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Shore Drug Transforming into Convenience Store

Long-time family drug store will be turning into a market.

The tarp over the entrance of Shore Drug, once one of Belmont's popular and long-running family drug stores, indicated that change is coming to the once-popular retail operation at 297 Belmont St.

The construction, about $10,000 worth of demolition and work on the facade, is in preparation for a new business entering the commercial site. 

Tentatively called "Jimmy's," a trio of Arlington residents headed by Paramjit Singh have submitted a business license with the Belmont Town Clerk to operate a convenience stores at the location near the corner of School Street at the Watertown town line.

Calls to Singh were not returned on Monday.

The news marks the end of nearly 60 years of the Shore family's operation of a popular drug store serving both Belmont and Watertown residents, one of the few remaining independently-run, family-owned pharmacies in the region.

While praised for its customer service and personal touch, the end of the drug store was not economic. In a May 2011 raid, a state Board of Registration in Pharmacy investigation in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (US DEA) determined that "there were substantial deficiencies and violations of federal and state statutes and regulations in multiple pharmacy practice areas, including but not limited to, sanitation, medication compounding, dispensing of expired medications, inadequate controlled substance record keeping, and the provision of pharmacy services by unlicensed pharmacy personnel."

While the family attempted to regain its lost license, it was never successful in meeting state and federal assurances that it could run the pharmacy under state and federal code. Since 2011, the store was open selling small items and cigarettes.

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