Jackson County

The iconic Lovelace Drugs in downtown Ocean Springs is making a comeback

The front of Lovelace Drugs is covered in brown butcher paper and portraits and images from Ocean Springs in honor of the city’s contributions to Mississippi’s 200 years. At right is Joicelyn Mayfield, who used to have Joicelyn’s restaurant on U.S. 90.
The front of Lovelace Drugs is covered in brown butcher paper and portraits and images from Ocean Springs in honor of the city’s contributions to Mississippi’s 200 years. At right is Joicelyn Mayfield, who used to have Joicelyn’s restaurant on U.S. 90. klnelson@sunherald.com

You can’t really see inside Lovelace Drugs.

There’s brown butcher paper and large photos covering the big, plate-glass windows that line the front of the popular drugstore in downtown Ocean Springs.

So a lot of people have been walking up to Joey Krystosek’s office to ask, “What’s going on?”

The inside is undergoing a major overhaul and upgrade.

And Krystosek said when they replace the front display glass, he plans to put up copies of the building plans and a timeline of what will happen when, so people will know.

“My office is upstairs and not a day goes by that people don’t stop and ask me,” he said.

Architects pulled a permit for the interior renovation very recently, city building officials said.

The Lovelace building went up in 1926, so it’s been a landmark in the city for almost a century. The pharmacy portion closed in 2014 when CVS bought Fred’s Pharmacy chain, which had been operating there under the Lovelace store name. It stayed open as a Fred’s without the pharmacy until November last year.

The store will open again in the summer of 2018 and be locally owned. Clark Levi, who owns the building and is a pharmacist, will have a hand in it, but Krystosek will be the manager.

Work started just a few weeks ago, at the end of November. It looks barren in there now, but all the familiar features will return.

When they are done, it will again have a soda fountain, a Lovelace pharmacy and the respiratory therapy and medical equipment division.

There’s an older population in downtown that has come to rely on a pharmacist within walking distance. There is also the The Gardens Pharmacy and Compounding on Government Street, near Washington Avenue.

The one in Lovelace was and has been, however, a more traditional venue on the ground floor.

“We’re a small town pharmacy,” Krystosek said. “When people come in, they get called by their names and that makes a difference.”

Meanwhile, enjoy the art

While the work is going on inside, the windows are being used to display poster-sized art photos of Ocean Springs in celebration of its part in the state’s 200 years.

Well-known faces and names from the city are displayed in poignant, life-size photos, with thoughts or excerpts from their stories.

Henry Furr, architect and builder, under a beautiful photo of a lane, wrote: “I was born after Hurricane Camille, so growing up, stories were always about people I knew but places I couldn’t see. They were only in people’s hearts.”

Poignant moments

Mary Anderson Pickard, artist and writer, is the oldest of Walter Anderson’s (WAMA) children. She’s with a photo of the Oldfields plantation home in Gautier, where her mother and father lived and painted for awhile.

“So few antebellum houses are left on our storm-scoured coast. Surely Oldfields won’t be let go with the rest,” she writes.

Young business owners Kait Sukiennik and Jessie Zener are quoted saying about the Greenhouse on Porter: “We’re just sort of a haven for all things lost and all things beautiful, while still being a great space for community to be together.”

Jocelyn Mayfield used to own the popular Jocelyn’s restaurant on U.S. 90. Under her portrait, she writes: “I’m eighty-five years old and now it’s getting harder. But I still love it. I think I cook everyday.”

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