Every morning at 7am, Westbury Apothecary opens its doors just as it has for the past 71 years. The Westbury Apothecary Cafe opened in 1949 and has become a staple of the Freeman community. Located just across the road from Freeman, students have been going to Westbury before school for years for an affordable and delicious breakfast made right in front of their eyes with Westbury’s traditional diner format of an “open kitchen.”
During my freshman year at Freeman, I ate at Westbury for the first time with the cross country team after a Friday morning practice. The cross country team developed a tradition of eating breakfast at Westbury on Friday mornings before Saturday races. I didn’t eat at Westbury much until this past November before another cross country race when I fell in love with one of their signature omelets, the Triple Play. Ever since then I make it my mission to eat at Westbury weekly. Sometimes I even make the journey to Westbury twice a week.
Students have been enjoying meals at the Westbury Cafe since Freeman’s beginnings. Dick Foster, a Freeman alumnus of the class of 1964, has been frequenting Westbury since his high school days. “When Westbury used to be across the street where Melito’s is now, it was a gathering place. Every morning there would be a crowd of Freeman kids for breakfast before school,” said Mr. Foster. He added that “everybody went to Westbury. There were Freeman kids all over the place.” To this day, visitors to the Cafe can find a handful of Freeman alumni and current students enjoying a meal at Westbury at any given time.
Another Freeman alumnus with a connection to Westbury is employee Norman Duncan, who worked at Westbury Cafe during his time at Freeman. Mr. Duncan began his current career at Westbury in 1997. “Westbury is Freeman. We have Freeman kids in here for breakfast everyday. Freeman is what made us, even back in the day when it was across the street,” Duncan said.
Customers of all ages at Westbury are Freeman graduates who have kept coming in years after they’ve graduated. “I have older folks that come in here now that say ‘Oh I used to cut class and come over to Westbury!’ I’ve seen kids … since I’ve been here, at least two generations, not including myself, have their parents be Freeman, and come back for their schools to go there. It all revolves around Freeman. All of our regulars, even the old heads around here, they all come from Freeman,” Mr. Duncan said.
One of these customers is senior Timmy Barlow, who says he has “been there with friends and the Freeman wrestling team before school.” Timmy appreciates the fact that “it’s a very welcoming place where you feel comfortable and know you’re getting quality food when you go there.” Even current students who may have only been once, like Timmy’s friend and fellow senior Archit Kumar, agree it’s “a place where Freeman students meet and chill out together.”