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September 14, 2018

Century-old Bar Harbor drug store to close

The century-old, family-own West End Drug Co., at 105 Main St. in Bar Harbor, will close due to the retirement of owners Mike and Stacey Gilfillan.

The Bangor Daily News reported the Gilfillans have sold the pharmacy side of the store to the Hannaford supermarket chain. The rest of the store, which includes a lunch counter and soda fountain, will close once its inventory is sold. Mike Gilfillan's grandfather and a partner started the pharmacy in 1918.

West End Drug says on its website that it opened in "a simpler, slower paced time when the drugstore was where you could go for ice cream, medicine and counsel and where the pharmacist knew you by name." Today, "it's still run by the same family and coffee is still just 20 cents."

The Mount Desert Islander reported in January that in 1928, West End acquired what was at the time "the last word in soda fountains," a 12-foot-long fountain with verde antique Italian marble top and Tennessee pink marble on the front and ends. Michael Gilfillan began working in the store while in high school, in 1973, then returned to the store as a full-time pharmacist in 1980 after graduating from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and becoming licensed.

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