After 22 years, Brian Smith, owner of downtown Irving icon, Big State Drug Store, has decided to close the doors of his business at 100 E. Irving Blvd.
Smith cited dwindling revenues as a result of pharmaceutical insurance reimbursements and a declining customer base.
Big State Drug Store will officially close at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 22. Store inventory has been sold and pharmaceutical prescriptions have been moved to CVS Pharmacy, 934 E. Irving Blvd. Smith will work at the CVS location for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition for his customers.
“I would like to thank my loyal customers who’ve visited and supported us for the past 22 years,” Smith said. “Closing Big State was a tough decision, but my family and I have been honored to be a part of Big State’s legacy in the community.”
Big State Drug was founded in 1948 and celebrated its 50th anniversary under Smith’s ownership in the summer of 1998.
Building owner Dan Niemeier is sad to see Smith leave, but is committed to revitalizing the property and keeping its iconic stature in downtown Irving.
“I understand Brian’s business decision,” said Dan Niemeier. “I’m working diligently to upgrade the building and to bring another unique retail spot that will maintain the ambiance and friendliness of Big State Drug Store.”
Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne said, “I support Dan Niemeier’s efforts to continue the Big State tradition.”
Don Williams, director of business and visitor services for the Irving Chamber, said Big State is a standing institution in downtown Irving.
“The Chamber is disappointed to lose one of its great small businesses, but we are proud that Big State Drug Store was recognized multiple times as a U.S. Chamber Blue Ribbon Small Business,” Williams said. “The Chamber is also supporting Dan Niemeier in his efforts to revitalize the building and recruit another new business into Heritage Crossing.”
About Big State Drug Store
Located in Downtown Irving in the heart of the historic district, Big State Drug Store was established in 1948 when the B&H Dry Goods Store was sold to Clay and Jean Burney. Downtown Irving, especially establishments off Main St. were very popular during that time period. Big State Drug boasted a soda fountain, jukebox, banana splits, sundaes and air conditioning (a luxury at the time) and was a popular hang-out for high school students. In 1992, Brian and Stacy Smith took over the operation, keeping the drug store/soda fountain atmosphere that made the establishment such a popular attraction.