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Old-fashioned pharmacy closing in Fuquay-Varina after 99 years

Posted March 19, 2013

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— A Fuquay-Varina mainstay for nearly a century will close its doors March 30, thanks to increasing operating costs and declining sales.

The family-run Elliotts Pharmacy has been a fixture on Main Street for 99 years and a popular destination for many with its soda fountain and old-fashioned juicer.

Owner Curtis Holleman says it's also a place rich with history.

"A lot of town politics was determined right up around the fountain," he said Wednesday.

But old-time values aren't meshing with modern big business.

Holleman says one reason he's shutting down the pharmacy has to do with the prescription reimbursement rate from insurance companies dropping significantly since he bought the store 15 years ago, and drug costs steadily going up.

Elliotts Pharmacy Fuquay-Varina mainstay closing after 99 years

A change of clientele is another factor. While younger customers enjoy seeing the old-fashioned pharmacy, Holleman says, it doesn't always translate to money.

"The trend is (for customers), especially for young mothers, to be able to drive through a window and get their prescription and get their sick child home and not really come in and shop and visit," Holleman said.

Regular customers have been visiting the pharmacy all their life.

"I was about 3 years old when my mama used to bring me here, and I've continued on," said Ronnie Burch, who eats lunch at the pharmacy at least twice a week.

News of the pharmacy's closing, for him and others, is unreal.

"That was a shock to me," customer Fred Ragan said. "I just never dreamed that I would see it closed. It's been here all my life."


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  • superman Mar 20, 2013

    People like to do one store shopping--ie a shopping center where there is a drug store, gas station, and a grocery store. Shopping at one store and then driving to another location for another store and then repeating the same thing is a thing of the past.

  • mmtlash Mar 20, 2013

    1st Hudson Belk now this, poor downtown Fuquay

  • Lightfoot3 Mar 20, 2013

    It's sad to see old businesses like this close. Wish there was a way to revamp themselves in order to survive.

    I ate lunch once at Elliotts. Pretty good. Reminded me of the old drug store from my home town, that's also closed now. I have fond memories of that place, how it looked, how it sounded. It even had a distinct, pleasing smell. I remember how they decorated for Christmas. Sometimes my dad would let me have a drink and burger from the grill.

  • oleguy Mar 19, 2013

    Wal greens,, aint the same I still use a old store, same one for over 60 years,,,,

  • LuvLivingInCary Mar 19, 2013

    sad...but we have a walgreens on every corner.