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Published October 5th 2016
Visit the OTHER Las Vegas
On the Main Street in Downtown Las Vegas, New Mexico is Plaza Drugs. This gorgeously retro building serves as both a spacious Cafe and a working pharmacy. Basically, you can order your meds and have an ice cream float while you wait. Unless, of course, you're picking up tablets for diabetes. In that case, you should probably just get a black coffee and skip on the milk.
I can say for certain that, if I had this Cafe/Pharmacy in my hometown, gone would be the days of shifting weight from one leg to the other, like I do now in Boots the Chemist, leisurely reading the backs of all the packets of laxatives in the vain attempt to give me something to do to pass this time between handing in my prescription and receiving my bag full of medication. I'd be swanning in, grinning like a maniac and all ' Hey Betty, I've got a big order today, so why don't you brew me up a latte and grab me one of those muffins? It's going to be a long wait'. Or, you know, something along these lines.
Anyway, my vision of how my life in small town America would be aside, I love everything about Plaza Drugs and its vintage, Americana interior. It reminded me of something that wouldn't have been out of place in a scene from It's A Wonderful Life.
With beautiful wooden floors and walls adorned with wonderful old Coca Cola signs and, or course, a fabulous 25c gum ball machine; the whole *inside* very much matches the street *outside* and doesn't feel even a little bit out of place; it's just fantastic.
I want this in my house. It won't look out of place at ALL.
So much space
From a menu of sodas, ice cream, nachos and pickles, amongst others, the whole vibe is of long forgotten days in the past, where kids could play on the street outside after school and parents had little worry about them doing so. In short; it feels like a real community place where everyone probably knows each other and everyone is connected in some way.
I bet it's a bit like living in my village in rural North Wales where you tell a colleague that you met Daffyd from Dinas the other day. Once your colleague finishes talking you realise that you not only know Daffyd, but his sister, his Dad's brother's wife's second cousin, and his best mate. Also: remember when you petted that dog in town last week? That's his, too. Small towns are fun, folks!
Parking on the wonderfully peaceful and atmospheric Main Street was free (if I recall correctly. If it wasn't, I'd like to apologise for flagrantly flouting the laws of Las Vegas) and Plaza Drugs sits on the corner of Bridge Street. It's well worth swinging off the Interstate for.