Schmitt's Rexall Drug to move into larger space

February 02, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer

In about a month, Schmitt's Rexall Drug store in Westminster will ease its growing pains.

On March 7, the pharmacy's owners will move half the business to 99 W. Main St., the former Miller Electric building. The present location at 55 E. Main St. will be retained as a convenience store of sorts that will continue to sell liquor, paper goods and other items, said co-owner Forest Howell.

"If you've ever been in the store, you know there's a real space problem," Mr. Howell said. "Our new space will be approximately twice as large."

Current plans include retaining the store's famed lunch counter, known for selling nickel colas long after it was considered unprofitable. Five-cent sodas now are reserved for customers who get prescriptions filled or who have bought $5 worth of merchandise.

"We'll sell a little bit of everything," Mr. Howell said. "The new location will sell prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. It will be more of a professional store."

The move probably will not affect Rexall's liquor license, said county liquor board Administrator J. Ronald Lau. Rexall's has a Class A Beer, Wine and Liquor license, the kind usually given to package goods stores. "They are sending us a letter advising us of what they intend to do, but I don't see where it will create a problem," Mr. Lau said. "From our point of view, they're licensed as a package goods store, not a drugstore."

The East Main Street building, constructed in the 1800s, has been a pharmacy for the past 75 or 80 years, said Mr. Howell, who bought the business with his partner, Dennis Rosenbloom, from Irv "Doc" Goodman in 1989.

Mr. Goodman operated the business for 25 to 30 years after buying it from Fred Schmitt, Mr. Howell said. Mr. Schmitt, who owned the business for about 25 years, bought it from two men named Wehler and King, he said.

"I have an old label of theirs," Mr. Howell said, referring to Mr. Wehler and Mr. King. "The address on it is 55 E. Main St., Westminster, Md."

Many of Rexall's customers walk to the store for prescriptions, said Mr. Howell, noting that the trading area is about a half-mile radius around the business.

"The community has always supported this store," he said. "I don't have any regrets about the location. We have just physically outgrown the building."

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