Medford's Haven Drugs to reopen Aug. 1

Mourners pay their respects at Haven Drugs pharmacy,

Mourners pay their respects at Haven Drugs pharmacy, where four Long Islanders were killed. (June 23, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

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Haven Drugs, the Medford pharmacy where four people were shot to death during a robbery on Father's Day, is getting ready to reopen soon.

Though longtime pharmacy owner Vinoda Kudchadkar declined to speak with Newsday, a sign on the door at Haven Drugs says that the shop is closed for renovations and will reopen Aug. 1. A voice recording on the pharmacy's answering machine gives the same opening date.

"I'm glad he's opening up again," said Donald Prybyzerski, who owns Southaven Garage, an auto shop across the street from Haven Drugs, with his brother Edward. "People want it. They like that small-town touch."

Prybyzerski added that starting last week, patrons of the pharmacy began posting notes on the building, its windows and door, begging Kudchadkar to reopen the shop.

"The building was plastered with signs -- 'Come back,' 'We need you,' 'Don't leave us,' " he said.

Kudchadkar was seen working at the pharmacy Wednesday. Though the front door was locked, he appeared to be cleaning up and preparing to reopen.

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Medford Chamber of Commerce president Michael Gorton said his group's attempts to contact Kudchadkar, known as Vinny, had not been successful, but his understanding is that remodeling is under way and the business will open its doors Aug. 1.

"I'm very happy," Gorton said. "My fear was that he wouldn't reopen his door. Everybody has to move on and it's a sign of healing for the community his reopening. It would have been sad to see him not to continue his career as a pharmacist." With Will Van Sant

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