Rising Rents: Say Good-Bye To Clinton Apothecary

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I am sorry to report that another long time family-owned Carroll Gardens store is closing.
For the past few days, I had heard rumors that Clinton Apothecary at 420 Clinton Street at the corner of President Street was closing after decades in the neighborhood.
Sadly, the closing has been confirmed. Yesterday was its last day.

Reader Sean V. sent me the following message:
"We learned today that Clinton Apothecary is closing, with their customers prescriptions being transferred to Rite Aid. The combination of the landlord raising the rent and people in the neighborhood not patronizing the store made it impossible for them to keep their doors open. They were truly wonderful to deal with, always accommodating, always pleasant, remembering our names and going out of their way. It's a huge loss to the community. "

Reader Nancy H. stopped by last night and reports:
"I just stopped by the Apothecary and unfortunately the story is true. They said that their lease was up and the landlord wanted to raise their rent from 8K to 10K per month, so they decided to go and today is their last day. They sold the business to the Rite Aid up on Smith and President, so anyone with prescriptions will have them transferred up there. Two of the pharmacists, Nick and another one whose name I don't know are also going to work at Rite Aid.
I am really sad about this. I think a lot of people are
."

According to another reader, Clinton Apothecary had been in business at that location for the past 80 years.  The closing means that there are no more independently owned pharmacies in Carroll Gardens. (Who remembers Renaissance Pharmacy on Court Street?)
This is very sad news indeed.




24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, how is this sad? If people in the neighborhood didn't patronize their business (they didn't, as a reader accurately pointed out), and their location was not convenient (it wasn't) and they closed too early for people with real jobs to get there (they did), how is any of this sad?

It is a business that once did more business when more people lived on Columbia Street, but has been in slow, steady decline ever since. The neighborhood clearly prefers the convenience of CVS or Rite Aid or maybe the pharmacy close their office for lunch hour visits, and a modest increase in their rent was too much.

Nothing sad about this.

Anonymous said...

Well, I for one am sad. I was in there twice a week as their prices were fantastic (better than Rite Aid), service extremely helpful, and their variety of goods-you-need-in-a-pinch was small but as wide as Winn's, and since they were open until 8:30pm, you could get there after work. Their ATM fee was even low. It's a shame that more people didn't shop there. Local businesses are what give a neighborhood character, and Carroll Gardens is losing it.

Anonymous said...

Its the comments like Anonymous 8:46 that makes me glad I don't live in Carroll Gardens anymore. All the heart and soul
is being sucked out of the neighborhood by these arm chair Einstiens

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see any long-standing business in Carroll Gardens close. But, personally, this pharmacy will not be missed. My painkiller prescription kept getting filled under another doctors name. When asked, they said to ignore it. I reported them to the State Attorney General soon after. A Yelp review says someone was arrested there recently. I moved all my scripts to Wyckoff's, which is also small, independent. With good sales, they were able to expand recently to a bigger location. Which is a great sign from a Mom & Pop.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to go into the CVS stores on Court. And the atmosphere in Rite Aid is almost as pitiful. Sometimes those "conveniences" the first commentator spoke of come at the cost of soul sucking life experience.

What I can't understand is why anyone is willing to put up with experience of shopping at these national chain? My heart goes out to the people who have to work those jobs too. They will never be able to see their jobs like those who have been running their own shop at the Apothecary.

Anonymous said...

I moved to this block/neighborhood two years ago and will be sad to see a Carroll Gardens staple go.

The real question now is what will take it's place? As you all know, there are not many commercial properties on Clinton Street so this could either be a great opportunity or disastrous.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that the first person to comment here is correct, although the could have been a little more tactful. The big chains are more convenient in every way, and they are neighborhood stores as well; they are often staffed by local people and are very friendly. The kind of mom and pop business that are still going strong are hardware stores like Mazzone, because they are much faster and more convenient than the big box home centers. The independent pharmacy is an anachronism.

Anonymous said...

Visiting a large chain store does not need to be a "soul sucking life experience". I always try to speak to and treat the employees as if they are friends. It is amazing how well you are treated if you are nice to people.

Anonymous said...

They stayed open till 8/8:30 - they were open seven days a week. It's sad because it was our neighborhood corner pharmacy. I loathe that Rite Aid -- it's a mess and I've not found the staff to be particularly helpful. I personally shopped at Clinton Apothecary 2-3 times a week and they were always helpful. And 8:46 Anonymous -- it's sad when a small business has to sell to a large chain because their rent got jacked. I spoke to an CA employee last night and he said the rent the landlord wanted was $15K (a $7K/mo jump) but they got down to $10K/mo, which was still too much.
I hear you, 10 a.m. Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

CVS/Rite Aid are more convenient because people buy groceries there which were once purchased at local supermarkets. For the newcomers, the CVS location used to be Keyfood. If you are actually filling prescriptions, there is absolutely no service and the experience is frequently problematic in a health-threatening way. In the past 2 months at Rite Aid they have been out of stock on a med required immediately, they failed to contact the MD for a drug that required prior insurance approval and so were charging me $65 instead of $9, they did not contact the MD for a prescription that required renewal and they did not fill another script because they claimed I had reached my limit for the month - which was bizzare and untrue. None of that ever happened in the many years (decades) that Renaissance was my pharmacy. But hey, you can buy cup of soup.

Anonymous said...

I would live to exchange pleasantries with CVS cashiers rather than being steered to a tempermental self service machine. You don't get more impersonal than that.

And sometimes it is difficult to engage with employees because they are busy taking personal calls on their phones. I especially like it when they curse loud enough for all the customers to hear.

Reluctant Outlaw said...

The big chains are more convenient? Seriously? Like when you forget to renew your prescription the night before a long weekend, they will most certainly bend over backwards to make sure you don't go without? Or maybe the convenience of standing in line for EVER because the Rite Aid monopoly deigns to post only one minimum wage worker at the register?
If a Starbucks goes into that location ... shoot me.

Lula165 said...

It is a sad commentary on the changing nature of the neighborhood, and makes me want to move somewhere else. I always found the service to be very good. It was open seven days a week, and they also sold quinoa pasta and yogi tea, so were seeking to change with the neighborhood. It's sad that the rents are so outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Stupid. They should have "sold" to Wykoff Pharmacy and kept the prescriptions at a local independant business. Katia, Wykoff is family run. And or independant pharmacy.
So, get ready. Maybe a coffe shop. Or nail salon.
Rite Aid, yes, I go there, but rarely. The counter staff is annoying. So long Clinton Apothecary. You served many people. I took my elder neighbors scripts to you and you knew us all.

Anonymous said...

I wish Neergaard would expand to our neighborhood. All these chains and I had to go to Neergaard to get my kid a shoulder sling.

Anonymous said...

Lula 165....would like to leave also, but where can I go?

Anonymous said...

I think about leaving too but to where. Bay Ridge? Detroit?

Anonymous said...

@ 7:08 am, CA probably sold to Rite Aid because it was the closest and it had the capacity to take on two more employees. The elderly and frail who used CA may not be able to walk all the way to Wyckoff, and two more employees for a such a small business is probably too many.

Anonymous said...

Living across the street from Clinton Apothecary for 24years, and never used anyone else. They always took care of us, back to the previous owners. I was proud to tell people that the neighborhood may have changed for the worst in character, but we still had our beloved local pharmacy. My partner is not well enough to walk to Rite Aid, but he could make it to CA. And that Rite Aid is a real mess. Such a loss.

Reluctant Outlaw said...

I had no choice today but to get my refill at Rite Aid since we had so little notice or time to get new prescriptions. They are giving out gift bags to CA customers, which include Band Aids and tissues. How fitting.

Anonymous said...

Instead of pricey hipster eyeglass stores, maybe someone will open a retro pharmacy.

Anonymous said...

I once went to rite aid to fill a script for a z-pack and was told that they would have it in 2 weeks. Two weeks? I told them I could be dead in 2 weeks and left. Another time the lovely girl who answered the phone muttered "you gotta f@&$ing kidding me" when I asked her a question. Terrible place. No meds. Not nice people.

When Rennaisance closed, the pharmacists worked at CVS for 6 months and then split. I think the staff at CA are probably in the same boat. Such a shame. But hey, we can use another Rag and Bone pop-up, right? NOT!

Anonymous said...

It REEKED of cigarette smoke in there & they "lost" my prescription twice, both times my insurance showed them as being claimed by me.

Anonymous said...

good luck you yuppies you will never find a store like Clinton Apothecary and you will never find workers like the ones that use to work there they were all so friendly and nice and always went the extra mile for there customers