Joe Reich surveys the aisles of his pharmacy as he walks toward the front, winding his way around a cart with dry goods an employee has parked by the food shelves. He exchanges warm hellos with a few customers he greets by name.
Elizabeth Pharmacy, a fixture since 1910 at 5041 Second Ave. in Hazelwood, is much like the old-fashioned general store where people mingle to talk about news of the day on their way to work or home. Reich stocks just about anything people might need, from food and clothing items to household and lawn care goods, games, puzzles, school supplies—even flags, portable radios and blow-up swimming pools for outdoor fun in the summer.
“Just years of knowing what people want,” he shrugs with a smile.
With its newly painted bright blue and yellow entrance and flashy display windows, the store is eye-catching on the street, and people are popping in to ask about the progress of its remodeling. Painstaking restoration work is starting to reveal the building’s true potential, and Reich is eager for the day he can remove the temporary plywood hallway leading to the rear pharmacy and welcome folks for a grand opening.
“I’m going to set up a Facebook page with before and after pictures. I’ve got all the pictures of what it looked like before.”
He says the promise of the redevelopment of Hazelwood motivated him to buy the pharmacy six years ago.
“Big things are coming,” says Reich, of Carrick, who came here straight out of Duquesne University’s School of Pharmacy in 1977.