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What's Happening in:  Point Breeze 

First Pics: The Pharmacy coffee shop/cafe opens at 18th and Wharton

A new coffee shop/gallery/music venue called The Pharmacy opened this month in a part of the neighborhood that could really use a coffee shop.

The Pharmacy opened last week, and it's unique for its art shows and live bands.

The Pharmacy, a coffee shop, not a prescription-dispensing place, also offers art shows and live bands.

Owner Gary Viteri said he opened The Pharmacy at  1300 S. 18th St. with the idea of bringing the community together through art and music as well as coffee, pastries, bagels and a handful of other breakfast and lunch items, many of them vegan. Check out the full menu here.

So, why this name? Before Viteri occupied the space, the building served as a medical office. The main room was a waiting room and there was a pharmacy behind the building where a doctor was selling illegal prescriptions, he said. The medical office was shut down and the building went to sheriff sale.

This wide open space used to be the waiting room for the former medical offices that occupied the building. Now people can wait for their coffee and admire art.

This wide open space used to be the waiting room for the former medical offices that occupied the building. Now people can wait for their coffee and admire art.

Patrons can get comfy on chairs and couches at the back of The Pharmacy.

Patrons can get comfy on chairs and couches at the back of The Pharmacy.

Viteri has been working on getting the business going in this corner for more than two years – after deciding to settle down from his life as a traveling musician. At the time, there was nowhere for anyone to go and hang out on the block, and he wanted to give that to the community.

Now that the business is established, Viteri wants to use the works of local artists, hire local bands and use locally roasted coffee and baked goods.

“I think that organic idea of the DIY spirit has a huge impact on this place,” Viteri said.

This creature looks as though he's struggling. This is just one of several pieces contributed by local artists.

This creature looks as though he’s struggling.

Here's some more art to admire.

He gets the coffee from ReAnimator, and the vegan baked goods are made by his baker friend Sophia. There are also waffles, bagels, quesadillas, grilled cheese, sandwiches, chili, spicy seitan, egg salad, tofu tacos and more.

The menu offers vegan and nonvegan breakfast and lunch options.

The menu offers vegan and nonvegan breakfast and lunch options.

Vegan Oreo cupcakes made by Gary's friend.

Vegan Oreo cupcakes made by Gary’s friend

If you crave something cold and sweet, customers may order milkshakes and smoothies.

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The Pharmacy offers a variety of beverages to cure your afternoon slump.

The Pharmacy is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Check out their website  or Facebook page to be updated on current events.

- Ruthann Alexander, @RuthannAlexande

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10 Responses to First Pics: The Pharmacy coffee shop/cafe opens at 18th and Wharton

  1. Mark January 29, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    Hey

    the coffee was great but the best things in there and worth the trip are the vegan cupcakes!!!

    Simply AMAZING !!!

    • Sofia February 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

      I just saw this, thanks so much! Follow my INSTAGRAM account @Thischarmingbakery and feel free to make requests!

  2. Andrew January 29, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

    Agreed on the coffee. Great to see Reanimator in South Philly!

  3. AnthonyG January 30, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    This is great news for the neighborhood! But, I still can’t resist: Drugs at 18th & Wharton! Now legal!

  4. fmd January 30, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Call me paranoid but that seating makes me think of bed bugs.

  5. Jessica G January 30, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Wow. That uses to be a doctors office a loooong time ago. Interested to see how this works out.

  6. Jeff January 31, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    any first pics of the new e-cig shop on 10th? It looked like it was open when I drove past it the other day.

    • Albert Stumm January 31, 2014 at 9:59 am #

      It is open. I’ve stopped in twice now and they said they weren’t ready for me to take pictures.

  7. AnthonyG January 31, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    @Jeff: there is nothing to see at the e-cig shop. It looks like a college dorm room, a couch and a big TV. I guess you’re supposed to sit there and watch TV while “vaping”….

  8. Himanshu February 10, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    Being new in the neighborhood, I want nothing but success for any above-board business that provides good and needed goods and/or services. The whole area could use a lot of new investment infusion as far as businesses go (already getting it on the residential side), because most corners seemingly have stuffed-to-the-gills bodegas and/or beer-by-the-bottle and cig convenience stores that attract some hangers-on/loafers.

    Having said that, the pictures of this place really do make it look like it was opened by an itinerant musician, for fellow musicians on the road, who couldn’t care less about how a place looks so long as they get their morning joe and some grub. The whole place has a bygone era look with old (torn!?) couches that might look at home in a 50s diner; the wooden floor looks quite dirty; the other seating is quite amateurish. And what’s with the…piano? harpsichord? whatever it is, plus the awkwardly long mirror, the weird red outline on the walls, and the really weird arched windows. The roll-up gate just finishes up a perfect Newbold business image, eh?

    I wish the new owners the best, and I will definitely stop by for coffee and some of that amazing vegan/vegetarian food, but am really hoping this isn’t the final, finished space, because if it is, that’s a shame.

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