BIZNOTE: Pharmaca sets West Seattle closing date

For weeks, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy employees in The Junction have been telling customers their store will close, according to readers. We’ve tried repeatedly to get that confirmed; the store told us we had to talk to corporate, corporate would not return our calls and emails. We were just back at the store yesterday asking again if they could go on the record yet. Then today, a sign announcing the closing date went up in the store; after a tip, we went over for a look. It says the store’s last day will be Monday, September 26th, and that prescriptions will be transferred to the California SW Rite-Aid. Pharmaca opened its West Seattle store 14 1/2 years ago; the chain of 28 stores was taken over last year by a “digital pharmacy” company called Medly. This is the second business to close in the West Seattle Junction building at 4707 California SW; the wine shop Bin 41 announced its closure a month ago.

73 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Pharmaca sets West Seattle closing date"

  • Grateful to Pharmaca WS September 13, 2022 (4:09 pm)

    Oh noooooooo!!! What happened?  Pharmaca is amazing and wonderful.  Very sad to say farewell to this store and very kind pharmacists.

  • Fiz September 13, 2022 (4:13 pm)


  • Joan September 13, 2022 (5:09 pm)

    That’s terrible news. They were a unique store. Ugh, Rite Aid is NO comparison. I refuse to go there. Let’s hope Bartells stays!

  • WET September 13, 2022 (5:14 pm)

    such a community loss. Is something happening with the building? 

  • A Concerned Local September 13, 2022 (5:24 pm)

    Pharmaca is closing due to the landlords, Sam and Gary Virk (owners of Maharaja), letting the building fall into a dangerous state of disrepair after a year of both management at the store and Pharmaca/Medly corporate reaching out to them with little to no response and no legitimate action taken to fix the structural damage to the roof that eventually ended up shorting out several light fixtures and flooding the front end of the store a few months ago (posing both health and safety concerns for employees and customers but also destroying store fixtures and merchandise), no action taken to repair the walls that are cracking in two, or the damage to the foundation of the building that is essentially rotting away and is ultimately what caused Bin41 to leave as their floor was starting to sink in (hardwood floors should, like, be HARD not spongey). Did I mention that an independent mold test was paid for out of pocket by a tenant in the building? Would it surprise you if I told you that mold was found? Again, I want to reiterate that they were reached out to repeatedly, consistently, for a year with absolutely NO action taken to fix the damage. They had a years worth of opportunities to do the right thing, now as a result, many people have lost their jobs or businesses, have to uproot their lives, and/or don’t have access to the medication or supplements from a beloved and trusted community staple — it’s a ripple effect that impacts so many and is part of why this community feels like it’s being torn apart. I’m so tired of this.

    • Anne September 13, 2022 (6:57 pm)

      Be clear-while  the Virk brothers own the building that houses Pharmaca  & Bin 41 -they do not own the building that houses Maharaja. 

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 14, 2022 (7:39 am)

      That’s is not the only reason Pharmaca is having. Corporate issues as well.

      • WS98 September 16, 2022 (8:37 am)

        I’ve heard the same, the closure likely has more to do with their recent layoff announcement than landlord issues that can be resolved in court. Medly is new to the health and wellness industry (1+1=).’s a big loss for those who’ve relied on Pharmaca for the last 14+ years, there’s no better pharmacy around. It’s a HUGE loss for the absolutely fabulous employees who now have to find employment in an incredibly tight market. 

        • DJ Blaster September 16, 2022 (12:24 pm)

          Nope. While the West Sea closure did coincide with other store closures throughout the company, this location was financially successful. The closing of West Seattle Pharmaca is 100% land lord related. Their lease is up soon and the landlords are greedy. Nothing more. 

          • Dee Elle September 16, 2022 (4:38 pm)

            Where can we complain? 

    • CC September 14, 2022 (10:31 am)

      Is there a way to get publicly available info about this? I’d like to not support Maharaja anymore if this is the case.

  • seaopgal September 13, 2022 (5:26 pm)

    My partner and I appreciated them so much during COVID vaccinations, and a nice offering of products not available elsewhere local.

  • Peter September 13, 2022 (5:29 pm)


  • aa September 13, 2022 (5:31 pm)

    Prescriptions transferred to Rite-Aid- that is a bummer.  Bartells in Jefferson Square isn’t any better. Is there really no other option than these interchangeable mediocre corporate stores with a pharmacy in the back?

  • Azimuth September 13, 2022 (5:39 pm)

    That’s a bummer. That would be a great location for a small food hall.

    • Kt September 14, 2022 (8:39 am)

      Great idea!

  • LAME September 13, 2022 (5:44 pm)


  • admiral admirable September 13, 2022 (5:48 pm)

     dang. pharmaca was so much better than the standard drug stores

  • Sad for West Seattle Junction September 13, 2022 (5:55 pm)

    This is the second business to leave this building. If you’ve been in the Bin41 space, you’ll have noticed a huge slope to the floor going down to the KeyBank side of the space. There was a decorative pot that tried to obscure a giant crack running up the wall when the shop was open. With no paper up on the windows, the cracks in the plaster are very obvious to see if you’re in the hallway going to Pharmaca. I’m not surprised Pharmaca is leaving the building as well, due to the lack of response to these dangerous conditions from the landlords. First the Tacqueria, then Bin41, and now Pharmaca. Who’s next for these guys to force out of the Junction?

  • LivesInWS September 13, 2022 (6:13 pm)

    taken over last year by a “digital pharmacy” company called Medly.”Taken over and out. Seems to be par for the course that when a smaller company gets bought out the buyer will shut it down. Shame.

    • Sad for West Seattle September 13, 2022 (6:56 pm)

      It’s only the West Seattle Pharmaca location that’s closing, not the whole chain. The new corporate owner of Pharmaca isn’t at fault. It’s the building owners not maintaining the building that is making them close here in West Seattle.

    • A Concerned Local September 13, 2022 (8:01 pm)

      While ultimately it was Medly/Pharmaca that made the final decision to pull the plug, the reasoning behind it is entirely because of the landlords, Sam and Gary Virk. Had they have responded to a years worth of reaching out to have them fix the massive structural issues with the building, likely Pharmaca would at least have ridden out their lease in that location, if not possibly renewed — Pharmaca was a successful business in that location, there was no other reason to leave. The landlords let the building completely disintegrate and did absolutely nothing to fix it, the building has become hazardous to operate out of.

  • WGA September 13, 2022 (6:29 pm)

    Dang-I was meaning to transfer my prescriptions from Rite Air (Cal) to Pharmaca all summer. I guess I’m glad I procrastinated.
    Sorry to see it go as we need more choices. Someday our only choice will be CVSWalAid!
    Also, I like the pharmacists there while Rite Aid seems to have a revolving door.

    Maybe the pharmacy in QFC? 

    • Sue H September 13, 2022 (8:36 pm)

      I really like the pharmacy in QFC. I feel like I have much more personalized care than I ever got at the giant chain places. It’s been taking them a little longer to fill some prescriptions lately, like having to get stuff on order, and I don’t know if that’s a general supply chain issue or an issue with them, but just something to keep in mind. 

      • Frustrated Parent September 13, 2022 (9:59 pm)

        QFC’s pharmacy is great! Rite-Aid on Caliy is a fiasco that has left us without prescriptions during emergencies and twice have embarrassed me and a friend I was assisting in front of other clients. Awful awful awful. Poor HIPAA standards, too.
        QFC has been 95% amazing and the 5% that wasn’t has a better attitude now. It’s been seven years with them now and I love them.

  • Rose Laughlin September 13, 2022 (6:35 pm)

    Terrible news! An incredible store and staff! 

  • HTB September 13, 2022 (6:43 pm)

    WSB – will there be a follow up / resolution on the landlord issues from the site?

    • WSB September 13, 2022 (7:11 pm)

      If anyone will go on record, please contact us. ( For starters, I checked city files and there are no complaints on file about building conditions.

      • Sad for another community loss September 13, 2022 (8:02 pm)

        There are no complaints on file because the city does not take nor conduct building inspections to verify violations or safety concerns of commercially rented spaces, only single family / residential structures. That is a shame on the city’s part. King County only responds to buildings in unincorporated areas, instead deferring back to the city agencies where in city limits. Appears these tenants have no protections or support in situations like this.

      • A Concerned Local September 13, 2022 (8:15 pm)

        There were no complaints filed with the city because Pharmaca had spent the last year giving the benefit of a doubt, trying to get the landlords to just fix the freaking roof already — their concern now is getting out of the building before rainy season begins and the building starts flooding and leaking again.

        • lowmanbeachdrive September 13, 2022 (9:10 pm)

          Leaks cause mold which can make those with mold intolerances very sick – and, if it’s black mold, can make everyone very sick. Whomever rents the place next should have it tested for mold to make sure it’s not the toxic type. That stuff will kill you – for real.

  • KD September 13, 2022 (6:45 pm)

    It may be a bit of a drive for those that can drive, but the pharmacy at the Roxbury Safeway has always had amazing employees and the same recognizable pharmacists for years. I recently wrote a Thankyou card to them and asked them to send it on to corporate to say how very helpful and patient the whole staff at that pharmacy was during the stress of Covid and how they never were rude or rushed, despite how bad the public had become. If you want a helpful trustworthy pharmacy and can make it over to Safeway on Roxbury.. 👍🏼 

    • lowmanbeachdrive September 13, 2022 (9:11 pm)

      Thank you! I will check them out. :)

  • HS September 13, 2022 (6:54 pm)

    As a customer I’m very sorry to see them go.

  • Duffy September 13, 2022 (7:08 pm)

    Such a shame what is happening to our junction. Soon it’s going to be vacancies left and right. And yeah, this is why landlords often get a bad name, because some of them are indeed BAD.

  • WS98 September 13, 2022 (8:55 pm)

    It looks more like they weren’t invested in staying in WS. Pharmaca has a loyal customer base, it’s always busy so why couldn’t a corporate backed chain open a new store somewhere else in WS? 

    • A Concerned Local September 13, 2022 (10:35 pm)

      Please read the comments above, your comment is ill conceived. Pharmaca is leaving because they have spent a year consistently communicating with the landlords about the structural damage to the building, namely the roof and constant leaking and eventual flooding, with next to no response and no action to address or fix the issue. It has gotten significantly worse over time, the building is now hazardous to operate in and is why Bin41 had to vacate the building too. Pharmaca and the staff inside did NOT want to close this store down, as it does well monetarily, the staff *adore* their customers, and love this beautiful community. There is a plethora of reasons why they are not relocating (which was the initial plan), but the main one is that they’re trying to get out of the building before rainy season is upon us and the store floods again. It will cost the company a lot of money to either pay to break the lease now or pay monthly on the remainder of the lease… which is still less expensive than paying to fix the roof the landlords let completely decay. This all could’ve been avoided if Sam and Gary Virk were good landlords and abided by the terms of the lease. Just saying.

      • Obligation? September 14, 2022 (9:36 am)

        If you truly are a concerned local, please file a complaint.  
        Regarding structural damage, damaged electrical and black molds, Seattle DCI does address them:
        Examples of Potential Violations
        Construction work conducted without a permit.
        Safety issues such as collapsing buildings or failing retaining walls, landslides that threaten a building, unsafe boilers or elevators, or unsafe electrical problems.

        Please file a formal complaint to DCI, if for no other reason than to get it on the record.  

        People’s safety is foremost.  

        • Sad for another community loss September 14, 2022 (12:00 pm)

          The city does not conduct inspections of existing commercial structures, only residential or new commercial for certificate of occupancy. Filing a complaint won’t accomplish anything, except to get your contact information made publicly accessible to the building owner. Based on comments, probably not a situation an individual wants to be in. King County will only respond to violation complaints in unincorporated locations.

          • Obligation? September 14, 2022 (7:11 pm)

            That is simply. false.
            The Seattle DCI complaint process keeps the compaintant’s information confidential.
            Why is the such resistance and denial of a life saving process?  
            The building is clearly not safe, “structurally” and “electrically”  compromised and inhabited with toxic molds according to these posts. 
            If its that bad, the building should be evacuated and  red-tagged, and the city definitely red tags unsafe buildings wether commercial or residential. 

          • Sad for another community loss September 15, 2022 (12:00 am)

            Not false. I know firsthand from an individual in this type of situation that spent days coordinating with both agencies. The inspectors at SDCI on more than one phone consultation were very clear that unfortunately the COS will not inspect an ‘existing’ commercial structure. They would go out if it were a residential structure or a construction violation for ‘new’ construction. King County will only inspect structures in unincorporated areas. Feel free to contact the applicable departments/agencies and speak to inspectors firsthand to confirm for yourself. The tenant has no safeguards in this situation.

    • JVP September 14, 2022 (7:01 am)

      Well I loved Pharmaca because it wasn’t busy.  Never a line, which is a stark comparison to Bartell, which was always a wait. Building issues aside, I can’t say I was all that surprised to see them shut down this location. Kind of weird how busy one Pharmacy 2 blocks away was compared to this.

  • lowmanbeachdrive September 13, 2022 (9:06 pm)

    Wonderful store manager and staff.  I am saddened. If you are the manager and staff and you are reading this – thank you for being awesome. Also, Cassie (?), the ND, was so lovely. One of a kind group. 

  • Sara V. September 13, 2022 (9:55 pm)

    This is so sad and infuriating. The third great business to close in a matter of weeks due to horrible landlords/owners – Click!, Bin41 and now Pharmaca. In the meantime they are putting up no parking or limited parking signs everywhere. What is happening to the Junction is sad. The small community feel is eroding.  

  • Newbie September 14, 2022 (5:38 am)

    I moved to WS in May to be near family. Pharmaca is one of my favorite businesses in the Junction. Seems like a boycott of the landlord’s’ restaurant is in order. I know I won’t be dining there again.

    • Jaye September 16, 2022 (4:34 pm)

      I dined at Maharaji once, not impressed. The restaurant never seemed busy. I guess the Virk brothers are doing just fine, thank you, screwing over their tenants. And selling drinks in their dingy bar in the back of Maharaji.I wish Pharmaca, Bin 41, etc. could file a class action lawsuit, but I don’t know anything about landlord/tenant laws. Looks like the good guys like Pharmaca have very few rights.

    • aa September 19, 2022 (5:33 am)

      Do you really think it is fair to cause financial harm to a business simply because they have a bad landlord?  I think it is wrong that people keep mentioning this restaurant as being owned by the same people and your response to boycott, typical of our trigger-happy social climate, is an example why.  Get your facts straight before you start down the road of disparaging and inflicting unnecessary financial harm to those who don’t deserve it. 

  • Nwe September 14, 2022 (5:52 am)

    The landlords sound awful! It seems like these same landlords have been part of other business closing stories recently. These empty storefronts create a bad look for our main commercial area. Landlords need to be incentivized to fill the spaces – I hope they don’t get to claim any sort of lost income when their poor management leads to tenants leaving. 

  • Kelly S September 14, 2022 (5:55 am)

    Perhaps they wanted the tenants all to leave so as to sell to a developer and we will get another souless apartment/condo building with retail space at street level that no one but corporate businesses can afford.   It would be a big windfall for the landlords.

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 14, 2022 (7:41 am)

    Fyi You have a choice about your prescription transfer. If you don’t want it to go to rite aid then call.Pharmacists have been very generous with information over the last few weeks.

  • WS4life September 14, 2022 (7:47 am)

    Really sucks to hear this news 😣

  • Mark47n September 14, 2022 (6:45 pm)

    Tenants and third parties can absolutely file a complaint about building issues and they don’t have to involve new construction. If there is evidence of structural failings, unsafe building conditions, and such you can report it to the Seattle Dept. of Construction and Inspections (SDCI). You must be able to provide some means of documentation, though, or the complaint will be ignored. This can be a well written description including location, description of issue, photos, etc. That there are no complaints on record says quite a bit. Why are tenants not utilizing the enforcement tools available to them? Ignorance? Unlikely.  More likely is the fact that the gears of bureaucracy grind slowly and the amount of time required to get any sort of resolution on repairing a failing building will outlast the lease.

    • Sad for another community loss September 15, 2022 (12:12 am)

      Have you ever filed a complaint on an existing commercial space? See comment above regarding a contact reaching out to SDCI re: a similar situation. Days spent on the phone with both COS and KC. The city inspectors were sympathetic but clear that the city does not respond to or inspect existing commercial structures. One can file a complaint, with contact information made publicly available upon request, but it still would result in no inspection. Does not make it right, but they don’t inspect existing commercial structures, at least according to the inspectors that field calls at that department (which takes time and patience to actually get a live person to talk to). They deflect to KC who in turn will not inspect structures within city limits. They defer back to the city agency. In the end, it is a bad case of hot potato with no agency willing to step up and do an inspection.

  • Junction Naturopathic Medicine September 14, 2022 (9:39 pm)

    We are very saddened to hear about the closure of Pharmaca and are committed to continuing to offer nutrient injections and quality supplements to the West Seattle community. We are located across the street in the Hamm Building. Give us a call 206-937-6747 or email at

  • Suzanne September 15, 2022 (5:34 am)

    As I passed the brick store fronts in the Junction last night, illuminated with cheery lights and cascading flower baskets, I found myself already nostalgic for this historic business district in the heart of West Seattle. Its demise feels like an oncoming train, this silent but conspicuous plan by the new landlords, Virk Brothers Properties LLC (owners of Maharaja restaurant), to allow these beautiful buildings to deteriorate to the point of no return. It sure looks like an intent on their part to justify tearing them down and replace them with generic, soul-less structures. They claim to have no plans to redevelop the building (per WSBs 8/11 article on the closing of Bin 41)   but safety concerns voiced by staff in their buildings, along with visible cracks in their buildings, sloping floors, leaking roofs, and mold on ceiling tiles says otherwise.  

    It’s beyond frustrating to hear that Pharmaca is the latest business
    to leave the Junction, and all the more galling to learn that they’ll have to
    pay for breaking their lease despite health and safety concerns directly
    related to Virk Brothers’ complete disregard of essential maintenance to keep
    these structures safe (per comment by “A Concerned Local,” above). There should
    be laws protecting small businesses from slumlords like these.

    Just last week people wanting to rent Click’s newly vacant space said no to the unsustainable terms of a new lease demanded by Virk Brothers. No landlord with an interest in maintaining their property would allow the many vacancies that now exist to remain unfilled. This is clearly deliberate on their part. The big money is in redevelopment. The pattern has come into clear focus as these vacancies pile up – Virk Brothers are conspicuously thumbing their noses at the Junction’s small business community.  

    To the managers and staff of Pharmaca, man oh man, I’ll miss you. You’ve always come through with exceptional advice and customer service. You’ve made Pharmaca an important source for consistently reliable recommendations for health and beauty products. Rite Aid and Bartells don’t begin to compare with all that you offer. Adrienne, the manager, has created a real community in her staff and customers. All the money in the world is no substitute for the warmth and genuine caring that the people at Pharmaca, Click, Bin 41, Taqueria Guaymas, Lika Love, Village Woodworks, along with Easy Streets Records, Next To Nature, Capers, Cupcake Royale, many more  brought/bring every day to our special local business district in the Junction. They and all the remaining small businesses are the soul of the Junction and glue that helps make West Seattle special and a world apart from the rest of Seattle. (West Seattle Blog is a
    super glue for our community. Thank goodness WSB isn’t based in one of Virk Brother’s buildings.)  

    To everyone at Pharmaca, your leaving is a great loss for so many of us. I sure hope all of you end up able to remain in WS and working for employers you enjoy. ~~ We will miss you! ~~

  • angie September 15, 2022 (11:37 am)

    i worked for that heinous company im soooo glad they are leaving they say when karma works if you are lucky god lets you watch !!!!!!!! goodbye jerks !!!!!! bring back Mortons Pharmacy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • A Carter Jr September 16, 2022 (9:52 am)

      Angie, im pretty sure you worked for the company about 14 years ago, and that zero percent of the employees and home office staff from that era are still around. The current staff at West Seattle have nothing to do with your previous experiences. Maybe show some respect for the people who’s lives are being uprooted instead of focusing on ancient grievances.

    • An Annoyed Employee September 16, 2022 (2:38 pm)

      Angie, you were fired 14 years ago from Pharmaca because your son came into the store and threatened to harm the staff and “harm” is wording it nicely. Please stop.

  • JenT September 16, 2022 (10:22 am)

    Well, drat. When I moved to the area I was thrilled to see a Pharmaca. I used to go to one in Berkeley back in 2004, and then in San Diego. They really helped me find supplements (i’m super skeptical usually) that actually were good quality and helpful.

    Who are these awful landlords that commenters keep mentioning, and what businesses do they own so we can boycott them?

    • A Concerned Local September 16, 2022 (2:34 pm)

      Sam and Gary Virk are the landlords of the building Pharmaca resides in currently, they own Maharaja the Indian restaurant on California.

  • Dee Elle September 16, 2022 (5:39 pm)

    The long time manager of Pharmaca is amazing. He is so knowledgeable, patient and kind . He did an amazing job protecting his employees and clients during the height of the pandemic. I’m really bummed. I love that place. 

    • The Asst Mngr of WS Pharmaca September 18, 2022 (8:33 pm)

      Sean, the store manager, my boss, has been an absolute godsend to work with. As you said, he did an amazing job keeping everyone inside of that store safe during covid as well as ensuring that our store is a safe place for everyone in every sense of the word. I have never had a boss who is so kind, empathetic, patient, compassionate, and understanding and never, in my entire working career, have I ever felt I’ve had a healthy work/life balance until I started working for him. He has enabled me to enjoy my life and live it to the fullest because of both his loving encouragement and his flexibility with my schedule. I can’t even begin to express how much this has meant to me over the years and how much it has helped keep me in a good place mentally. On top of this, he would constantly fight for me (and all of our team) to make sure I’m getting paid fairly, or him coming in on his days off when someone has made me feel uncomfortable or unsafe to help and diffuse, as just a couple of examples. I could honestly list a million incredible things he’s done for us over the last 4 years I’ve worked for the company but we’d seriously be here all day. Above everything else, he has become my FRIEND and has always been there to listen to me, offer me advice, or give me some comforting words. He’s the kind of friend who would drive you to the airport at 4:30 AM and show up with coffee for you. He’s just all around an amazing human being and my heart is beyond broken that I can’t work with him anymore over such absurdity. His presence in my life has been so calming and beneficial and I will forever be grateful for the last 4 years working with him. You can find Sean at the Madison Park Medly going forward! He really loves anime.

  • Suzanne September 19, 2022 (12:00 am)

    It might help encourage Pharmaca to open another store here in WS if we let them know we’d really like that to happen.  This is how to reach them —

    • Suzanne Rules September 19, 2022 (10:14 am)

      This is a great idea!

  • Sean September 26, 2022 (7:35 am)

    As a former employee of Medly, I can tell you that this location is absolutely being closed because of corporate mismanagement. It’s very upsetting because Pharmaca was a lovely place to shop and every location I visited was a positive experience. Medly pulled it onto it’s own sinking ship, unfortunately. 

    • Nope September 27, 2022 (10:43 pm)

      Sean, i am a current employee of Medly and worked at the West Seattle location, and I must say, that you dont know what you are talking about. As someone with firsthand knowledge pertaining to West Seattle’s closure, let me state, it is 100% landlord related! This location is closing for no other reason. 

  • Sad customer September 26, 2022 (9:49 am)

    Oh, no! I’m so very sad to see them go. I remember when Super Supplements moved from the Alaska Junction to the Morgan Junction, it was a treat to have Pharmaca opened, such quality establishment. I will miss the store and their wonderful staff. Where will we go now for quality products? Such a loss for the community. 

  • HTB September 26, 2022 (12:18 pm)

    Idea: Pharmaca should take the Super Supplements space in Morgan!While we’re at it…– West Seattle Coins buys the HomeStreet Bank Building– Zippy’s Giant Burgers to the Sub Shop building by O’Neill’s Plumbing– Click! to the old mortgage buildingBring on the next Morgan Junction mini-boom!

  • Les October 4, 2022 (11:34 am)

    Losing Pharmaca is a real blow; I relied on it for so many things. Is there anyway to contact corporate and ask them to relocate in West Seattle? They have a whole customer base here that would love to see them stay. The junction is looking less and less like the West Seattle small town “main street” home I’ve enjoyed for so many years.  With all the high-rise apartments you can’t even see the mountains anymore and so many of my favorite places are gone.  What can we do though? Pharmaca was the main reason I shopped the junction, but when I went to Pharmaca I would often go visit other shops up and down the street just to see what they had to offer.  I was so sad to go to their door and see the closed sign.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes October 4, 2022 (12:53 pm)

      contact corporate

      small town “main street”

Sorry, comment time is over.