Julie Lehman, an employee working at Lakeside Pharmacy, is one of many Reston residents and business owners hoping that a sale of Lakeside Pharmacy in Lake Anne Plaza won't cause too much change.
The pharmacy, owned by Larry Cohn for 40 years, is a tribute to old-time drug stores, said Lehman, who works the U.S. post office counter in the shop. Along with filling prescription medicine orders, the shop offers indoor and outdoor meals, a soda fountain and many items found at a traditional drug store.
"Every time I work there, I hear a stream of people begging [the owner] to stay," said Lehman, who worries that she may lose her job at the post office counter if the pharmacy is sold to someone who does not want to maintain the business as is.
"The owner, Larry, is 72 or 73. I don't blame him for wanting to retire," she said. "Larry is basically a friend to those who come in .... There's a very personable feeling [to the pharmacy]."
Realtor Jon Querollo, who represents the sale of the pharmacy, said Cohn is attempting to sell the business to a pharmacist who would maintain the drug store and café, but this may prove difficult.
The shop and two floors of condos owned by Cohn, a pharmacist, have been on the market for about a month, he said, with a list price of $900,000.
"We're hoping to find another pharmacist who is willing to buy the building and the pharmacy," Querollo said, adding that if the new owner chose to open another kind of business at the location "it would be a real loss to the community."
During its 40 years of operating in Reston, Querollo said, the business has withstood trend changes in pharmacies. Drug stores, he said, have shifted away from community centers -- where patrons can get meals, supplies and more -- to corporate drug counters often found within grocery stores.
"In Reston, this is a real community business. You can go in and buy a coffee and a newspaper," he said. "This is the very first commercial shopping district. It was meant to be pedestrian-friendly with a fountain in the center."
Lake Anne Florist owner Linda Fuller, who has run her shop at the plaza since 1974, said she hopes the pharmacy is not closed but sold to an owner willing to maintain the business as is.
"It's a very, very special place. We hope that someone sees that and maintains its value," she said, adding that the pharmacy is a community center among the 15 or so businesses within the Lake Anne Plaza.
Querollo agreed, saying, "It's got about everything that someone would need."
Cohn could not be reached by deadline to comment on the sale of his business. Querollo said he was not sure of the owner's future business plans.
"The owner will continue to run the pharmacy until it is sold," he said.