Olmos Pharmacy has changed. The actual pharmaceuticals have not returned, and the lunch-counter burgers and shakes still remain during the day. The difference is that now at night beer and wine are served. Olmos Park could use a bar, so I was eager to check it out.
To be honest, when I first heard the name Olmos Bharmacy I didn’t think it rolled off the tongue very well. (I still don’t.) But as I contemplated the sign outside and realized they simply added a little loop beneath the P to make it a B, I understood their approach: The changes were going to be simple.
As I stepped inside and took a quick look around, my suspicion was confirmed. Their best move was to do very little. The food counter was still the same; on the other half of the room a bar had been quickly born. The feel was very casual. Simple tables lined the wall.
I sat down at the small bar in the back and looked over the wine list. By the front door an impromptu dance floor had developed, with an informal tango dance class going on. Or perhaps it was just tango night. Either way I took it as a good sign that people in the community were making the space their own.
A few people were waiting by themselves for their dates to arrive — possibly for a blind tango hook-up. The crowd was generally late 30s at the youngest, with most of the patrons in their 50s and up. I talked to a few college students who were also there for the first time. The bar is new enough that its reputation is still unformed.
The Bharmacy offers a handful of beer options, all in the $3-4 range. There are more wine offerings, with several bottles upwards of $40 and $50, but my guess is that most people will drink wine for $8 a glass. To critique the wine would seem to miss the point of Olmos Bharmacy’s casual, unpretentious atmosphere. For me, this is a place to stop off on the way home from work, but for many of the older locals who frequent it, it might seem more like a crazy night out on the town.
The Olmos Bharmacy
Grown-up but relaxed neighborhood bar
Tango lessons on the small dance floor
Upscale wine list
Unspoiled old-pharmacy aesthetic
Mon-Thu; 4pm-2am Fri & Sat