Kings Pharmacy, a Tribeca staple for 25 years, will close on June 30

Kings Pharmacy, which has been on the corner of Reade and Hudson for two and a half decades, will close permanently at the end of the month. I don’t need to tell any of the readers here that this is a huge loss for the neighborhood. If you are like me, you are in there a couple times a week for prescriptions, shampoo, matchbox cars, gummy worms. Plus it is just a hub: even before Bogardus was a plaza, you could bump into more neighborhood folk on that corner than just about anywhere else.

The store was opened by Al Solman in 1998; he had first worked as a stock boy in the 1970s at a Kings Pharmacy in Brooklyn and when the time came, he decided to be a pharmacist as a career. There was no Kings trademark but rather the family would partner with employees to open other locations over the years. Alan opened stores on Long Island, then uptown and finally Tribeca.

Photo by Claudine WIlliams

“I was looking for a store on the Upper West Side, when the real estate guy said he knew a place downtown that I should see,” Al said in a Spotlight feature in 2016. “I remember it like it was yesterday: We drove down W. Broadway, turned right on Reade, and there it was. ‘That’s a good spot!’ I said. I can still hear myself saying it! I signed the lease the same day my son was born. My partners brought the lease to the hospital, and I went down and signed it. We opened that July.”

Al took on partner Jones Chan seven years ago, while Al now runs the Hudson Square pharmacy.

Jones said the business was just in too tight a squeeze: the prices of goods have gone up since the pandemic, while the store has tried to keep prices competitive with online retailers and chains; labor has been harder to find, so salaries had to go up. Rent is another factor. “We tried to relocate to a smaller space and looked at options, but nothing panned out,” Jones said.

Kings was a pharmacy first, but I loved the front of the store with the Pokemon cards and the frames and the Mustela baby products. And of course I feel like the counter staff was watching out for me. I must have left my yoga mat there a half-dozen times; Andra Persaud always saved it behind the counter for me.

“I’m devastated that we are closing,” she said — she’s been there since 2006. “I’ve watched all the kids growing up.”

So that is it for Tribeca — one more small business driven out. Jones will end up at CVS at 38 Warren, as will all customers’ records, which will move over June 14. Jones is just 37, so I noted that he has many years to start another business — just trying to look on the bright side. “Yeah,” he said with a sigh. “But this was a great one.”



  1. well gosh that sucks, can just imagine what will go there- bank or urgent care?

  2. such sad news. I am a regular customer. Horrible.

  3. Such a loss for the neighborhood – they always had a great selection at good prices and the personal touch at the pharmacy was the best! Really too bad…

  4. What a shame! In addition to everything else we’ve lost there was the free notary service.

  5. Oh no! My kids love the selection of stationary and toys and they have the best cleaning supplies at good prices.

  6. I’m devastated. This one hits hard.

  7. Gutted! Been going there since my son was born (22) and stayed even when I moved. Guess I am going to Warren St!

  8. This is sad news. Been going there for decades! The health insurance companies and the chain pharmacies have gobbled up the independent pharmacies for years. They are driving independent pharmacies out of business, attempting to convince us of the convenience of having recurrent prescriptions mailed by them. When I had Covid recently, they delivered my prescription gratis. There is something about having a pharmacist whom you recognize and who recognizes you. What a damn shame.

  9. This is such a massive loss.

    • A Tribeca institution! I’m so sad to hear.

      Any news on where Mohammed (who does deliveries) will go next? I always look forward to seeing him around the neighborhood and giving him sneakers which he sends back to his family.

      • So sorry to hear this. I’m also hoping Mohammed ends up in a good place. Such a nice man and a hard worker. I wish the whole team well. End of an era.

  10. This is such a huge loss for our neighborhood, but also makes quite a statement about shopping habits of our residents. Kings was an amazing resource and mom and pop, with a unique array of items. Don’t know why anyone would choose a CVS or Walgreens over a smaller, local place like Kings. So sad.

    Glad that Jones will still be local. He’s an amazing Pharmacist who knows everyone by name. And Andra Persaud will be missed, she is such a loyal and welcoming presence.

    It’s really Tribeca’s loss, but unfortunately something we have seen too often.

  11. This is very sad news. I could go to Duane Reade around the corner or follow Jones further down to Warren. I’ll follow Jones anywhere. He’s the best.

  12. This is a devastating blow for the neighborhood. Tribeca no longer carries an identity without an “llc” attached to it.

    My heart goes put to the wonderful staff who will be seeking employment elsewhere. As for Jones, I will follow him to the ends of the earth. Hands down, the BEST pharmacist I have had the pleasure of trusting.

  13. King’s Pharmacy, most aptly named because of Jones, is a neighborhood treasure. He helped my family (with our then teen children, my husband and me) with whatever we needed…and fast. During that time when I visited King’s at least once, sometimes multiple times a week for my elderly parents his compassion truly helped me get through the ups and downs of their care. I will forever be grateful for his professionalism, knowledge and kindness during that time. Our now adult children no longer live in the neighborhood but still get their prescriptions filled at King’s. Our daughter recently said she just walks in and once he sees her he will seamlessly multi-task and wordlessly hand over her script even if he attending to other customers. We will follow him wherever he goes.

  14. This is really sad. I loved the place and staff.
    I recently brought my goddaughter and her baby from London in to see Andra as she knew her when she was a teenager. Jones is such a kind pharmacist.
    What a loss!

  15. Hope not another smoke shop depot opens there. Please see post below:

    Is there a way to tell when a smoke shop is about to open and what we can do to stop it. On Church between Chambers and Reade there are FOUR smoke shops and then you turn the corner on Chambers there are two more. Now we all know at least two of them on Church sell weed illegally and lately has become the “bodega” hang out. Can you always include in these post or on your weekly newsletters the link to report the sell of illegal weed smoke shops. As well when we should stop by the community boards to voice our concerns.

  16. Kings Pharmacy has been a local treasure!
    You walked in and felt at home! Even if you just took a stroll down the aisles, it was ‘our’ local, small, neighborhood pharmacy. Jones and the entire staff knew who you were and helped in every possible way!
    You’ll be missed…

  17. Truly a great loss to our neighborhood Al and Jones we’re always so helpful and accommodating with all the co-pay bureaucratic nonsense one has to deal with on renewing prescriptions
    I knew they were in trouble at the beginning of Covid and like many others we went out of our way to support them
    What a shame to hear this news and the Walgreens /Duane Reade on Greenwich is such a lame operation but it is the closest alternative
    So now my long time garage on North Moore has closed and my pharmacy bites the dust – Tribeca real estate has, and continues, to be out of hand for the real people

  18. i am so very sad–Jones called me whenever i would forget to pick up my scrips- this among the many other services will not be found at the CVS. i am a person who tires to embrace change, but this is another hammer blow to the foundation of the small town known as TriBeCa.

  19. Jones is such a cool and good guy. He’s always working incredibly hard and multitasking to provide great service. Just had him notarize several documents. He’s one of the only notaries south of Canal along with all of his other designations. Glad he’ll still be around, even if it means he’s moving to a corporate CVS on a much less desirable corner.

  20. It is an indescribable loss to the community. Rapacious CVS and Duane Reade and Walgreens murdered it. During the pandemic, Jones Chan from Kings drove five hours round-trip to bring us supplies. Now we will be left with the penitentiary lighting, miserably unhappy employees, and locked cases of big-box hell. Down the road, I know Jones’s friends and customers will rally to help him to open a pharmacy again in our neighborhood.

  21. I am incredibly sad over this. What a loss. Jones is so amazing and seems to take pride in his job. He provided me with concierge service, even when we moved out of Tribeca. He’s a true gem and I wish him the very best. He will do well.

  22. Look on the bright side – now the landlord will be able to get more rent from a corporate client.

  23. Truly heartbreaking to lose such an invaluable piece of our neighborhood. Jones has been unfailingly kind, generous and supportive through the years. I will follow wherever he goes.

  24. Kings was a wonderful part of the neighborhood. It made living in Tribeca more comfortable and manageable. And it didn’t have self-checkout. A terrible loss.

    What’s next? Morgan’s?

  25. This is heartbreaking. We moved to the neighborhood in 1996, pre-King’s, and when my first son was born in ’98 we trucked up to the Astor Place K-Mart for diapers! But King’s came and everything changed, the neighborhood changed. As everyone else has said, it was a meeting place, a resource, absolutely central in all its uneven-aisled glory. Jones’ service always, but especially during the pandemic: incredible. The feeling of care, of belonging, and especially of loyalty as CVS after CVS opened nearby… there’s nothing like a neighborhood store, and I will really, really miss this one.

  26. Very very sad to hear this news. Kings has been a wonderful, welcoming neighborhood gem. We filled all our prescriptions there, and they navigated our insurance with great skill and minimized our stress, that’s for sure. We agree with the comments above about Mohammed, the delivery guy. What a gentle, lovely gentleman he is. I don’t think CVS offers delivery service, do they? Hoping they take him on or he finds another position that appreciates his services.

  27. Even though I work but do not live in Tribeca, I feel sad when a long-time business closes in this neighborhood. Since the late 1970’s, when I first started coming here, more stores than I can remember have had their sunrise and sunset. Kings Pharmacy now joins that sad roster.

    This is a familiar phenomenon, so take heart as Kings closes after a quarter century. No less an authority than E. B. White, in his “Here Is New York,” wrote: “To a New Yorker the city is both changeless and changing. ln many respects it neither looks nor feels the way it did twenty-five years ago.”

    This especially applies to stores that give us the sense of a neighborhood, rather than just a collection of city blocks. That’s what these tributes tell me.

  28. I am sad to see King’s go- especially because I wonder what will be put in its place! I see all the Amazon delivery people in our neighborhood and wish more people would frequent stores like Kings in person! (its not like they can’t afford it) ! We are going to lose our neighborhood “sidewalk ballet” (Jane Jacobs famous line not mine!) if everything is delivered

  29. SO SAD!! I live upstairs and Kings was one of the best little gems in the neighborhood… hate seeing another small bizz go under.

  30. To say this is a loss for the neighborhood would be a gross understatement. First with Al, and then Jones, the tone they set for this gem of a true neighborhood pharmacy managed to survive so many transitions here, giving us all the continuity and connection we needed at those junctures. They ushered so many of us through the birth of our children and all of our families’ growth here, instilling such a sense of community, and anchoring our small town within a big city. When my kids started walking to school on their own, I would always tell them if they ever got turned around, they could always go over to Kings and tell Al. All of the times they delivered scripts when we were all down for the count and couldn’t get there – I could go on.
    We will also follow Jones and would too would love to see him start another pharmacy here at some point. A big thank you to both of them for all they’ve done for us.

  31. With an insurance change in May I was finally able to move my maintenance scrips back to the warmth and care of Kings. I was delighted to be able to return to the safety of people who care. I’d told my new PCP about Kings. He said treasure it. We all did.

  32. Sorry to see these great folks go … I did their window displays for more years then I can remember small business getting smothered by big landlords more people need to shop their locally owned stores or this will continue to happen