Angie Bjerre and Walid Loutfi. (Photo: Allyson Smith)

Behind the Bar: Barmacy

by Allyson Smith

“A place where you can get your medicine with no prescription,” says Walid Loutfi. What kind of business might he own? Is it a pharmacy? An underground apothecary? Or none of the above?

Walid Loutfi owns one of the newer bars in Highland Square, BARMACY Bar and Grill, at 804 West Market Street.

For Walid, owning bars is a part of the family business. His family members boast some familiar names in the Akron area, like Manny of Manny’s, Ray of Ray’s Pub, Mario Neemr, who owns Mr. Zub’s, The Matinee, and Cheese and Chong.

He says the name and theme of his bar was heavily influenced by his family. He has several brothers and uncles who are doctors and medical professionals.

“Everyone calls their bar after his name or after his last name or his name with a ‘pub’. I just wanted something different, and I came up with this idea to distinguish myself,” Walid says.

The drinks at BARMACY fit the theme. Walid says drinks called Viagra, birth control, Adderall and Prozac are the most popular. The bar also sells 65 craft beers.

After spending four years on Merriman Road in the Merriman Valley, Walid kept the name and theme, but decided to change locations to Highland Square. On Dec. 1, BARMACY celebrated its one-year anniversary in Highland Square.

Walid’s “next big thing”, he says, is creating his own brewery. Few bars can say they brew their own beer. On the other hand, breweries aren’t particularly known for their cocktails and liquor selections.

But if the new addition succeeds, BARMACY just might offer the best of both worlds.

Allyson Smith is a senior at the University of Akron, studying media production. She aims to incorporate her passions of traveling and drinking coffee into a prolific and fulfilling career in the media industry.