Albert the Dog at C.O. Bigelow

Review: C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries

TREATS:  3 out of 4


Sometimes it seems as if every corner in Manhattan has a Duane Reade. Duane Reade, for you non-New Yorkers, is a drugstore founded in 1960 in Lower Manhattan on Broadway between Duane Street and Reade Street. When I say “drugstore,” humans outside the U.S. may picture a small shop like a pharmacy that fills prescriptions and sells pills and potions to treat human ailments. However, Duane Reade has grown into something much more than that, a pharmacy-cum-convenience store, with grocery items, magazines, wine and beer, sports socks, laundry detergent, candy, pens and notebooks, and, in some locations, even ready-to-eat food like prepared sandwiches.

According to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, those food and grocery items mean that only service animals are allowed inside. Thus, Duane Reade must forever remain a realm of mystery to me.

Bigelow window

The most dapper reindeer in town.

Fortunately for me, there is C.O. Bigelow, an apothecary founded in 1838 (although it didn’t get the name “Bigelow” until 1880). I have visited this Greenwich Village institution a few times now and have always received a gregarious welcome from the Bigelow humans, who keep a stash of treats behind the counter for canine customers.

Albert the Dog at C.O. Bigelow

What do you mean, “One per customer”?

Unfortunately, the Lady, unduly concerned about my waistline, limited me to only one of these delicious treats this time. Having received my allotted biscuit from the cosmetics counter, I tried to get a second treat from the pharmacy counter at the back of the store, but the Lady was having none of that. One day I will figure out how to open a door, and then I’m going to come here without Her.

One thing  to note about this establishment: Like many old businesses in Manhattan, it has rather narrow aisles. That’s not a problem for a dog my size, but larger dogs and their people may find it difficult to negotiate the small space without wreaking havoc. It is easy to imagine a wayward tail wag wiping out a shelf of expensive Swiss bath products. Consider yourselves forewarned, Labradoodles.

Albert the Dog at Bigelow

Please tell me you’re not planning to give me a “pawdicure.”

In addition to filling prescriptions, C.O. Bigelow sells implements like shaving accessories and tweezers and a wide range of various potions, creams, powders, and makeup that humans like to put on themselves to enhance their inadequate pelts. They have everything from high-priced imported Italian toothpaste and French hair treatments to more humble items like cotton balls and dental floss.

They also have their own line of soaps, lip balms, salves, lotions, and hand creams in scents such as quince, lemon, rose, and coriander. Thankfully, have not yet developed a line of dog shampoo. No dog shampoo = no baths, correct? And at least for now, they have no grocery items and no ready-made sandwiches.

And that, as far as this dog is concerned, is a good thing.

In summary:

Pros: Treats, welcoming humans.

Cons: It smells too much like roses and lemons and not enough like liver and marrow bones in here.

C.O. Bigelow is located at 414 Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village

Reviews are based on visits to the specific location listed at the time the review is posted.  Please note that businesses with multiple locations may often have differing policies regarding dogs depending on the individual location.  We recommend that you call any store or business to check its dog policy before visiting.


6 thoughts on “Review: C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries

  1. Oh Albert – you are soooo handsome! And how lucky you are that the nice folks at C O Bigelow are smart enough to allow cuties like you in. Have you ever tried the imported Italian toothpaste?! Wonder what is in it that one would want to import and purchase??? Perhaps liver!?!? Give it a try and let me know. Happy Shopping Buddy!


    • Oh my goodness, thank you. You will make me blush. I have never tried the Italian toothpaste. Maybe it tastes like prosciutto?! I will ask the next time I visit.
      My toothpaste is beef flavored. I like it quite a bit and look forward to it every night. Does Mikey get his teeth brushed?


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