October 30, 1995 in Nation/World

Now, Only 2 Pharmacies In City’s Core

Frank Bartel The Spokesman-Revi

In their heyday, a dozen or more home-grown pharmacies dotted the central business district of Spokane.

Now, the last two old-line downtown drugstores are merging.

Tuesday will be Wylie-Carlson Pharmacy’s last day at W709 Sprague in the Washington Trust Financial Center.

On Wednesday, the pharmacy’s customer records will be moved to Hart & Dilatush Pharmacy at Sprague and Stevens.

Wylie-Carlson was founded three-quarters of a century ago by two men with those last names, according to Kay and Bill Brandenburg, operators of the pharmacy the past two decades.

The merger leaves PayLess as the only other pharmacy in the city core. Many years ago, there was a home-owned pharmacy by that name.

But today’s PayLess (with a capital “L”) has little if anything in common with the old Payless (with a small letter “l”). Indeed, the current PayLess has changed hands, owners and addresses with such rapidity in recent years that its identity has become one big blur.

Employees have told me that even they are confused about who owns what.

Meanwhile, back in the Washington Trust Financial Center (across the street from the Spokane Transit Authority’s new bus depot), street-floor neighbors of Wylie-Carlson also are vacating.

Washington Governmental Entity Pool is moving in two weeks’ time. The insurance agency will be open for business in the Jefferson 400 Building, S400 Jefferson, on Nov. 13.

At the end of January, Andre-Romberg Insurance Co., a tenant since 1978, will follow to the Jefferson 400 Building.

In addition, within the past year, a jewelry store named the Blue Topaz went out of business on the lobby level of Washington Trust when the owners retired. Also, Delta Air Lines pulled out as part of a national wave of 80 office closures by the airline.

The building property manager says plans are in the works to redevelop the ground floor for expanded bank use. “We’ve targeted mid-1996 for the project,” said David Peterson of the property management firm Goodale & Barbieri.

The bank isn’t in a position to spell out details of the plan yet, said Peterson, “but we are pretty excited about the project.”

Meantime, the only two remaining street-level tenants say they expect to stay put.

Northwest Airlines employee Peggy Bentz says, “We were told by our boss just a week ago that we will be staying here at least two years.”

Domini’s sandwiches and tavern, a fixture for 33 years, is planning on staying “forever,” says Joe Domini.

He has become a downtown luncheon institution. Joe Domini got into the food business at the age of 10 in the 1930s as a helper in his family’s produce store.

That gave way to a sandwich tavern with a brother, now deceased. Domini’s occupied a spot next door to its current location for 11 years before the Washington Trust Financial Center building was completed. The eatery has been in its existing quarters 21 years.

Was there ever an issue that begged more eloquently for a vote by the people than the state Legislature’s $320 million bailout of the Seattle Mariners?

Build us a luxury stadium with skyboxes for rich business supporters, billionaire foreign owners threatened citizens, or we will sell the Mariners - major losers for most of their existence - probably to owners in another city.

Forget it, King County voters said to a local tax increase for a new stadium. So, the scammers turned to state pols.

Discredited Gov. Mike Lowry convened an emergency legislative session. Eastern Washington Republican legislators who have styled themselves as fiscal conservatives, mind you, sold out in a solid block and voted to stick their constituents with higher taxes for the blackmail payoff.

But before this ripoff could be executed, the King County Council had to OK the deal. Council members agonized and whined; then last Monday, they signed.

A citizens group promptly filed suit challenging the constitutionality of the bailout. Maybe the court will side with the citizens. Or the judge may go with the politicians. But wouldn’t it better serve taxpayers to be safe than sorry?

Quick, somebody get up a public referendum to repeal this act of blatant corporate welfare.

, DataTimes MEMO: Associate Editor Frank Bartel’s column appears on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Frank Bartel The Spokesman-Review

Associate Editor Frank Bartel’s column appears on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Frank Bartel The Spokesman-Review

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