Local Media

Seminole Heights lands indie pharmacy and cafe

What’s one way to mix modern tastes with old-school traditions? Open up a dual concept called Mortar & Pestle, apparently.

This new indie pharmacy and café, under construction at 6308-6310 N. Florida Ave., is putting a contemporary twist on the classic pharmacy soda shops of the early 1900s, as well as historic small-town mom-and-pop drugstores. The 3,920-square-foot venture occupies two buildings to bring what it calls “a community gathering place and social hub” to Seminole Heights.

In addition to serving a patron’s prescription needs, Mortar & Pestle is set to offer a relaxing environment in its adjacent café, where local sodas, espresso drinks, Florida craft beer and wine, desserts, and small plates will be featured. Its grand opening is planned for November.

“Mortar & Pestle will deliver attentive service for everything from soothing an ache to soothing a sweet tooth,” reads a news release from Mortar & Pestle, “just as pharmacists of the past once filled prescriptions and mixed ice cream sodas with equal skill.”

Local businesswoman and politician Rose Ferlita closed the doors of her business, Rose Drugs, in 2007, and the neighborhood hasn’t had a community pharmacy since. There are fewer than 10 of them throughout the greater Tampa area, according to the release.

Entrepreneurs bring pharmacy, cafe to Seminole Heights

A slice of nostalgia is coming to Seminole Heights.

A trio of entrepreneurs is under construction on Mortar & Pestle, an independent pharmacy and cafe that will combine two buildings for 3,920 square feet at 6308 and 6310 N. Florida Ave. It is slated to open in November.

Mortar & Pestle, an independent pharmacy and cafe, is opening in Seminole Heights.
The concept is the brainchild of Jessica Patel, Ujwal Patel and Badal Patel. It is inspired, the group said in a news release, by “America’s historic mom-and-pop drugstores.”

It will fill prescriptions and serve locally made sodas, espresso drinks, Florida craft beers, wines, desserts and small plates at an adjacent cafe.

Rose Drugs, the neighborhood’s last independent pharmacy, closed in 2007.

Seminole Heights, which has been on the verge of urban renaissance for several years, is starting to reach a tipping point as more residents and businesses are moving to the area.

Ashley Gurbal Kritzer is senior reporter for the Tampa Bay Business Journal.