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New Neighborhood Pharmacy Closes

Photo: QueensPost

April 14, 2012 By Christian Murray

New Neighborhood Pharmacy is typically closed on Saturdays since the owner observes the Jewish Sabbath.

However, today the store’s front gate was down for another reason. New Neighborhood Pharmacy, located at 45-12 Greenpoint Ave., has closed for good.  Most of the items that had been in the store had been removed, leaving little more than the bare floor.

A sign on the front gate notified the store’s current customers that their prescription records had been transferred to Rite Aid, the big-box store that is located just one block away.

The manager at the Rite Aid branch located at 46-02 Greenpoint Ave. confirmed that New Neighborhood had closed.

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Great, so what’s going to open up now? ANOTHER 99 cents store and/or Pawn Shop? What is going on with Sunnyside?

Patricia Dorfman

John, I don’t know. There is a fluctuating group of about 180 or so members. All of the chamber members are highlighted by orange stickers in the site, but you would have to go through guess. The BID contains some of the same members, and has I think, around 285 merchants, within their geographic footprint, and those may be found at Those are not marked as union or not either.

Not sure why you are asking. I am in a union myself, the Director’s Guild, but when i worked on the other side, e.g., hiring film union workers, we had to be competitive and fair to clients, and we had to eat a lot of the costs. The big chains would be more competitive if made to by our buying habits.

Aside:”We gotta a lotta”… When we first put up the new Chamber site about five years ago, (which i designed for free to pat myself on the back), Chris Whalen and Jun Medina compiled a directory of every business in town, numbering around 750 (similar to what Alyssa had once done at the BID). That list is down and out of date, and just the members are up. However, interestingly, at the time, by far the largest group, about 28%, of local businesses were not drug stores, but…barbershops and beauty salons!

John K. Wilson

Could you kindly answer a question that has been nagging me for some time? How many, if any, of the businesses affiliated with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce have unionized work forces?


No one is going to listen to you if you start off my telling someone to shut up. That’s uncalled for and inappropriate. We are all going to ignore you until you apologize to Patricia and start behaving. Her comments were welcomed by the readers.


My rejoinder to people who have gripes about chain pharmacies:

1) Patricia, Shut Up !

2) Big chain pharmacies and volume discounters are here to stay. Their shareholders demand this. Public shopping habits and convenience demands it. We yearn for the mom and pop model nostalgia but, our very addiction to heavily discounted cheap goods manufactured with outsourced foreign labor says otherwise. We love tax free shipping.

3)They force cashiers to demand a membership card or phone number at every purchase for a reason: There are too many of you! Hence the need for personalized marketing. Don’t worry about your personal information. They know more than you think. How do you expect them to make up for those heavy discounts if they can’t sell your information or convince you to buy more than Gobstoppers?

4) They pay rent. Why would they let people gunk up their windows with fliers when they are never take down even after the event is over?

5) yes chain pharmacies ask their pharmacists to perform more task. However, where is your data proving that chain pharmacists are often paid less than a private pharmacy? This is like the false student-teacher ratio arguments used by parents and politicians.

6) Big boxers add fresh foods to their inventories because your shopping habits demand those items.

7) Why become a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce when Big boxers already have corporate advertising? So much good that $125 membership did for New neighborhood Pharmacy. Tell that to the food town workers who will soon see the business close.

8) Prices for prescription drugs at big boxers are exactly the same at privately-owned pharmacies because drug prices are regulated by the state government.

There are too many dead business zones and empty stores in Sunnyside. What we need are more businesses that cater to the needs of sunnysiders, while increasing employment in the community. I am sure there is an optimal trade-off point between community concerns and employment. There is no need to boycott a pharmacy that provides jobs and convenience to a lot of people.

tupac wannabe

with so much pharmacy competition you need a hook, something that separates you from the others – yes, I’m talking of course about illegal surgery in the back room. NO BIG DEAL!!! they do this in Central America. in and out, cash only. SE HABLA ESPANOL, EL PEEPEE MAS GRANDE! $75.

i for one

Thank you for sharing your perspective. Interesting.
Do you have any insight as to why there are so many small pharmacies around here? I wonder how they survive…

Patricia Dorfman

Please support your local private pharmacies

Personal gripes about the chain pharmacies:

1) They force their cashiers to demand a membership card or phone number for every purchase so they can harvest our purchase decisions for corporate financial use. I don’t really want them to add to my already embarrassing medical dossier or note when I buy Gobstoppers.
2) They are not members of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, which costs $125 a year. When asked why, the managers say corporate refuses to reimburse them. I pay $125, and no one reimburses me. So the small pharmacies, more likely to be members, make less and pay to support us.
3) The big box pharmacies, meaning CVS, Rite Aid and Duane Reade, do not let local groups post flyers in their windows, saying the practice is not allowed.
4) Their managers are rarely members of local service groups, such as Kiwanis, Lions, Boys & Girls Club, groups expressly formed to fill local needs.
5) Chain pharmacists are often paid less than a private pharmacy, and asked to do tasks so that the stores can save on clerical and janitorial tasks. Ask them.
6) Big boxers seem to add more and more products to their stores, like fresh food, which competes with struggling food purveyors.
7) I have never had a problem returning an item to a small pharmacy.
8) If you check, you will find that the prices for prescription drugs are exactly the same at privately-owned pharmacies, which are sometimes even futher discounted.
9) Corporate parents of chainis sponsors massive ad campaigns touting how friendly and caring each store is about us, but often in practice that cannot be true due to understandable constraints. Pharmacists now by law are increasingly made to be the drug police and question what used to be a doctor’s prerogative. And even on small matters, rules can be bizarre. For instance, an artist friend was prevented from duplicating her own photos at a local chain because she could not prove she owned the copyright, which she found impossible to do. One understands the corporation’s fear of lawsuits, as they are probably targeted more often due to deeper pockets, but a local store would know her by sight, or be more afraid of losing her business than of corporate wrath.

If the big chains want to have our business, let’s ask that they support local concerns. (This goes for the fast food chains, too. White Castle, to my knowledge, is the only chain that supports local causes.) Asking for more responsiveness to the community will work faster if there is a drop in local business as patronage switches to the small pharmacies.

(Disclosure: Although I work often with the Sunnysidepost, I no longer have legal affiliation, so I feel free to make these comments.)


Why shop at these crummy stores when you can’t even return anything. good luck trying to return something after it turns out to be nothing but junk or some crappy fake merchandise. Why did they feel the need to open a pharmacy here? What’s the purpose. I saw a few pop up, unless you are exclusively tied to some dr’s office or owned by them there is really no need for these no-name “Pharmacy”s.

Honestly, you couldn’t pay me enough to shop at these places, unless I knew the order or they had something that other stores did not have. You all can stop bashing big stores now. Thank god that we have a few reliable chain stores in the area so we can buy some quality stuff.

I will take a ride aid to a “mom and pop” pharmacy any day. Coffee shops, restaurants, tailors, dry cleaners, etc.. is a totally different story, support them, but pharmacy? 99cent store? tattoo parlor? screw them.


These small business owners do not have the deep pockets that the corporations do, so Rite Aid can be overflowing with “quality merchandise” while this guy does what he can to create a window display that will impress the discriminating shoppers of Sunnyside. I give him credit for trying. Wonder what sort of losses HE’S incurred?

As supermarkets, mega-drugstores, and big box stores proliferate, how can a small, independent shop owner survive? Do we go to the hardware store behind Radio shack? Or Home Depot? Do we buy real bagels from the guy on QB or inferior ones from the supermarket?

I’m as guilty as the next person – I love shopping at Target. It’s so easy to find exactly what I need from Amazon, and they deliver it quickly to my door! Who needs to spend hours running around town, going from store to store?

Our culture is progressing to the point where independent shopkeepers are an endangered species. I wonder what Greenpoint Avenue will look like in ten years? What sort of shops will survive? What can the little guy provide that the big stores cannot?


No great loss to the community. Some of the general merchandise on display looked like the owners got them on consignment from a 99 cents bargain store. “Specials” posted in the window were rarely available if you went in to buy them.


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