Okay, I’m a little confused here, and it’s largely because I don’t speak Russian.

Let’s start with what we do know. Felicita, a clothing store that once occupied this storefront at 1616 Sheepshead Bay Road, closed down recently. In the past week or so, the awning was removed, revealing a much older sign for a pharmacy named Bi-Wise Drugs. First – anyone remember this place?

Now, where things get confusing is that sign overlapping it, in Russian. I recognize the Russian word for pharmacy, but not much else, and at first I figured it was a sign announcing that a pharmacy at 3090 Ocean Avenue would be moving to this location. But that’s the address for the Duane Reade at Ocean Avenue and Avenue Z, and I can’t imagine they’ll be moving into this teeny, tiny space.

So are they saying that former clients of Bi-Wise Drugs should go to Duane Reade? That doesn’t make any sense either, since this pharmacy has been closed for at least 25 years a while! Can someone fill us in, please?

Also, a note to Russian business owners – put your signs in English already. You’re making my job harder.

Update: In retrospect, it’s become clear that I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to Bi-Wise. Thanks to all the commenters who translated the sign and filled us in on the history of Bi-Wise.

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  • Old Sheepshead Hand

    Bi-Wise has only been closed for the last 5 years or so. Probably not even that long. At that time, there was a sign directing them to the Duane Reade. In this latest operation shutting down, it appears to have merely unearthed the signage beneath it.

    I miss Bi-wise. The pharmacist used to home deliver to my grandmother. And he brought a young man running for City Council door to door…Anthony Weiner.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      More than 5 years ago. If my memory is correct they closed BEFORE the Kings Pharmacy south of Voorhies on Sheepshead Bay Road did.

      • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

        Really? REALLY?!!! I need to work on my memory. I don’t ever remember the bi-wise pharmacy, and I’ve lived just a few short blocks away for 26 years. When I asked a few people, they had no recollection either. Wow.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          I don’t think too many people went in there. My mother did, and she was quite perturbed when they finally closed.

          The clue is that the Duane Reade opened in the late 90s. Before that, it was a liquor store. I’d guess they closed around 2000, and the Kings Pharmacy a year or so later.

          We often don’t notice businesses we don’t use. There were several other pharmacies nearby, including one on Sheepshead Bay Road near East 13th Street, the name of which escapes me, even though I’ve been in there.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            I’m referring to the earlier name of the Pharmacy at 1324 Sheepshead Bay Road.

          • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

            It was a Genovese before it was a Duane Reade, and, by my admittedly awful memory, it was such throughout just about all the 90s.

            As for the one on East 13th, it has been Monica’s Pharmacy for as long as I can remember. Though it has changed hands a couple of times, it retained the name.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            I thinki you’re right, it was Monica’s.

            The Genovese was on Jerome and Ocean. It later became an Eckerd’s and now, of course, is Rite-Aid. In the 60s it was a Bohack’s supermarket.

          • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

            Right again! I mixed up the two locations.

            I believe I’ll shut up now. Lisanne, take over the site. Clearly I’m worthless.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            That was my liquor store before Duane-Reade took over. But that time, I wasn’t drinking that much anyway.

            I’ll run the site tomorrow so you can do more important business.

          • Old Sheepshead Hand

            And before it was Monica’s. That pharmacy was Monaco’s!

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Bingo! That was about 10 years.

          • Barkingspider7

            There was Kips (over by Citibank) and Monaco (betw 13 and 14th st)

      • Barkingspider7

        Yeah Lisanne – it seems like alot more than 5 years.

  • Eitan

    Ned, there may have been another pharmacy at 3090 ocean avenue at that time. The sign says: ‘Pharmacy closed, your service has been fully moved to 3090 Ocean Ave”

  • Msaratov

    Pharmacy CLOSED is the full translation…its amazing how many Brookyner’s know what an Apteka is

    • Awewe

      Russian word “Apteka” isn’t that hard to remember considering it comes from English word Apothecary

      • Andy

        Both English and Russian words are derived from Greek word ἀποθήκη, pronounced Apotheka

  • Anonymous

    Ned, will you just learn Russian already.

    • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

      But it’s America! He’s still trying to learn Spanish!

  • Sappy1314

    In red (where it says the russian word for Pharmacy) it reads “Pharmacy Closed”
    In black, next to it, it reads “For any drug store needs, go to the store in 3090 Ocean Ave”

    • Sappy1314

      Hope that helped haha. At least you know what Apteka is. Thats a really good start, but then again, thats the name of every private pharmacy around here.

  • levp

    This just means that Duane Reade bought out another competitor and promptly closed it (like they did many times before).

  • Edlane Nyc

    I heard that Bi-curious Wise is going in there.

  • Delvillar Miguel

    I agree with Ned, damnit you are in America! Russians should know how to speak english. Not the other way around.

    • Jimmy

      Lots of signs on Avenue U have only Chinese on them. Maybe they don’t want you in their store.

  • Stfu

    Its so fucking upsetting that Sheepshead Bay road has turned it to a fucking shithole breeding ground for these Russian assholes. Seriously, what the fuck is going on?

    • Barkingspider7

      You are absolutely right. Sheepshead Bay was a nice clean little community before the 70′s and immigrants. These people are slobs – walk up the steps at SB train station on weekday mornings and try to avoid all the loogies that they spit. Filthy animals

  • Jash

    in the late 80′s early 90′s Bi-Wise had a glass cabinet where they sold baseball cards from…I bought my Topps 1984 Don Mattingly there for $15…

  • Barkingspider7

    There is no duane reade at Ocean and Z – that is Rite Aid. DR is on Ocean and Voorhies. I remember Bi Wise drugs, but barely. That was a long time ago.

  • Anonymous

    I sent you the pic of the new place. :)

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