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.
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.
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.
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.
If you crave something cold and sweet, customers may order milkshakes and smoothies.
- Ruthann Alexander, @RuthannAlexande