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Archive for Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Round Corner Drug, Cheese Shoppe closes

Downtown business was longest-running pharmacy in state

The Round Corner shop downtown closed its doors Wednesday.

July 8, 2009, 11:42 a.m. Updated July 8, 2009, 6:48 p.m.

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Another slice of downtown’s history is now history.

Wednesday evening’s closing of Round Corner Pharmacy and its Cheese & Salami Shoppe, 801 Mass., means the business surrendered its standing as the longest-running pharmacy in the state.

Owner Tom Wilcox, whose health concerns had diminished his time behind the store’s familiar back counter, has sold his pharmacy files to Walgreen’s. The fate of the iconic building — built in 1866, eight years after a pharmacy first opened at the corner — remains unclear.

But for Wilcox’s 23 employees, 400 pharmacy customers and even more people who might stop by just to look, pick up a candy bar or grab a sandwich, the end of an era arrived with a certain end.

“I feel sorry for Lawrence, because it’s losing a piece of its history,” said Bob Blank, who’s been getting his prescriptions filled at Round Corner for more than 50 years. “It will leave a void downtown, for sure. For a lot of people.”

Jean Snedeger will be refilling prescriptions somewhere else for the first time in 63 years, now that Round Corner is gone. And while she’ll survive, she’ll miss Wilcox’s personal approach, a way of doing business that’s been commonplace for decades inside the familiar brick building with the curved front.

“Everything was always on a personal basis — with a handshake and a promise — and I just liked that,” she said, thinking back through the years. “The personal part is going out. Everything is a big box anymore. I just prefer the hometown touch.”

Many of his customers knew that Wilcox might exit the business, and were supportive Wednesday of his decision to close. Just last month he’d acknowledged that he was in discussions to possibly sell the business.

“At some point you have to say enough’s enough,” he said at the time.

Chuck Fisher, whose family owned and operated Round Corner from 1943 to 1975, noted that the original pharmacy on the site had in fact survived Quantrill’s Raid, which sacked Lawrence in 1863.

Downtown’s latest shifts — including the closing of Arensberg Shoes, Silver Works and More, The Palace gift shop and upcoming shuttering of Blue Heron furnishings — may just indicate a shift of the central business district into an entertainment hub.

“Maybe this is the passing of an age,” Fisher said. “It’s the changing business.”

Karen Parker, who has worked as Wilcox’s executive assistant for nearly 10 years, said that a liquidation sale would be conducted from July 13 to 23.

She spent much of Wednesday answering phones, talking with customers and bracing for the closure. She expects the reality to set in during the coming weeks.

“It’s been here forever,” Parker said. “The customers, they’re sad. They hate to see this go. But they also have a loyalty to Tom. They understand.”

Comments

Ms_P_Lane 5 years, 5 months ago

Nooooooo! Who's next...Weaver's and Penny Annie's???

chewyfally 5 years, 5 months ago

Darn. That's the only place in town that sells my husband's mustache wax.

totealongshaker1 5 years, 5 months ago

man, this stinks! i wish i (we) could have had more notice of possible closure. i know i would have made an effort to get in there more, for anything i could, to give them more money than normal.
sad to see them leave.

1029 5 years, 5 months ago

No....

Can somebody (a soon-to-be-former-employee perhaps) post how to make the Kilroy? And any other sandwich recipes?

The Cheese Shoppe seemed to be doing great business. I can see how the Round Corner would go under, though. I lived about a block away for several years and wanted to support the place, but couldn't afford to buy stuff there. I tried once, but everything was at least double-triple the price of Dillon's, Walmart, etc--paper towels, batteries, etc. The prices of small items like that were insane in comparison.

jimmyjms 5 years, 5 months ago

Terrible news.

1029:

That's what Walmart does. It kills local business.

And we have two.

John Yocum 5 years, 5 months ago

Wait! Remember 1029 mentioned Dillons, too. We also have Target, Walgreens, CVC, Hy-Vee, etc. I seem to remember that they are corporate giants as well. So, did Wal-Mart alone cause this? Get over the Wal-Mart thing. It's getting tiresome to the point of rediculous.

mrbig 5 years, 5 months ago

I shop downtown all the time- but when I want groceries or generic stuff- I go to WalMart every time.. My grandmother also owns a store downtown, but I do love my WalMart =)

dontcallmedan 5 years, 5 months ago

Saticon- wal-mart is getting rediculous to the point of being tiresome.

dontcallmedan 5 years, 5 months ago

So mrbig would run over his grandmother to get to wal-mart?

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 5 months ago

I am sure this is not easy for Tom. He worked hard, and treated his customers well.

1029, those "front end" items you mention he carried for courtesy of customers...he made no money of these either. His revenue was from generating volume for pharmacy and passing discounts on to customers. His pharmacy prices were always among the lowest in town, even against the corporate giants. But margins are slimmer and slimmer.

zissou 5 years, 5 months ago

First Qdoba and now this. Soon there will be nothing left of historic downtown Lawrence!

bluerose 5 years, 5 months ago

very sad. what a loss for downtown - for Lawrence.

i seldom buy prescription medications (knock knock), but when i did, i always got my scrip filled at Round Corner.

any recommendations for small, local pharmacies in town? i would rather give my $$, even if a bit more, to a local biz than Walgreen's or CVS, please.

Bryan Wilcox 5 years, 5 months ago

zissou: umm.. When did Qdoba become a part of 'historic downtown Lawrence?' They weren't exactly an anchor business down there. The were only there for a year or two anyways and the food wasn't even that good!

gccs14r 5 years, 5 months ago

I wondered if they were about to close. I was in there about three weeks ago and the shelves were pretty bare.

grtnrse 5 years, 5 months ago

bluerose (and anyone and everyone else!) - Try Orchards Drugs at 15th and Kasold. Mark is wonderful there!

maxcrabb 5 years, 5 months ago

Well now I know were I'm going for lunch.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 5 months ago

"jimmyjms (Anonymous) says… That's what Walmart does. It kills local business."

Right... Walmart forced Round Corner to price higher than its competition. I knew it wouldn't take long for the "BLAME WALMART!!" crowd to show up.

On a positive note, RichardHecklerBot is advocating building up businesses in downtown, so perhaps he can get involved and buy into this space? Perhaps Richard Heckler's Hecklercare Pharmacy?

alm77 5 years, 5 months ago

We had a cheese and salami shop? What? I went to the drug store a couple of times.

You know, I got to thinking, maybe some of these stores should advertise? Being downtown (on prime real estate) is no longer enough. Getting your information out to as many people as possible never hurts. There are several stores downtown that I've never been in simply because I don't know what they have or what to expect if I were to go in there.

Just a fleeting thought, feel free to pick it apart.

John Yocum 5 years, 5 months ago

b_asinbeer - sorry I didn't do spell check today. In a hurry. Was there another point you wanted to make besides my spelling?

boot2009 5 years, 5 months ago

Jayhawk Pharmacy or Sigler Pharmacy would be great locally owned choices. Both deliver too!

Advertising is the key...and hours that make sense. How many downtown businesses don't open until 10a and then close at 5 or 6? And how many businesses are open on Saturday mornings when they could pick up great traffic from the Farmer's Market.

Sad that another business is gone.

sustainabilitysister 5 years, 5 months ago

We will miss you Tom and the rest of the Round Corner Drug family and employees. This is a huge loss for our community.

John Yocum 5 years, 5 months ago

I agree with the advertising piece. The issue is it cost so much to advertise and these poor folks are already paying incredible rent prices. Too bad the Lawrence downtown stores couldn't gather their forces and monies and send out a weekly downtown store ad. That would be cool.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 5 months ago

24 hour drive thru is almost a must anymore for a pharmacy.

Glitch 5 years, 5 months ago

Oddly, Tom's son works as a pharmacist at a KC Target

Curtis Lange 5 years, 5 months ago

Hadn't even realized there WAS a pharmacy downtown.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

The more empty buildings,houses,apartments and condo's the more increases in taxes,user fees(taxes) etc etc.

The city cannot survive on property taxes alone. It needs employed people living and spending in Lawrence at more than minimum wage jobs. Lawrence needs sales taxes.

After 25 years of expanding the tax base where did the money go? The more the city grows outward the more it cost to run Lawrence. Our bills have been expanding and so have have our taxes and user fees. Something did not work.

MONEY CULTURE Daniel Gross America the Over-Stored This decade's building frenzy produced a bumper crop of new retail space. But the occupants haven't materialized. http://www.newsweek.com/id/112762 =================================

Iamme 5 years, 5 months ago

I'm sorry but what part of the quote: "Last month, Wilcox acknowledged that health problems had limited his time at the pharmacy, and that he had been exploring options that might allow him to exit the business." has led everybody to blame big business? Wilcox wasn't quoted saying "Dammit all I can't compete with big business anymore!" In fact he's a customer at Walgreens himself, having transferred his files to them. He didn't transfer his files to Jayhawk, or Sigler, or Orchards, or any other local pharm. He transferred them to what I am guessing was the highest bidder, which is exactly what most people would do even if they weren't in financial trouble. Does it suck that our city is seeing more and more big business development? In my opinion yes. But that doesn't mean every business that closes down did so because a new Borders, Gap, or Wal-Mart opened. Think before you type. The devil isn't always involved.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

Economy In Crisis

Collapsing Infrastructure Published 06/19/09 Craig Harrington

America’s infrastructure is falling apart. Roads and bridges are in disrepair, the electrical grid is far behind, and our ability to manufacture goods or produce electricity is far behind the standards of other developed economies. Much of this is because the United States focused so much of its efforts over the past several decades on building up the consumer economy to the detriment of every other sector.

There is no doubting that the United States has become an almost purely consumer driven economy. Our citizens purchase more goods and services than any other people in the world. Our economy derives more of its growth from consumption than any other nation, and our growing annual trade deficits are a testament to that fact.

Now however even our consumer infrastructure is falling apart. According to a posting on Manufacturethis.org, the United States has roughly six times more retail space than any other nation. Shopping malls and big-box stores were built to soak up the consumption dollars of Americans eager to buy as much as possible. Now, with the economy in turmoil and disposable income dwindling, those stores lay empty in barren shopping centers around the country.

This is the primary reason that the government and corporate media have trumpeted the so-called “recovery” for so long. Their hope is to convince Americans to get back out into the shopping malls and start purchasing goods again. But after decades of spending hard earned money on foreign-made goods there is simply nothing left in American coffers to spend on frivolous novelties. The once bustling shops are now dormant.

A recent article in The New York Times has highlighted the fact that America simply has too much retail space. When not filled with shoppers these spaces are completely useless to society. The article discusses the possibility of retrofitting these spaces into something useful like schools, libraries, community centers, etc.

The idea of changing the retail landscape into something more purposeful is championed in the book Retrofitting Suburbia by Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson. It has many suggestions like those previously mentioned, but it notes the difficulties in such changes. These locations are often stuck in long-term lease agreements, making them difficult to convert even when abandoned.

If the U.S. were to lead a drive to remake empty retail spaces, and revive collapsing urban infrastructure, it could create jobs and growth opportunities for years to come. At some point the U.S will have to be “redesigned” in one way or another, and there is no better time to start than now.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

"A recent article in The New York Times has highlighted the fact that America simply has too much retail space. When not filled with shoppers these spaces are completely useless to society. The article discusses the possibility of retrofitting these spaces into something useful like schools, libraries, community centers, etc"

kthxbi 5 years, 5 months ago

lamme- take your sense making somewhere else! We here at ljworld do not keep with the sense making.

Eride 5 years, 5 months ago

I don't really care about the Pharmacy... but the Cheese Shop?! NOOOOOO!!!!

BigPrune 5 years, 5 months ago

Due to the former Progressive City Commission imposing their restrictions and their lackadaisical replacements it will only take 6 months to a year and 10's of thousands of dollars for a business to re-occupy that building. Thank you merrill and your henchmen for killing our town.

SandCoAlmanac 5 years, 5 months ago

It's been years for me -- decades, even -- but didn't there used to be a pharmacy near the hosptial? I thought it was family owned ....

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 5 months ago

There are lots of great business opportunities in downtown Lawrence.

Mass St. will always be an attraction for many people. Now businesses just need to figure out what they can offer these people. Certainly better hours are very important to any business plan downtown. Also having an on-line component is crucial to subsidize costs of having a storefront and can very easily make more money than their in-store sales.

I have every confidence that Downtown Lawrence is still a fantastic place to do business and always will be.

The fact that we have such a great Downtown area is a testament to the strength of Lawrence when you look at the "downtown" area of most other towns.

GO LAWRENCE!!!

bd2 5 years, 5 months ago

True, it is stll a wonderful downtown...but there do seem to be a lot of empty storefronts lately!

bunnyhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

thank you walmart, walgreen and cvs......you've deprived lawrence of one of the very best pharmacists EVER and the only pharmacy in Lawrence that provided caring service to east Lawrence and downtown area residents who will never get that level of care and attention from the 'superstore' pharmacies.

This is a community loss and a family loss that has been crammed down our throats by huge retail and insurance corporations that have never had the interests of our community in mind............unlike the Wilcox family who has contributed to our common well being in countless ways through their business and their volunteerism. Hope you all are happy with Wal-mart. My heart is broken!!! I wish the Wilcox's the very best and some well-deserved R&R!!!!!!! You will be missed!!!!!

dlkrm 5 years, 5 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

“A recent article in The New York Times has highlighted the fact that America simply has too much retail space. When not filled with shoppers these spaces are completely useless to society. The article discusses the possibility of retrofitting these spaces into something useful like schools, libraries, community centers, etc”

This makes absolutely no sense. Schools, libraries, and community centers consume money, they don't create wealth. To create wealth, Lawrence needs a manufacturing boom, but the leftists in town won't allow anything that might cause a loss of greenspace, or whatever the groovy term is these days.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

Merrill, you are totally out to lunch, posting your cut-and-paste spam again. completely irrelevant.

we remember you are in favor of: power outages to save energy; broken streets as passive traffic calming devices; living in caves to save the world; etc.

Round Corner is not closing because of what's on your agenda.

it also isn't closing because of Merrill's cronies!


yes!
the deli was wonderful, ate the Kilroy, one good sandwich though I liked it with pastrami instead of the smoke turkey.

Tom Wilcox was my pharmacist for 24-years. he's been a friend, kept me and my family safe and has been a very caring man. one of the kindest hearted businessmen I've ever met.

he sold to Walgreen's. walgreen's does deliver and knowing tom, I think it was more than just to the highest bidder. .


somebody asked about pharmacy near the hospital: Medical arts pharmacy 346 Maine. good guy was running it last I knew, and they did deliver.

vermont 5 years, 5 months ago

Arensbergs, Palace, Round Corner, Cheese Shop...who's next? And what's with Buffalo Bob's Bar (Dynamite Saloon)? I thought he was against the proliferation on Bars and Restaurants on MASS!

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

OMG, I see the hate-walmart/hate corporate hippybots are out in force today.

don't think CVS/Wal-mart had a hand in this.

it is sad, losing Round Corner, the second oldest pharmacy west of the Mississippi I believe.

I hope Tom got a good buyout so his well-earned retirement will be quite comfortable.

primary cause of this closing: health!

h e a l t h!

you know, it might feel good in those little limited worlds of these people to just hate wal-mart/CVS, but it hurts themselves too.

Iamme 5 years, 5 months ago

bunnyhawk,

Please read the article again, and take your anti-corporate picket line elsewhere. Round Corner closed because it was time for the owner to retire.

leapinlemur 5 years, 5 months ago

I'm very sorry to see them go. I used the pharmacy there whenever it was possible to do so and it was very nice to have the "convenience shop" elements of the operation so close to my office.

I would like to point out to some of the people posting here that Tom chose to close the store for health reasons (read the article). Perhaps it was not as profitable as it has been in the past, but I see no reason to make the logical leap to blaming Wal-Mart, CVS and Walgreens. They had their own niche market that I think was rather stable, even if perhaps aging.

By the way, can anyone verify whether this will be the end of the streak? The longest running business of the same type (pharmacy) west of the Mississippi? A friend who owns the original owner's house now reported from his historical research on the guy (Woodward) revealed that he owned the pharmacy pre-Quantrill although he was not a pharmacist. This is also supposed to be the same Woodward that the county in Oklahoma is named after -- something of a railroad tycoon as well.

ravenjayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Time for city leaders to get creative to save downtown. At this point it is crucial for them to lower downtown taxes, utilities, and give financial perks to all Mass street district businesses. Downtown is what makes Lawrence what it is. This could just be a one or two year approach.

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 5 months ago

Downtown Lawrence will definitely build up.

I have a clear vision of the not-to-distant future when New Hampshire & Vermont St have blocks of businesses like Mass St.

There's room for SOOOOO many types of businesses that could thrive in Downtown Lawrence and businesses that could set up here just because it's a fantastic location.

GO LAWRENCE!!!!

lori 5 years, 5 months ago

Thank you for your service to our community, Tom! We will miss Round Corner, both the pharmacy AND the cheese shoppe. I hope you enjoy a well-earned retirement.

Alwaysajayhawk24 5 years, 5 months ago

Wal-Mart, CVS. etc. may not have played a role in the closing of Round Corner Pharmacy, BUT be certain that some of the reasons no other pharmacist wanted to buy the store and continue to run it as an independent pharmacy are Wal-Mart, CVS, etc. As a young pharmacist who works in a small independent pharmacy, I feel the squeeze the chains are putting on my boss and his 2 pharmacies EVERYDAY. The chains are willing to sign contracts with insurance companies that cause them to lose money filling prescriptions. They make up for it in selling cheap crap at cheap (yet profitable) prices to the masses. As independents we don't have the huge front ends or the buying power of the chains and we often resort to keeping our profit margins small to keep our prices competitive. We spend money delivering to our patients, going to their homes on our own time after hours to help sort out confusing medications and make sure our patients are taking them correctly, and driving into the pharmacy in the middle of the night to fill a prescription so a nursing home patient gets a medication that someone had forgotten to reorder while we were open. We make money through customer service. While good pharmacists work everywhere (chains, independents, hospitals, etc.) very few offer the personal services that independents offer. While customer service is fantastic, young pharmacists realize it takes a lot of hard work to make money running an independent pharmacy, and few want to work that hard or take the financial risks involved with owning their own pharmacy. With a chain pharmacy on every corner offering jobs with higher salaries and no financial risk, more and more pharmacists will opt to work for the chains, leaving the independent pharmacies to slowly fade away.

BigPrune 5 years, 5 months ago

a little merrill rubbing off on me: paste Due to the former Progressive City Commission imposing their restrictions on new businesses and their lackadaisical replacements, it will only take 6 months to a year and 10's of thousands of dollars gambled for a business to re-occupy that building.

Thank you merrill and your henchmen for killing our town. Another empty store front to add to your list that cannot be occupied in a timely manner due to your local government over-regulation.

Scattered 5 years, 5 months ago

Oh, I am so sorry to read this. The Downtown Lawrence I have known and loved for forty years is quickly fading away...

I am "out-of-town" Mom, and I remember how kind Mr. Wilcox was in offering to go far beyond the expected in helping to control one of my KU student's asthma problems (which had been very neglected by a physician).

I pray that he can be blessed with better health in his retirement.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

the Kilroy as I recall: maybe on Rye bread. grilled peppers, grilled onions, and I think grilled garlic. smoked turkey [as I noted above I liked the pastrami instead]. mayo?

yum.

the cheese shop always had great soups too.


on further reflection, I do believe that Merrill and his ilk have made it impossible to get another pharmacy in there, or someone to buy out Tom and run Round Corner.
indeed, taxes too high downtown. parking/traffic [special thanks to Merrill himself].

and, Merrill and his ilk nationally are pushing for Obamacare, which makes people quite leary to invest in new healthcare related businesses. Obama is criticizing doctor's pay; that'll result in fewer doctors if it continues or results in legislation limiting Docs' pay. He is extending the reach of the federal government into all kinds of businesses and their compensation. if you are a small business operator, you don't need the federal government deciding when you've made "enough" money.
So, thanks Merrill, you and your fellows I'm sure made it impossible to get a new owner, or a new pharmacy in there.

mary_jane 5 years, 5 months ago

Please, if you want to support another locally owned pharmacy go to the Medical Arts pharmacy by the hospitol. When I found myself absolutley broke and had to go back to work after having a baby, the owner donated a breast pump to me. I will never forget his generosity and care for the best interest of my son.

To the Wilcox family, thank you for your service to our community. You will be missed.

George_Braziller 5 years, 5 months ago

Please tell me that was supposed to be a joke.

KUweatherman (Curtis Lange) says… Hadn't even realized there WAS a pharmacy downtown.

wordgenie8 5 years, 5 months ago

Downtown could definitely use more convenience shop type establishments. It would really help Lawrence be more pedestrian-friendly. Most shopping venues available downtown are just not all that practical. Never before lived in such a spread out place where you can't just walk to the corner for a newspaper or a candy bar/quart of milk. I'm fairly new here, but this pharmacy was one of my first happy discoveries. Blessings for the proprietor and especially any displaced employees. Thanks for all your service and community contributions. We'll miss you.

George_Braziller 5 years, 5 months ago

wordgenie8 - Until about 15 years ago downtown was the place you are talking about. Bars and restaurants have now taken over what was once a place where you could purchase things you needed for everyday life.

kansasmutt 5 years, 5 months ago

Taxation and corp greed is killing all mom and pop stores.i bet they paid $8.000.00 or more a year just in tax on that place and for what ? It is sad to see another great traditional store close up.Corp greed is going to sink us all. Large company C E O s get richer by the Billions and smaller businesses just go away. Like KPL they can have a guy embezeling millions and they are so rich and powerful it took years for them to notice. But when they ask for billions from us, Yip, they get it no questions asked.All those cost,s add up and are killing small businesses. I know our business is now paying lots more for Gas , Electric and phones. In 2 years its went up about 45% .Insurance and tax,s up around 60% , its never ending. I just hope that when we are bleed dry, the powerful leaders land in the gutter and suffer like common workin folks. I would be happy to walk by and spit on them , while they beg for food.Ya know, A real depression is upon us and the wealthiest of wealthy are about to find out what happens when the workers are all gone. It aint gona be perty folks.

Bill Lee 5 years, 5 months ago

For more than twenty years I have been telling people that the biggest problem downtown Lawrence has is that it's downtown. When Lawrence was smaller and most of us lived within walking distance of downtown, it was convenient, but that's no longer true. Most of us now live far enough away that we have to drive, which means having to deal with the parking inconveniences...meters or no spots available. It's easier to drive to a big box store with a huge, free parking lot. Retail outlets in the rest of town do have better hours. More and more of us work out of town so find it easier to shop where we work and bring the stuff home with us, eliminating the need to shop when we get back to Lawrence. There are no grocery stores downtown anymore because they couldn't compete with the newer, larger stores south and west of downtown. More and more of us complain about having a lack of time to do anything. This means that we always look for what's convenient.

Downtown has survived lately on the bars and restaurants that are open in the evening, but even they are beginning to feel the compelition of staying at home. Drive through windows and food delivery has cut into restaurant business. A once thriving music scene is falling victim to people who don't go out as often as they used to. This is not true only in Lawrence but across the county. Entertainment dollars have more places to be spent than ever before. Shopping and entertainment delivered to our homes by cable and/or computer make going out (downtown) less attractive an option each year. Chalk it up to "progress" or "change" or whatever...it's happening, and it isn't slowing down.

jenniflip 5 years, 5 months ago

Wow. We have to DRIVE to downtown? I suppose you live within walking distance of Walmart? (or Dillon's, or actually bother to walk there as opposed to driving if that's true.) I suppose when you park at Walmart that you don't have to WALK to the entrance? Lawrence is not that big of a town. It really doesn't take more than about 15-20 minutes to get anywhere. Try living in a rural town where you have to drive 30-45 minutes minimum to get groceries. We make choices as consumers and and voters. You can blame big business, the city, whomever you please. In the end, it's called accountability.

KS 5 years, 5 months ago

Hum! I guess I didn't know one could "sell" private health information such as your prescriptions. Sort of takes away a little of the HIPPA concept. The closing was bound to happen though.

kansasmutt 5 years, 5 months ago

marion) Are you a full blown squarehead by any chance ?
Corp greed has alot to do with downtown Lawrence. The school district is corp now with the republicans running it , thus wasting billions over the years to build unneeded schools and sports complex,s that are out of this world. This leeds to unbelievable tax rates , that trickle down to every business. As for your lousy parking ? Parking downtown is great, never had to wait at all for a spot. Marion, i really dont think you have a clue as to what it takes nor cost to operate a business. You may need to go to your Repub website and chat with your fellow squareheads for fun. You dont show you know much about the real world. I am sorry to have to let you know that.......... Have an awesome day . God bless

luv2raft 5 years, 5 months ago

This so sad! Round Corner was an icon!

Kris_H 5 years, 5 months ago

I'll miss the idea of Round Corner Drugs, though I haven't lived in Lawrence for many years. I hope that gorgeous old building can somehow be preserved.

The business climate changes all the time, even when times are good. One specific closing isn't something that can be blamed on any particular event or corporation. I wish the owner well in his retirement.

As far as selling prescription files, they went to another pharmacy, where one would hope the same rules of patient privacy apply. You can move your own files elsewhere quite easily.

As a still-frequent visitor to Lawrence, and consumer of many great meals downtown, I would certainly hate to see all that nice free parking done away with. I don't arrive by bike or on foot. Don't make it harder for those of us who love what Lawrence still has, even if we can't live there.

jaq 5 years, 5 months ago

No tears here. Mr. Wilcox was a bad man who tried to forcibly detain me in the basement there. While the sandwiches were good, it was pretty well a mess back there. That place was Shady!

poppygirl 5 years, 5 months ago

Ahhh, the good ole days of downtown, when Woolsworth, Ben Franklin, Litwins and Raney Drugs were icons !

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 5 months ago

RichardHecklerBot with the same nonsensical cut-and-pastes. Ironic that on this thread he bemoans too much retail and yet on another thread, he argues for more national retail downtown. Which is it, RichardHecklerBot?

twackerslow 5 years, 5 months ago

My grandparents (James/JoAnn Salyer) use to run Round Corner for years. As a matter of fact I was raised upstairs. I will always remember the wonderful memories of Round Corner. This is a sad, sad event for our family.

RuralKsGirl 5 years, 5 months ago

Amen, poppygirl!

It's sad to see Round Corner closing. I have good memories of visiting the pharmacy with my mom when I was a kid, to get prescriptions or just to stop in while we were shopping downtown. And as an adult, I worked downtown and got lunch at the Cheese Shop pretty regularly. Fantastic roast beef & swiss sandwiches!

You will be missed, Tom. Thoughts and prayers will be with you, and much appreciation for so many years of dedication and hard work!

Drew Alan 5 years, 5 months ago

how do all of those loyal local shoppers feel about having to either go to walgreens to get their scripts or having to transfer away from walgreens? I guess a corporate pharm would be the one willing to buy all those scripts.

keep your prescriptions local. If you want the type of personal care that Round Corner offered, Orchards Drug is excellent, as are Jayhawk, Medical Arts, and Sigler.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

Gl0ck, I was LMAO at your idea of a Hecklerbot pharmacy!

if he had a pharmacy: he'd often ignore what the doctors prescribed and give patients what he thought they should have. he would ignore patients' choices of nonprescription items and force them to buy what they didn't choose.
he would use his pharmacy to undermine doctors' incomes. he would run his pharmacy on greenie principles so you'd go in there and it'd be 58F in the winter, and 85F in summer. and, "we don't need no stinkin' refrigeration for medicines!"
he's force you to recycle pill bottles.
and, if you asked him about medicine interactions, he'd tell you to put up with them, since humans pollute the world. if you drove to the pharmacy, he would charge you a higher price.
there'd be a roundabout at the corner by Hecklerbot pharmacy.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

None2 writes:

Your forgetting that he would also charge higher rates to people from North Lawrence and west Lawrence — basically everybody who doesn't live downtown or east Lawrence. The surcharge on North Lawrence residences would be for his grand plan to turn the place into an eco-swamp. The surcharge on west Lawrence would be to bring back the buffalo herds, as well as bring in cougars & wolves.

As to the round-a-bout, perhaps a more catchy name of the pharmacy would be: Round-a-bout Corner Drug Store.

---absolutely! oh, he's probably got some catchy little name for the north lawrence eco-swamp! he would not only charge you according to where you live, he'd charge you according to your so-called "carbon footprint" and your support of liberal loon causes.
and, if you participate in nude hiking, he might give you a discount.

Roundabout corner drugs, great name.

Melissa Sigler 5 years, 5 months ago

There are several locally owned pharmacies in town that can compete with the big chains as far as prices go. I would hope people wouldn't be fooled by the gimmicks of the chain stores. Just because they can nationally advertise "cheap" prescriptions doesn't mean independents can't offer similar, or even BETTER, prices. People go to those places because they are 24 hour pharmacies (but honestly, when is the last time you needed a script at 3am?) There are several independents in town that offer delivery (sometimes free!) services in Lawrence (Sigler Pharmacy, Orchards, Jayhawk, etc) and they also offer the personal attention and service that you KNOW the big chains don't.

How many people have I heard whine about Walgreens and the like and how they lost their prescriptions, had to wait for 3 hours for a single script, etc? Too many. It's sad that it had to come to this, but honestly I think the people that actually value the home-town business (such as Round Corner) will leave Walgreens and find a better option to fill their scripts.

George_Braziller 5 years, 5 months ago

Blah, blah, blah, blah. I knew the trolls like marion, one-eye wilbur, bearded gnome, and glock owner would swoop down within seconds on this one.

Blah, blah, blah. Go ahead. Enlighten us all with your brilliance.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

of course Georgie doesn't identify one point where I am wrong. and all the Hecklerbot references come from Merrill's own postings. labeling me a "troll" says more about you George.


Msigler, I was a patient of Tom at Round Corner for 24-years.
today I had a couple of things to talk with Walgreens' pharmacy about.

well I'll tell you, after my experience with them today I'm this close to looking for another local pharmacy. I decided to try Walgreens because Tom did sell to them, and I've never had reason to mistrust him.

but just one more problem in the next week or so, and Walgreens will be history. I may call your pharmacy.

micki 5 years, 5 months ago

okay. i guess my first comment didnt post.

i am a former employee. and since i want the killroy to live on...here is the recipe! mesquite turkey and bacon. on your favorite kind of bread. with mushrooms bell peppers and onions melted together with yummy pepperjack cheese. enjoy enjoy enjoy. any other questions (that are sandwich related) do ask.

the cheese shoppe loves you. and we will miss you all.

volunteer 5 years, 5 months ago

I had no idea it was closing, waked in because I needed floss after a good barbecue lunch and paid 4.90 for Glide floss...

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

Round Corner Drug by Katelyn Anderson

On the corner of Massachusetts and 8th Street stands the oldest drug store in Kansas. The Round Corner Drug Store, its name given by the shape of a round entrance to the building, has been open for the last one hundred and forty-seven years.

Brinton Webb Woodward established the Round Corner Drugstore in 1855. Woodward came to Kansas from Pennsylvania with the intent of settling down in Leavenworth, Kansas. He came to Lawrence for a visit and decided to stay and open a drug store. Woodward borrowed $2,000 from his father to help him begin his business. In 1855 the first drug store in Kansas was officially opened at 634 Massachusetts Street.

During the Civil War, the store stayed opened and thrived. In August of 1863 the city of Lawrence was to have its most morbid moment in history. Quantrill's raiders burned the original drug store at 634 Massachusetts. Woodward narrowly escaped death when a horse reared in the street as a distraction while Woodward crawled into a nearby well.

When Woodward died, his two sons inherited the drugstore. The two sons, Brinton D. and Chester Woodward had complete ownership up until the 1950's when Melville Fisher bought interest. Fisher's sons, Tom and Chuck took the corporation and co-owned it with a group of partners.

Jim Salyer bought into the corporation in 1970 in time for the merger between Round Corner Drugstore and Rankin Drugstore in 1974. In 1984, Salyer bought out the rest of the partners in the store. Salyer sold the drugstore business to Tom Wilcox, but still owns the building.

The drugstore has gone through many owners and remodeling of the inside. The store and its promise to patrons have remained the same for the last 147 years.

http://history.lawrence.com/project/student/kanderson/roundcorner.htm

George_Braziller 5 years, 5 months ago

Marion - Still waiting for your words of "brilliance." Blah, blah, blah. Just more of your verbal masturbation.

twiggy10 5 years, 5 months ago

I am a Pharmacist at Walgreens on 6th St and have been employed there since 2001. I may be a “big chain” employee, but I try my hardest to give every patient the friendliest and best service every time they walk into the Pharmacy. Convenience is a must nowadays and having a 24 hour Pharmacy available is essential for everyone. Having worked the evenings, weekends and overnight shifts on a regular basis, it’s a great feeling to know that we are there for numerous people and situations that cannot wait until “normal” working hours. Please stop by to see me and my co-workers and I’m confident we can rid you of all the negative feelings concerning “chain” Pharmacies. Most important, remember we ARE on your side and we will try our hardest to find the best and most cost effective treatment for you and be willing to answer your questions anytime. To have the support and respect by the community as Tom Wilcox and Round Corner Pharmacy has, is an outstanding achievement and I would just like to say that he will be missed by many including me, as he is a great Pharmacist.

sunflower_sue 5 years, 5 months ago

I love how so many pick on chain drugstores when you obviously shop there. I, for one, have used Round Corner (although it's been years), Target, and Walgreens. I stopped using Round Corner simply because it was not convenient. It was not on my "path," and parking was always a problem. I love the fact that Walgreens is open 24 hours (really been helpful numerous times), and I have always gotten great service. If I had a question, it got answered by a pharmacist who was always polite and knowledgable.
I'm sad, for nostalgic reasons, that Round Corner is closing. But, personally, I won't miss them. (I may miss the cheese...)

pimeamark 5 years, 5 months ago

Cheese shoppe nooOoOOoooOO... :/ I was wondering why they didn't seem to be restocking things lately. Wish i would've known man, woulda got one more Italian on white hoagie. That was seriously the best sandwich in town. You guys should relocate!

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