The Pillbox Pharmacy in Kaimuki, one of the last few remaining independent pharmacies in the state, is closing its doors for good after 46 years in business.
Second-generation business owner Stuart McElhaney said the pharmacy’s last day will be Saturday, Nov. 14. Doors will close at 3 p.m. at 1133 11th Ave., ending a chapter in Kaimuki history.
McElhaney’s father, James Lee McElhaney, opened the neighborhood pharmacy in November 1974, according to Stuart McElhaney. So he chose a date in November, as well, to close the doors.
“We’re so happy we lasted eight years longer than my father said we would,” he said..“All those people that loved my father so much still got to come here … but it’s reality, and we are nothing but grateful. We had a phenomenal 46-year run.”
Prior to the pandemic, McElhaney said the business had been struggling to compete with larger entities and corporations.
But he still has longtime customers that remember his father and many regulars.
On top of it all, the popular Cascade Glacier ice cream the pharmacy is known for will no longer be available because it is no longer carried by the wholesaler, he said.
For 20 years, customers came in to buy the ice cream from Oregon, with smiles on their faces, he said.
McElhaney was going to see if a restaurant in the neighborhood could continue offering the popular ice cream. Instead, he says he will offer other brands of ice cream until closing day.
He has three employees, but they will be okay, he said, and likely find other positions.
McElhaney said he would be launching a website that can be found with a search for “Pillox Pharmacy” so that he could stay in touch with customers.