Remembering St. Pete’s Webb’s City, the ‘World’s Most Unusual Drug Store’
Billed as the "World's Most Unusual Drug Store," Webb's City opened to the public in 1925 by James Earl "Doc" Webb as a small and modest storefront at the corner of 9th Street and 2nd Avenue South in St. Petersburg, Florida. Long before stores like Walmart and Costco came along, Webb's motto was "Stack it high and sell it cheap," and it worked.
A true master at getting thousands through the doors, over the following years Webb would expand his store to include insane attractions like dancing chickens, chimp acts, baseball playing ducks, a "live" mermaid show, three-cent breakfasts and more. He even sold $1 bills to customers for 85 cents.
At its peak, Webb's City expanded to a massive bazaar, covering 77 stores over 7 city blocks. While the attractions were a hit, the costs was difficult to maintain and the store became increasingly unprofitable. Webb's officially closed for good on August 18, 1979. Sadly, the original building was knocked down in 1985, but Webb's is still remembered as one of Pinellas County's biggest attractions. More recently, attempts to preserve Webb's former home in St. Pete as a historic landmark, have been denied by city commissioners, and now one of the last remaining memories of the man who changed St. Pete is set to be demolished sometime this summer.
All photos via Florida State Archives