The Pillbox Pharmacy, a Kaimuki fixture for 46 years, to close its doors

Updated: Sep. 4, 2020 at 5:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Pillbox Pharmacy, a fixture in Kaimuki for 46 years, will be closing its doors. The independent pharmacy is one of about 10 left in the state.

Owner Stu McElhaney says he’s been losing money for years as corporate competitors opened more locations around the islands. The pandemic pushed him over the edge.

“It’s painful because I care about our community,” said McElhaney.

“My oldest customer is 110 years old. She still walks in here. You get a piece of the old school and the old time so that is what I don’t want to lose.”

The Pillbox has stayed open during the shutdown because it’s considered an essential business, but McElhaney says he’s filling less than 10 prescriptions per day.

“We don’t have a lot of people coming in,” he said.

For 95-year-old customer, Koichi “Harry” Tokushige, the news leaves him at a loss.

“It’s terrible,” he said.

The last day for The PillBox Pharmacy will be Nov. 14. It’s a special date since the drug store was opened in November 1974 by McElhaney’s father, James Lee McElhaney.

Stu McElhaney plans to continue helping customers with a new website and hopes the memories of his local kine drug store live on.

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