Open 7 Days A Week
The history of Decks drugstore began on March 7, 1884, when it was purchased by Lewis C. Deck and B.F. Clark. A few years later Lewis Deck became the sole proprietor. At this time the store sold drugs, groceries, and hardware. The store was dubbed the “white drugstore” as it was the only building front on Girard Square that was painted white.
Brothers Bob and Bill Deck, sons of Louis W. Deck and Naomi Deck, became the third-generation operators of the drugstore when they took over in 1960. Bob attended four years of college before becoming a pharmacist. Throughout all the changes, the old fashion soda fountain, which was installed in 1930, the familiar marble top soda fountain, the original hardwood floor, and other shelving and showcases greeted people. After a lifetime of serving the Girard area, Bob and Bill decided to retire in 2001. After three generations and 117 years of the Deck family operating the drugstore, it was time for new owners.
Between 2001 and 2006, there were a few different owners. Then, in 2007 Bob and Renee Ernst purchased the drugstore building and called their new business, Doc’s Soda Fountain. The Ernsts asked if the Deck brothers would be willing to move their pharmacy Museum into the building with the Soda Fountain, and the brothers obliged. On display were old patient medicines and remedies, early equipment and fixtures, advertising, and many interesting items from years past and from when the drugstore began in 1884.
In December 2021, Steve and Casey Claypool purchased Docs Soda Fountain and renamed the historic business, Doc's Just Off 66. The soda fountain has been completely renovated and opened on June 18, 2022. The nostalgic soda fountain is still in place, all of the relics from the pharmacy museum will stay on display, and the new owners expanded the restaurant and added a lounge to this historic stop along Illinois Route 66. Doc’s Just Off 66 has successfully preserved the history and nostalgia of this historic business in Girard, Illinois.
As told by Bill & Bob Deck