Bartell Drugs

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Bartell Drugs
Industry Retail
Successor George H. Bartell, Jr.
Founded 1890 Seattle, Washington
Founder George H. Bartell, Sr.
Headquarters Seattle, Washington
Number of locations
This Bartell drug store stood for many years at the corner of Fourth and Pine in Downtown Seattle, now the site of Westlake Park.

Bartell Drugs is a family-owned [1] chain of pharmacies in the Puget Sound area of the U.S. state of Washington. It primarily serves the Seattle/King County area but also has stores in neighboring Snohomish and Pierce Counties. It claims to be "the nation’s oldest family-owned drugstore chain"; the founder's grandson, George D. Bartell, serves as Chairman and held the role of CEO until 2015. Former REI executive Brian Unmacht became CEO in 2015, the first non-family member CEO in the company's history. The founder's granddaughter, Jean Barber, serves as Vice Chairman and Treasurer.

Bartell Drugs was founded in 1890 when George H. Bartell Sr. (1868–1956) purchased the Lake Washington Pharmacy at 2711 S. Jackson St. in Seattle's Central District/Leschi neighborhood. He opened a second store in 1898 at 506 Second Ave., downtown, sold the Jackson Street store in 1900, and in 1904 opened another store at 610 Second Ave. His third store was opened in 1908 in front of the Pike Place Market; the store at 506 Second closed in 1911. As of 1930 there were 15 total stores, and as of 1956 there were 23. The company underwent contraction over the next few years, with 12 stores remaining in 1961. A 13th was opened in 1966 in Edmonds, Snohomish County. By 1980, there were 17 stores, and by Bartell's centennial in 1990, there were 31. The next year, a store was opened in Gig Harbor, Pierce County, on the Kitsap Peninsula. As of 2016, there are 65 stores.


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Coordinates: 47°33′41″N 122°20′05″W / 47.56135°N 122.334755°W / 47.56135; -122.334755