Brent's Drugs - Business Matters - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Brent's Drugs - Business Matters

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A Fondren institution known for their diner delicacies, soda fountain and milkshakes also wants to be known as one of the Capital City's hot night spots. The Apothecary at Brent's Drugs opened in mid-June and the secret about the "speak easy" is sneaking out. 

Brent's Drugs is no stranger to change.  Heck, the drug store sold it's pharmacy four years ago. Anything that's been around for 67 years has had to adapt at some point to keep customers happy, and smiles are a common sight at the diner/soda fountain/gift shop.

Owner Brad Reeves, who bought Brent's in 2009 thought it was time to add another nuance.

"We had the old drug store room," Reeves explained. "We said, 'we're paying rent on this space, but we're not really using it."

The attorney solved that problem last month, but the idea was cultivated over time.

"Last year or two we've been pulling together this kind of speak easy lounge," Reeves said.

The Apothecary was born and playing off the "speak easy" atmosphere, finding the lounge takes on a prohibition era feel.  After hours you enter the dark diner, weaving your way past empty tables, to a dim hallway, and then a hostess pulls back a curtain revealing the bar. That's if a seat or table is available.

Reeves, who lives in Fondren, says he hopes it offers something new to the area.

"Something different that Jackson has seen from a cocktail point of view," Reeves said.  

Reeves promises the addition does not mean anything changes with the diner. Why would it? They are fresh off national recognition from Travel and Leisure magazine.

Brent's Drugs was named one of the best diners in the country.

"A publication like Travel and Leisure to recognize and say, 'hey, this is a unique place to American history and American culture."

History and culture famously captured in the critically acclaimed movie and book "The Help". Reeves said being featured in that story garnered them an international following, making Brent's a must-stop for anyone making a journey through Jackson.

While he may have never imagined a bar in his drug store, Doctor Alvin Brent's memory lives on maintaining the legacy he started in 1946. Reeves is carrying the torch now and is excited about what this old-timey diner means for Fondren's future.

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