By Marjorie Cohen
A few days ago, my friend and neighbor Judy Gold (the comedian) called me from Florida where she was doing stand up. Judy usually makes me laugh when she calls but not this time. “I’ve got bad news for you,” she said. “Nobody died, it’s not that bad, but it’s bad: Peter is closing his store on Monday!”
The Peter she was talking about is Peter Chin, the owner of Peter’s Pharmacy on Amsterdam Avenue between 91st and 92nd Streets, who closed his doors on October 2 after 14 years at that location.
Stores close all the time on the Upper West Side but for all of us who live in the West 90’s, Peter’s Pharmacy was a very special place — exactly the kind of local business that every New Yorker wants, needs and wishes for. His store was a warm and welcoming place. No matter how busy he may have been, he would take time to talk to customers and was always, always willing to do whatever he could to help them–check with their insurance companies to smooth the way for coverage, make calls to doctors for refills, explain any possible drug interactions or how best to take the medication.
But Judy’s news is not all bad. Peter won’t be abandoning us. Although his store is closing, he is moving over to Duane Reade on 94th and Broadway and says that he is ready and willing to continue serving all of us just as he has for the past 14 years, just in a different setting. Peter sent us a note about the change.
“I spent the better part of 14 years to make Peter’s Pharmacy a successful operation. Sadly, I am forced to close for reasons I do not want to go into. It was my dream to open a business on the upper west side to be able to work with patients and customers. I wanted to create a warm, caring, and friendly environment so that people of all background, and age groups can come to visit, and ask questions concerning their health. Heck, I even talk to them about sports and politics. I am very fortunate and blessed to have met so many people that I now consider to be close friends and family. Many people have expressed shock and sadness that I am closing the store, and I really appreciate the outpouring of love that I have received from them. It was a tough 14 years, working long hours and not being able to take a single vacation. Looking back, I would not change a single thing, and would do the exact same thing given the chance.”
We’d rather that Peter would stay exactly where he has been for the past 14 years, but things change and as long as we’re not losing Peter–and he’s staying in the neighborhood–all is not lost. We all wish Peter the best in his new digs and look forward to working with him for many, many more years.
Photos by Marjorie Cohen.
Editor’s Note: Isn’t this exactly how ‘You’ve Got Mail’ ended?