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The Carmel Drug Store

“Shaving & The Carmel Drug Store”

By Brian K. Brecht

Monterey Bay and California’s Highway 1.  In town for the wedding of dear friends, we had the chance to play tourist and do a little shopping, taking in the small town atmosphere and wonderful shops that line Ocean Avenue.

In addition to our varied expeditions, we at the GAC are always looking to expand on “the gentlemanly arts”.  One that I’ve adopted whole–heartedly is some of the more outdated shaving techniques of our recent forbearers. So much so, one Christmas I received from Tom an elaborate straight razor shaving kit, with all the needed equipment.

How this relates to Carmel, you ask? Well we found ourselves needing a drug store and happily on Ocean Avenue between San Carlos and Delores Streets, is located the Carmel Drug Store.

Originally opened 1907 as the Palace Drug Store, it’s name officially changed to the Carmel Drug Store in 1910, and today it’s marquee lighting, boasts the only neon sign in the quaint downtown of Carmel.

This was a drug store like I remember going in with my grand parents. Not the massive box store of today, The Carmel Drug store couldn’t be more than 1000 square feet and boasts the rich wooden shelving along it’s walls, highlighting days long past. Specialty items line glass cases where helpful attendants stand behind eager to help you.

One glass case in particular drew my attention. In the back, along the right side of the store, I found a very respectable selection of traditional shaving paraphernalia.

Mugs, brushes, safety and straight razors, I was thrilled to find such an amazing selection. It was a quick moment when you felt, “well of course this is here, its how men were meant to shave”.

It took a second trip back the next day to take the plunge, purchasing a beautiful butterfly style safety razor, and a simple but elegant brush and razor stand. They make great additions to my gear and are happily displayed on my bathroom counter.

If you’re ever in Carmel, and looking for something other than art, t-shirts, or jewelry, I highly

recommend you stop by the Carmel Drug Store for some true Gentlemanly gear.

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