History of Quigleys Pharmacy
Quigley's Pharmacy Circa 1910
GW alumnus Richard Lucien Quigley opened the pharmacy in 1891, one year after he earned his a degree in pharmacy science. The surrounding area back then was mostly residential. Twenty-one years after Quigley opened the pharmacy, Until 1938, Lucien filled prescriptions, sold medicines and later Cokes and burgers at the lunch bar. More importantly, he was a friend to the students. According to Hatchet articles, Lucien said students would turn to him when they needed to borrow money for dates, and he was proud to say he never lost a cent. Al Kohrn took over the management of the pharmacy in the 1950's. He also served soda and ice cream to students passing by.
"The soda fountain was located along the west wall, parallel to 21st Street and a few soda fountain tables and wire chairs were arranged on the open floor near the soda fountain counter," said Dorn McGrath, chairman of the Department of Geography. By the '70s, Quigley's featured a lunch counter, candy counter and pinball machines. History in the making was not uncommon at GW, and Quigley's was a place to observe it. In a 1970 special issue of GW Magazine, Kohrn spoke about Quigley's role during the Watergate scandal. "We never had any problems with vandalism," Kohrn said in an article. "In fact, when we had trouble down at Watergate, and the police pushed the people back on campus ... we stayed open while they were being tear-gassed and got as many kids in here as we could." Famous people also enjoyed Quigley's charm. In the mid-40s, students could find then GW student Margaret Truman waiting outside to meet her father for a soda. Jane Lingo, a 1946 GW alumnae who served as assistant director of University Relations, said she remembers the days when Quigley's Pharmacy was still around.
Quigley's Pharmacy Circa 1910
"Quigley's was the local drugstore, and it had a soda fountain on the right," Lingo said. "My friend, Margaret Truman, went there regularly for hamburgers, but I used to go to Leo's what's now the GW Delicatessen." Sen. Hilary Clinton (D-N.Y.) mentioned Quigley's in her 1994 GW Commencement address. She recalled the summer of 1968, when she interned in D.C. and occasionally stopped in the historic pharmacy.
The University bought the building in 1974, and the site became home to the Department of Geography in the following years.
Tonic at Quigley's Pharmacy is honored to have been chosen to take up residence in such a historic building. It is with deepest respect for the generosity and spirit of Richard Quigley that we designed this restaurant. We hope that once again, the building can be a place for students, faculty, and neighbors to enjoy our fare as they did once over 100 years ago.
Eric "Bernie" Bernstrom (Director of Entertainment)
Eric Bernstrom is the co-founder of TONIC Restaurant and bar, an American bistro, serving comfort food in a neighborhood environment. At 32, Bernie has 21 years of experience in the food industry. At 11, he took his first job as a dishwasher in a small neighborhood restaurant on the coast of California and has worked every possible position since. To include; busboy, line cook, server, bartender, and manager. He has worked in many different types of settings as well. Everything from neighborhood bars, multi level nightclubs, costal vacation destinations, French bistro, to fine dining. From private to corporate, Bernie has done it all. He has been involved in the opening/ build out for several concepts. From the opening team at TGI Fridays (National Airport), to the Kimpton Groups Topaz, Rouge, and Helix lounges, to the opening of his second restaurant, RADIUS, a New York style pizzeria.
After graduating high school, Bernie joined the United States Marine Corps. Upon leaving the Marine Corps, he moved to the DC area in the ladder part of 1994. He holds a bachelors degree in Culinary Arts/ Restaurant Management from NOVA community college. Bernie's love for the service industry is incorporated into his private life. He has many gatherings at his own house and is well known for his "Misfits Holiday" where people from all over the country will come and celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas with their "Family". Bernie started this tradition over 10 years ago when many of his friends in the DC area could not afford to go home to visit their families. He bore the expense of all the main dishes and told everyone else to bring what they could. On that first Thanksgiving only 7 people arrived. The number is now over 100! Nothing can bring people together for a good time like good food and drink.
Jeremy Pollok (Chief Operating Officer)
Jeremy Pollok is a graduate of George Washington University class of 94, offers half a lifetime of experience in the food service industry. He took his first job as a busboy in a small Italian restaurant and has since worked in every imaginable positions and environment. Everything from Small mom and pop restaurants to large corporate trendy hotels. He worked his way through college at some local GW Restaurants including GG flipp's, Mike Baker's as well as Bertucci's Restaurant. After Graduating he opened his first business running food concession stands at golf courses and swim clubs. Never satisfied with the status qou, Jeremy quickly moved onto his first restaurant in Brooklyn New York. By the summer of 2001 Jeremy had two thriving restaurants in the Brooklyn, Harvest and Harvest Market. Returning to Washington in earl 2002, Jeremy quickly got to work on opening restaurants and bars for the Kimpton hotel group and was involved in the opening of the Rouge, Helix, and Topaz lounges. With co founder Eric Bernstrom Jeremy open Tonic Restaurant in 2003 and it quickly grew into a neighborhood intuition some wondered allowed what they did before Tonic. Soon after with new partner Ilias Nathanial the trio opened Radius pizza a thriving pizza joint in Mount Pleasant. Jeremy gives 100% to every project he takes on, or he doesn't take it on period.
Jeremy loves to entertain, even during his leisure time. His off time is spent making dinner for family, reading about wine and food, as well as normal household chores, of course! Jeremy's love of the service stems from that very concept of family togetherness and the idea that food and drink are two of the most unifying concepts know to man. They are not only essential to survival, but also to the proliferation of people and culture. They allow us to unwind and enjoy both pleasures of the senses as well as belonging. This is the driving force behind Jeremy's desire to bring people together and show them a good time.