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Independent pharmacy to open at former Fatty’s Cafe location, about to take on chain stores


Dec. 10, 2014 By Michael Florio

An independent drug store is about to open near Ditmars and its owner claims that it can compete with the big-box drug stores.

The pharmacy is expected to open in January and it will be located at 25-01 Ditmars Blvd, just six blocks away from CVS and Rite Aid.

The pharmacy, owned by Nick Papaioannou, takes over the space that Fatty’s Café occupied for a decade.

Papaionnou’s family owns the building and they decided not to renew Fatty’s lease so he could open his pharmacy. Fatty’s then moved to 45-17 28th Ave.

The pharmacy, to be called Crescent Apothecary, will offer a ‘mom and pop’ feel to it, Papaioannou said. While there are several large drug stores in Astoria, many residents want to go to a place that offers old fashion customer service, he said.

“While some of the chains are forcing these pharmacies out, there is still a need for private, family-owned pharmacies,” Papaioannou said.

“I can offer honest and caring advice,” he said. “I don’t like bashing the big chains, but a smaller store has a community feel and personal touch.”

Papaioannou, a life-long Astoria resident, will be the only pharmacist on duty when the store opens. He said that this is a good thing since he can create personal relationships with his customers that they can’t find at the chain stores.

Papaioannou said he had been hesitant about opening his own pharmacy at this location, due to the presence of the larger chain stores. However, he ultimately decided the location would work as it is on a busy street– yet far enough away from the chains.

“There are a lot of people who live down by the park and we look to service them,” he said. Furthermore, having “grown up in the neighborhood a lot of people I know will come to the store.”

The building has been in Papaioannou’s family for over 30 years. His dad originally owned Billy’s Pub at that location back in the late ‘70’s. It was Fatty’s Café for a decade, before Papaioannou decided to take it over when its lease was up 12 months ago.

Crescent Apothercary will be open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 7 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm. It will be closed on Sundays.

It will offer prescription and over the counter products, like most traditional pharmacies.

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They really did Fatty’s and the neighborhood majority wrong. They say to support local small businesses while in the meantime kicking one out. I will never set foot in that place.


That corner will never be the same. It was sad to see Fattys leave. Those people changed our side of town for the best. Now we have a small pharmacy there. Something smells as fishy as kyclades.


Sounds great and all, but closing at 7 on weekdays when many people are just getting home from work could be tough. And 6 on weekends feels like the middle of the day during summer months. Good luck though. The new gate looks awesome (:


Congrats Nick .. best of luck …as Pharmacist myself with an indy in the Hamptons and from Astoria I know you will have your hands full. Treat everyone as you want to be treated… you are also correct to never bash your.competition. I was with Genovese for 23 yrs and worked 6 yrs in the Dimas store… KALI TyXi


Best wishes to Nick! Great guy with integrity and genuine concern and passion for health. Always greets you with a smile, a warm hello and is there to listen. Amped up that this business will be my go-to for pharmaceutical needs!


Finally, someone who cares about the community and its people! We cannot wait for the opening — having real and knowledgable person to speak to makes all the difference in the world!


Great! A local pharmacy run by real people from within the community for the people that need it the most in the community. Let’s support. Good luck!

Dino Dionysiou

If this is the imfamous Nick that’s running this Pharmacy expect the best humanly known good hearted stand up guy on this entire planet! Let’s take it up a notch and say universe!!!! Crescent Apothecare what i good name and location to open up a pharmacy! Definetly refering all my friends and family!!!

Melinda S.

Looking forward to this! I’m new to the neighborhood and looking forward to picking up all my essentials closeby. I hope they will sell organic products as well, something you can’t find in the big chains.
Best of luck, Mazel Tov.

Anonymous visitor

Such a wonderful idea. I really really hope your business is a,success. We,need more mom and pop ‘peraonal” style stores!!!


Congrats Nick! I am so happy you are opening a much needed pharmany in the area. Thank you for always caring for me and my family. If we had more people like you this world would be a better place. All your life you have helped folks now its our time to support you. I wish you much success on this endevour. I am very proud of you


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