January 19

What’s going in at the Maple Leaf Pharmacy?



Since the Maple Leaf Pharmacy, a fixture in the neighborhood for decades, closed in October, we’ve had many ask: “What will replace it?”

Three months later, the answer remains: No one knows.

The pharmacy site is a prime neighborhood retail location at the corner of Northeast 89th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast.

Bob Jackman – son of the original pharmacist owner “Dick” Jackman, who died in 2012 – was in town over the holidays, but hasn’t found a new occupant.

In an email, Bob Jackman wrote:

“So far I have talked with two people and not found anything yet. I am making arrangements to be able to show the space and then I am going to put a sign in the window.

“I would like to get something in there that works well in the neighborhood and with the (next-door Roosevelt) Alehouse. I guess we’ll see how it goes. I have been reading the Seattle Times every day and Seattle seems to be doing pretty well so I am hopeful that good things will happen.”

Readers have variously wished for a grocery store, another restaurant, a bakery and a butcher store/deli at the site. Oh, and a used bookstore. And a small pet store. And a(nother) coffee shop.

Other ideas, proposals? You can reach Jackman through comments here.

About the author 

Sara W

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  1. In the interim it would be nice to see a pop up shop. Many people are hoping for a small affordable neighborhood space to get their name/product/services out in front of the community. Would be a great way to fill the space to attract daytime traffic and even a little PR for Maple Leaf and would help draw shoppers from the Roosevelt area.


  2. A small grocery stocking pantry staples, dairy, bread, and some basic fruit and veg would be amazing! (And as another poster suggested, maybe it could have a small ice cream and/or espresso counter…) I’d visit every day over going to QFC if possible.

    MLL, any updates for us on a potential tenant?


  3. I am still hoping a restaurant/bar goes in the disused Maple Leaf water tower. The view would be terrific.
    Tim, good luck with your endeavor, whatever it may be.


  4. MLL – Have you have had any response from Bob Jackman about my inquiry? If not, can you share his contact info with me offline so I might try him directly. Thank you!
    MLL: We’ve sent him your contact info.


  5. Donald T-
    I agree 100%. People need to help out and not oppose government just to be cool or should I say pool. We should never be against helping out our friends in need.
    I have thought for months we could help out more. Sadly in Maple Leaf there only two potentially viable locations. I think people here are progressive enough to handle viable alternatives.
    I am not sure about pharmacy location as a headquarters. Currently we are looking at a motherinlaw apt as ground zero. Thanks for not being what we call a Maple Loaf


  6. Poo on you who took a sincere question about what readers would like to see happen in a small neighborhood commercial space and turn that into another opportunity to post a completely unrelated anti city/government rant. Q: what’s your favorite kind of pizza? A: the kind they don’t hand out for free to people who don’t reserve it. Get a life.


  7. Hey, Friend of Seattle!
    You are doing noone any favors by coddling miscreants that come into our neighborhoods to steal and be bums. Why don’t you care about your neighbors that live here first?
    For the record, I will never embrace any one that leaves unsightly poo in their wake.
    Aww crap. Your post was sarcasm.


  8. MLG- Didn’t I see you heckling a homeless family with a sick child on Christmas? I love Seattle because it embraces everyone not just those with a three car garage. Sure RV’s and tents can be unsightly and human poo stinky but it’s a small price to pay to be able to sleep anywhere. Don’t rain on our giant sleep over at your expense.


  9. Rumor has it the Seattle City Counsel has already authorized that it may be used by a non profit that will provide free tents, spray paint cans, RV repair, shopping carts and some basic tools such as crowbars and hammers. Given the the anticipated popularity and demand for such items, the council has also authorized free unlimited parking and camping throughout the ML area for wouldbe customers provided they can provide no ID, no proof of residency or any desire to follow laws and common decency. These caveats will NOT be extended to residents of Maple Leaf and the surrounding neighborhoods.


  10. I’ll echo the comments about a well-curated small market/deli. I know the margin on grocery stores is very low, but there are some successes to emulate, such as the Sunset Hill Green Market at 65th and 32nd NW. A bookstore would be fantastic, but a bit of a pipe dream in this day and age.

    Last but not least, maybe it could become some sort of community multi-purpose space, a hybrid between the Stone Way Cafe, UW’s Experimental College, East-West Bookshop, and Om Culture–open mic nights, classes and training on a variety of eclectic topics, a well-curated book/gift selection, occasional performances by local artists, and a seasonal farmers market.

    We could really distinguish our wonderful Maple Leaf community if we could pull this last wild and crazy idea together…


  11. Any restaurant would be good.
    If a grocery, Ken’s Market might be a good fit. Pet store a good fit with an audience.

    Or…talk to the alehouse about expanding with merged bottleshop.


  12. I’d love to see another bar with food. We need more of a nightlife in our neighborhood. I work during the days, am incredibly busy on the weekends, the only time I can frequent local businesses is after work at night. I love the few places we have, but I’d love more.


  13. I’ve always thought Maple Leaf needs a little ice cream shop (+ bakery?), especially now that the park’s expanded. I know that Cloud City partly fills this role, but the daily line out the door shows just how much business another shop would get.


  14. We had a great small market at 85th and 5th, until, as I heard it, the landlord forced out the grocery founders and then let somebody else run it — and it failed after a few years because the new operators were never as good as the original.

    I wonder what the rent would be for that place at 89th, and how much business somebody would have to do to cover the rent plus earn a living.


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