Knoxville says good-bye to Long’s

Sandra ClarkWest Knoxville

Knox County Commission joined hundreds of others with good wishes for pharmacist Hank Peck and his staff as Long’s Drug Store in Bearden was closed on January 16, 2024. The commission passed a resolution at its Feb. 25, 2024, meeting.

The resolution was sponsored by at-large commissioner Larsen Jay. And former District 4 commissioner, Hugh Nystrom, joined Jay at the podium.

Hank Peck was accompanied by his wife, Debbie, and family members.

Long’s Drug Store was opened in 1956 by pharmacist Clarence Long, whose children included Janet Testerman Crossley. Long’s was an anchor tenant in Knoxville’s first shopping center, which also featured a White Store. It quickly became a community hub for UT coaches, politicians and businesspeople. Gus Manning and Haywood Harris were regulars.

Mr. Long passed away in 1966, but he had been joined by pharmacists Jim Peck (1959) and Edwin Peck (1963). The Peck brothers bought the business and were joined by Jim’s son Hank in 1994. The Pecks retained the original name and operated the pharmacy and breakfast/lunch counter for another 50-plus years.

“Meet me at Long’s,” was shorthand for let’s go get coffee and see who’s there. Long’s was a family pharmacy and all its customers were treated like family.

Hank Peck said closing the store “was one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever made.”

Long’s struggled to compete in a changing business landscape, Peck said in a January release.

“My father, my uncle, my sisters, my wife, my children – we’ve all enjoyed working here over the years. And many folks in the West Knoxville community grew up at this gathering place, just like me.

“This store has been here for a long time because of the people who have supported it, and the folks who come in here are our family. We are so thankful to our community for trusting us with their health and for the many wonderful friendships and memories we have made here over the years. We will miss it very much.”

Prescription records were transferred to a CVS location to make sure patients continue receiving care, Peck said.

The commission resolution read, “the core values on display at Long’s Drug Store by the Peck family, including friendliness, compassion, encouragement, hard work and trust, were always paired with the sense that when you entered Long’s, time slowed down and you were family.” It was adopted unanimously.


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