It’s no secret that today’s retail climate is particularly volatile — especially for the beloved (and scarce) mom-and-pop shops which are still surviving. Unfortunately, Kings Pharmacy (located at 1619 Third Avenue and 91st Street below Ruppert Towers) can soon be added to the list of casualties.
East Side Feed reader Gail Krieger tipped us off to the news, while a store employee reached by phone this afternoon confirmed its doors will be closed by the end of the month. In the meantime, items have been marked down to 50 percent off. Though we were unable to find out the exact reason for the shuttering, Kings’ CEO Ron Del Guadio spoke of the immense difficulty keeping pharmacies afloat amidst the start of the pandemic in 2020.
Kings Pharmacy has a long history of servicing New Yorkers, with the first iteration originally established on Brooklyn’s Kings Avenue back in 1935. Aside from the Upper East Side outpost, there’s a Brooklyn branch at 357 Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope. According to a pharmacy representative, this location will remain open. Over the years, Kings has become known as a leading fertility pharmacy with a series of unique certifications — offering specialized care options and a pleasant respite from the impersonal nature of massive drugstore chains like Duane Reade and CVS.
Take a glance at their Yelp page and it’s clear the neighborhood will miss the attention to detail and familiar atmosphere Kings provided. “When I go into Kings I feel like I’m home,” one longtime customer wrote in 2020. “It’s old school without the fluff. They treat the customers with respect — we need them.” Another customer admitted to living in New Jersey, but traveling to Kings for fertility medicine, as they offered the best-priced options in the area.
This is sad news. The pharmacy and the pharmacist were especially helpful in arranging for a Covid vaccine for my 98 year old mom in January 2021 as soon as the vaccine was available. I have continued to patronize them because of their ability to accommodate my mom early on in the pandemic.
This is really disgusting. King’s had a human personal touch, respected the community and reasonable prices. Corporate real estate greed is decimating this city.