Exterior view of Walgreens
The 2190 Shattuck Ave. building that’s housed a Walgreens for around three decades is being demolished to make space for a 25-story apartment building. Credit: Joanne Furio

After about 30 years at the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Allston Way, Walgreens will be closing the location’s sliding doors for good on Aug. 23, leaving its pharmacy customers with fewer options in Berkeley. The building is slated for demolition to make way for a 25-story, 326-unit apartment building, Berkeley’s tallest apartment building to date.  

Last week, many store shelves were cleared, with 50% off some merchandise. Deeper discounts are planned as the store gets closer to closing. A sign on the front window advised customers that the pharmacy will close at 2 p.m. on the last day. 

Mostly empty shelves
Some sections of the store have already cleared out. Credit: Joanne Furio

Walgreens spokesperson Kris Lathan said customers’ pharmacy files “will automatically transfer to the Walgreens at 2310 Telegraph Ave.,” where a pharmacy is being carved out of the existing store. “Patients receive notice about any changes through mail and other means to provide details about continued access to their prescriptions and other services,” she said.

The closing will leave three Walgreens in Berkeley: the Telegraph store, 1050 Gilman St. and 2801 Adeline St. Only the pharmacies at Adeline Street and Gilman will be open weekends. The new pharmacy at the Telegraph store will be open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; both the Gilman and Adeline pharmacies are open weekdays  and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All three stores are open later and also offer photo services. 

The Shattuck store is the latest of many Bay Area Walgreens to close in recent years as part of a 2019 plan to close 200 stores nationally. In 2020, the North Berkeley Walgreens at Cedar and Shattuck avenues closed, followed by the Southwest Berkeley store at Ashby and San Pablo avenues in 2021. 

In the past two years, CVS and Rite Aid  pharmacies have also closed in the East Bay, leaving some residents unable to pick up prescriptions in a timely manner.

The closings are part of an industry-wide shift to rebrand pharmacies as primary health care providers. In February, Walgreens snapped up Medley Health, the parent company of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, in a $19 million deal that included closing all 22 of Pharmaca’s California stores. Solano Avenue’s Pharmaca closed a week later. 

In November 2022, Walgreens-backed VillageMD, a primary care provider, bought Summit Health in a $9 billion deal. According to the website Fierce Healthcare, Walgreens plans to open at least 600 Village Medical locations at Walgreens’ primary-care practices around the country by 2025. 

“As we expand as a leader in healthcare, we are focused on best meeting the needs of patients and customers in communities we serve by creating the right network of stores in the right locations,” Lathan wrote in an email.

Walgreens, 2190 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Phone: 510-849-4691. Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.  Connect via Facebook.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated the wrong address for the Gilman Street Walgreens and the number of Walgreens stores remaining in Berkeley, leaving out the Adeline Street location.

Joanne Furio is a longtime journalist and writer of creative nonfiction. Originally from New York, she has been a staff writer, an editor and a freelance magazine writer. More recently, she was a contributing...