Did you know at one time Riverside was home to three drug stores? Henninger’s was originally located at Longcommon Road near the railroad tracks (where Riverside Plumbing is now) before moving to Longcommon and Burlington.
Jindrich’s was across the way at the corner of East and Forest. Another drug store was on Harlem Avenue near Burlington. Its name escapes me, but I am sure one of my loyal readers will call with the name, at least I hope so.
Henninger’s is the most well-remembered of the three. The Henninger family lived here in Riverside. The first Henninger’s was small but had a soda fountain with a long counter with stools you could spin around on while waiting to get your favorite ice cream treat. Or you could order a cherry coke or a chocolate phosphate, my personal favorite.
The original store was adequate, but Mr. Henninger purchased the building on the north corner of Longcommon and Burlington, which had been the site of the A&P grocery store.
Henninger’s new modern drug store carried a variety of goods, including toiletries, gift items, greeting cards and school supplies. It was a lifesaver to go in to get that piece of poster board needed for the project that was due the next day. It was also a good place for local teenagers to work. It had a lot, but it didn’t have a soda fountain. The building also housed a small luncheon grill-type restaurant, nothing fancy, and a doctor’s office.
On the other side of Centennial Park was Jindrich’s drug store and what I remember the most was the old-fashioned telephone booth — a small booth with a seat and folding doors for privacy. It was quaint!
The Riverside drug stores prided themselves on serving the community; they knew all their customers and gave them that personal service. It was not unusual to have medicine delivered to one’s home upon request. The time came when the local drug stores could no longer compete and, one by one, they closed and with it the end of an era for Riverside.
Henninger’s is long gone and a new building is in its place, but many of us we still call it the “Henninger building” with apologies to the building’s owners. We look forward to what will be there and at the former Jindrich’s, where we wait for the new bakery, Fiore.