Walgreen Co. has opened the doors to its latest flagship store in Chicago inside the historic Noel State Bank building.

Walgreens, Chicago flagship store, Noel State Bank Building, drug store, Joe Magnacca, Bucktown/Wicker Park, drug store format, pharmacy, LOOK Boutique, Upmarket Cafe, health guide

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Walgreens unveils new Chicago flagship store

November 21st, 2012

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. has opened the doors to its latest flagship store in Chicago inside the historic Noel State Bank building.

Walgreens said Wednesday that the unique retail location, at North and Damen avenues in Chicago's Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhood, maintains the Noel building's original architectural integrity and marks its second flagship store in the city.

Like the chain's downtown State and Randolph flagship location, the Noel building store features an extensive collection of offerings, products and services not typically seen in a drug store.

"It was thrilling to restore this architectural gem once again into a thriving business anchor in the Bucktown/Wicker Park area," Joe Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions at Walgreens, said in a statement. "This flagship store will provide customers with a unique shopping experience within an iconic building. It's the latest example of how we are stepping out of the traditional drug store format and helping people get, stay and live well."

Walgreens' second Chicago flagship location, the store is set in the city's historic Noel State Bank building.

Walgreens said that over the last two years it has worked closely with the city's Commission on Chicago Landmarks on the restoration of the Noel State Bank building, constructed in 1919. The exterior is clad in ornamental terra cotta, large windows are divided by rising pilasters topped with Corinthian capitals, and a cornice wraps around the rounded corner of the building.

The retailer noted that extensive restoration was done on the building's coffered plaster ceiling, which has nonsymmetrical hexagons that frame griffins and other ornate designs. At the center is a big, stained-glass window with a six-point star design.

Walgreens also restored the interior columns topped with pilasters and the original bank vault, which has been repurposed as a "Vitamin Vault" in the store's health and wellness section.

The original cast iron safe entrance — with visible locking gears — leads customers into the vitamin and supplement section, and original bank lockboxes open and display various vitamin products.

Situated in the original bank vault is the "Vitamin Vault," the store's vitamin and supplement area.

Other features in the 24-hour store include the following:

• The Upmarket Cafe, which has a barista preparing fresh-brewed premium coffee, including the exclusive State and Randolph brand. A bakery will serve a range of fresh baked breads and pastries daily.

• A juice bar providing fresh fruit and vegetables and made-to-order smoothies. The chocolate malted milkshake, invented by a Walgreens soda fountain manager in 1922, also will be served. Customers also can opt for self-serve frozen yogurt.

• A wide variety of fresh, hand-rolled sushi and sashimi prepared daily.

• Hundreds of fresh food items, including produce and on-the-go meal offerings such as wraps, sandwiches and salads made fresh daily.

• A wine selection of more than 700 fine wines, paired with tofferings of artisan and brie cheeses and an assortment of specialty meat, chocolates and more.

In addition, the pharmacy features an enhanced design to encourage more interaction between pharmacists and patients. An iPad-equipped health guide will help pharmacy customers navigate a range of health and wellness products, services and resources, including immunizations and health tests. The pharmacy also has an "Ask Your Pharmacist" desk, patient consultation rooms and Express Rx kiosks for swift checkout.

And a LOOK Boutique beauty department features dozens of prestige and niche cosmetic, skin care and hair care brands not usually found in drug stores, Walgreens said. Specially trained beauty advisers are on hand to help customers find the best solutions for their needs, and the Eyebrow Bar offers expert shaping and grooming services.