Block E's Snyders Drug Store has closed its full-service pharmacy and plans to close the rest of the store later in February, Snyders officials said.
The closure comes eight months after the store opened in the entertainment complex at 600 Hennepin Ave. S. The Minnetonka-based drugstore chain filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in September and closed four stores in Burnsville, Plymouth, Eagan and Richfield.
This month, Snyders plans to close seven other stores, in addition to the Block E store, an official said. The move is an effort to get the company back on stronger financial footing by March.
The company has requested the court allow it to break leases at the sites slated to close.
The employees of the Block E Snyders have been provided jobs at other Snyders locations in the area, according to an official. A Block E Snyders employee who did not want to be named said workers were told about the closing the week of Jan. 19, but the chain could not make it final until it received bankruptcy court permission.
"It's kind of a shock to us," the employee said. "It's the most beautiful store."
The Block E site was among 70 corporately owned Snyders Stores in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Montana. There are more than 50 independently owned Snyders in those states as well.
The 12,000-square-foot Block E Snyders boasts a soda fountain, convenience dairy sections, frozen food, greeting cards and a range of toiletries. Snyders has roots Downtown dating back to 1928 when Max P. Snyder opened a cigar store Downtown. Three years later, the store began carrying pharmaceuticals.
Melissa Cohen, a Block E spokeswoman, said the news of the Snyders closing had not yet reached officials with the entertainment complex as this edition of Skyway News went to press. It's unclear what other tenant might go into the space.
The Snyders is located on Block E's main level, facing Hennepin Avenue, between GameWorks and Border's Books and Music.
The day before it closed, the pharmacy was handing out fliers telling customers their prescriptions, records and files would be relocated to the Snyder Drug at 323 Central Ave. SE.
Snyders is among a handful of Downtown pharmacies. Others include Dahl Pharmacy, 1200 Nicollet Mall; Metropolitan Pharmacy, 825 S. 8th St.; Russell's Pharmacy, 200 S. 6th St.; MinuteClinic in the Target at 900 Nicollet Mall; two Walgreens Drug Stores, 413 and 815 Nicollet Mall; and Fairview Pharmacy, 78 S. 9th St. The national CVS pharmacy chain's preferred developer has a contract to buy 1201 Hennepin Ave. S. in Loring Park from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.