INWOOD — Dichter Pharmacy is rising from the ashes.
A little more than a year after being destroyed in a devestating fire that wiped out 10 area businesses, the longtime Inwood staple returned to its roots, opening a new, expanded Broadway location with a customer appreciateion event this week.
Now located at 4935 Broadway, Dichter's new space is approximately five times larger than the temporary location it stayed in following the January 4, 2012 fire and features a soda fountain and snack area that serves up ice cream, hot dogs, sandwiches, bagels and coffee.
With the larger space, owner Manny Ramirez has expanded his product selection to include everything from organic items to Melissa and Doug educational toys, alongside more traditional pharmacy items.
Many of the new products, which were added at the request of residents, is Ramirez's way to thank the community that stood by him after the fire.
"I really love this neighborhood," he said. "I feel blessed to be here."
Dichter Pharmacy has been in Inwood for 90 years, but Ramirez said its future was uncertain after the massive fire wiped out 10 area businesses.
Ramirez managed to reopen in a smaller space after the fire, but remained on the hunt for a larger storefront. When the new location, once home a Citibank, became available, the Inwood resident pounced.
The new store earned rave reviews in its early hours Monday, during a customer appreciation event he held before the official opening Wednesday morning.
"It's great," said resident Rob Walsh, who has lived in Inwood for 12 years. "The ice cream is a great addition."
"I love it, added Willie Frias. "It takes me back to the old days, when pharmacies used to have these."
The pharmacy will aslo feature work from local artists on the store's northern wall, and the store will be a venue in teh neighborhood's annual Uptown Art Stroll in June.
"I want this to be a destination," storeowner Ramirez said. "I want people to say, 'Hey meet me at the last stop on the A train at that pharmacy with the soda fountain."