The 'Giveaway' store, which according to the internet is actually called Giveaway Discount Drugs Inc., is one of those strange Miami things, right in the middle of South Beach on Washington Avenue. The messy old store frontage that has, incredulously, hobbled on for years is now for lease. New paper is up over the windows with fresh 'For Lease' signs. Curbed wanted to know the story behind this strange edifice, so went to the most reliable kind of source we know, longtime Miami locals who have lived through the history that Curbed attempts to write about. Method of contact: Facebook, naturally.
According to photographer and researcher of Miami's historic architectural oddities Phillip Pessar:
It was a drug store for many years, it opened in 1967. The old man who owned it also owned the building. He used to come every day with his wife and sit in the store even though there was hardly any merchandise left and what was left was decades old. He had things like old Sweet and Low Packs. A couple of years ago I noticed that he was no longer coming in with his wife, she must have died. I guess he either died or he is no longer able to make the trip to the store. I would buy old display stuff from him once in awhile. He was very cantankerous. He stopped coming in to the store very recently. Lynn Bernstein, from Miami Beach City government:
[The man's name is] Bernardo Prashnick. A lovely man. Well into his 90's now. Mitch Novick, historic preservationist:
I'm unsure if the facade consists of a corrugated metal facia which hides an architectural surprise from generations ago. Donald Douglas:
I just cleaned that store. I cleaned the roof and the inside. He's very sick, still alive. Last week when I was cleaning up over there his son said he ain't got much longer.
It seems South Beach’s ‘Giveaway’ store, a mystery that has existed on this corner for as long as I can remember because...Posted by Sean McCaughan on Thursday, August 27, 2015
· What happened to the Giveaway Store? [Facebook]