CommunitySpotlight Series


Spotlight on BBN: Pull up a seat at Wheeler’s Pharmacy

Posted at 7:00 PM, Mar 14, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Since the pandemic, the gatherings here have been reduced to one or two days per week, but for some reason, they seem to have taken on even more meaning now.

Wheeler’s Pharmacy, located on the edge of downtown Lexington, has been a staple in this city for generations. Breakfast is served here daily, and it is good, but isn’t served nearly as hot as some of the opinions that get thrown around the “horseshoe of knowledge.” (That’s the table the guys all sit around. It’s shaped like a horseshoe, but you could probably figure that out.)

“With BBN (Big Blue Nation) anywhere you go there’s an opinion. But a lot of those opinions get sorted out here,” said Rob Goodman.

Goodman has been coming here since he was a kid. Now his kids like to visit as well. The 52-year-old is one of about eight people in the group on this Friday morning. The members mean a lot to one another. The time they share here means everything.

“In different times we all go through things in our lives. These guys have reached out to me, or I’ve reached out to them,” said Mark Mellinger. He’s a Kentucky transplant celebrating his 25th anniversary sitting around this table. There are times he’ll miss a session. He might even go several weeks between visits depending on what’s going on in his life. But he takes solace in knowing that his seat will always be kept warm.

“You could be gone 3 or 4 months and come back in and they’ll say, ‘hey, Mark, hey, Tom, hey, Larry,” he explained of the connection here.

From University of Kentucky sports of all kinds, yes, basketball leads the way, to politics and almost everything else, there is never a lull in the conversation around this table. And you will always find a familiar face and a smile.

“It’s always a 'hello, and how are you doing', and 'what’s going on today?' It’s just a nice place to be,” Goodman added.

A family environment in a place that is, and always has been, family-owned.

“It’s always been a part of my life because my dad started all of this in 1958, so it means a lot,” said owner, Stuart Wheeler whose latter comment is a bit of an understatement.

“You feel like you’re connected to a group and it’s bigger than just basketball,” Mellinger said.

“They are so inviting and that’s what makes it so special,” Goodman said.