Led by longtime Goshen residents, Pharmacy Kitchen & Bar revitalizes an 1861 pharmacy building with Hudson Valley ingredients.
When Franz Brendle and partner Karyn Scordo heard the owners of what was previously Baxters Pharmacy in Goshen were deciding to retire, they knew they had a one-of-a-kind opportunity before them. You see, the building at 62 West Main Street had operated as a pharmacy for close to 100 years. For Brendle and Scordo, longtime Goshen residents who also own Craft 47 across the street, acquiring the space offered them a way to preserve its history in Orange County.
That was in 2019. Fast-forward to July 2020, and Pharmacy Kitchen & Bar was officially ready to open its doors in the Hudson Valley.
Named in honor of its Goshen roots, Pharmacy Kitchen & Bar prides itself on being a neighborhood restaurant that’s a cut above. History and special touches are the name of the game here, with everything from a wood-burning grill and locally sourced ingredients to fresh-squeezed juices and house-made bitters and tinctures woven into the restaurant’s anatomy.
And that’s just the start. As far as the décor goes, it’s all about paying homage to the pharmacy that stood before it. Tapping into her artistic skills, Scordo dove into curating the space’s interior design while Brendle laid out the overall floorplan.
“The upstairs was and is an open space perfect for events and parties, so we just needed to come up with the décor,” Brendle adds. “It came out beautifully.”
Of course, it helped that they had a wealth of vintage treasures to incorporate into the design.
“Many of the fixtures (shelving, a sliding ladder) and many old pharmacy bottles, scales, cash registers, and other items were left behind, and we decided to use them as part of our décor,” Brendle explains. “We even use the pill bottles as check presenters for the bill.”
While the vibe leans into history, the menu is all about modern American and steakhouse flavors. Pharmacy cooks its prime steaks and chops over a wood-burning parrilla grill, and guests can customize steaks ranging from filet mignon to porterhouse. All steaks can be paired with the restaurant’s assortment of sauces or compound butters, which range from chimichurri to caramelized shallot-truffle butter. Plus, the entrees pair perfectly with sides like fire-roasted fingerlings and wasabi mashed cauliflower.
Beyond steak, diners can dig into everything from Korean rice bowls to Italian-inspired pasta dishes and even a few German-inspired options, the latter which are drawn from Brendle’s heritage. The tuna poke bowl sizzles with pickled, fire-roasted jalapenos, while the slow-braised short rib Hungarian goulash is a must for anyone who’s craving comfort food.
And did we mention dessert? Pharmacy Kitchen & Bar makes all of its ice cream inhouse. (So, yes, you should order that double scoop.) If a warm dessert is just the thing, good luck choosing between the peach melba, made with poached Hudson Valley peaches, and the chocolate pot de crème, a swoonworthy chocolate custard confection.
Regarding the ingredients, the restaurant is all about keeping it local. Brendle shops at local farmers’ markets for daily specials and recently teamed up with Bill Corrado, the creator and owner of Orange County-based Spice Beast, to create a line of hot sauces.
“We source our ingredients with the belief that the best ingredients produce the best end product,” Brendle notes. “We prepare everything inhouse from scratch, from our cocktails to desserts.”
For Brendle, who trained in NYC as a chef and previously owned Nina Restaurant and the Bullroom in Middletown, this dedication to quality extends to the bar program as well.
“We have a fantastic mixology program that was carried over from our days at the Bullroom, which was our speakeasy restaurant,” he says. “We make our own bitters and tinctures that we use in conjunction with other all-natural ingredients to create great cocktails.”
Just as the cocktails are worth a sip (pro tip: get the Cherry Bomb, which mixes rum with cherry, cucumber, lemon, and club soda), so too are the wines. Pharmacy Kitchen & Bar tempts with a curated wine list carried over from Brendle’s time at Nina, with vintages available from around the world.
Most recently, Pharmacy introduced brunch, available Fridays to Mondays, to its mouthwatering offerings. (Go for the corn flake-crusted challah bread French toast with Nutella drizzle or the crepes Dijon and thank us later.)
“We are always looking to grow and learn more,” Brendle enthuses. “That is one of the best things about the food and hospitality industry. Every day is a challenge that brings new and interesting opportunities.”
Pharmacy Kitchen & Bar
62 West Main St, Goshen