ST. LOUIS — The latest closure in St. Louis’ South Grand business district brings the area’s vacancies to a new high and serves as an example of the challenges facing business communities across the country, Rachel Witt, executive director for the South Grand Improvement District, said.
The Medicine Shoppe, a St. Louis-based pharmacy franchise, recently closed its location at 3137 S. Grand Blvd.
The Medicine Shoppe nor parent-company Cardinal Health could not be reached for confirmation, but the store’s website was taken down and a sign has been posted on the location’s front door alerting customers that the store is closed, and its prescription records are available at Walgreens. A company registered to attorney Shane Moskop, who didn't immediately return a request for comment, owns 3137 S. Grand.
The pharmacy joins the likes of City Diner, Cafe Natasha and Pho Grand, restaurants that have all closed their doors to customers this year. (Cafe Natasha reopened a few months later as Salve Osteria, owned by Natasha Bahrami, the daughter of Café Natasha owner Hamishe Bahrami.)
Witt said Grand from Arsenal Street south to Utah Street now counts eight vacancies. She said in 16 years in the area, she’s only seen as many as five or six at a time.
“The locations that are vacant are in great spots,” Witt said. “They really should be filled quickly.” But the issue is that businesses are still dealing with pandemic-related headwinds, high rent prices and inflationary pressures impacting labor, supply and pricing, she said.
Witt said reckless driving is also negatively affecting the attractiveness of main streets. South Grand leaders have been pushing for increased traffic enforcement and other solutions after a deadly hit and run in July.
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