Bonanza Drug Centers, Bonanza 88 and G.O. Guy Drugs

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marshd1000
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Posts: 179
Joined: 07 Nov 2005 13:49
Location: Seattle, WA
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Bonanza Drug Centers, Bonanza 88 and G.O. Guy Drugs

Post by marshd1000 »

When I was a child, I remember visiting my grandmother who lived next to a strip mall at Ambaum Blvd SW and SW 128th St in Burien, WA. The two main anchors were a Mayfair Market (which later became Lucky and other markets), and a G.O. Guy Drugstore. Can anyone tell me anything about this small Seattle area chain like when it started? I do recall seeing a few of them. Besides the one mentioned in Burien, I remember seeing one at Pacific Hwy S and S 160th Street in Tukwila, WA (next to Art's Food Center-later a Tradewell) and a couple in Downtown Seattle.

I know that the Burien location became something called, "Bonanza Drug Center", which was an attempt by the Bonanza 88 chain to combine it's dime store operations with that of a drug store. I think there may have been one or two more of these outlets. Can anyone tell me how many there were and where. I know at that time that there still some G.O. Guy outlets left. I am wondering if these had been bought by Bonanza and just kept their original name.

Also can anyone tell me how extensive Bonanza 88 was? From my recollection, they located mostly in smaller cities like Bellingham and Yakima, WA with one store in White Center, south of Seattle. They may have had a Downtown Seattle location but I am not sure. I do remember Bonanza eventually becoming Yellow Front, then they closed.

I do know that the Burien (Ambaum Blvd) store eventually became a Bartell Drugs. Did any other Bonanza Drug Centers become Bartell's? I know the rest of G.O. Guy became a experimental version of Pay 'n Save stores called, "Pay 'n Save Limited". Some of those outlets became PayLess Drugs but I don't know if they became Rite Aids.
tkaye
Senior Member
Posts: 181
Joined: 25 Jan 2006 17:12

Re: Bonanza Drug Centers, Bonanza 88 and G.O. Guy Drugs

Post by tkaye »

George Omar Guy started his first pharmacy in 1888 at Second and Yesler in what was then called the H.K. Owens Building. (1900 Photo.) During the Alaska Gold Rush, Guy gained some notoriety for writing "Klondike Doctor," a first-aid manual for prospectors.

The original G.O. Guy store was most famous, however, for a shootout that took place there in 1901. Seattle Police Chief William Meredith, who was on a crusade to drive vice out of the Skid Row area, confronted John Considine, owner of a nearby "box house," which was basically a theater and brothel combined. The chase ended up in the pharmacy, where Meredith fired his shotgun, nicking Considine and nearly hitting G.O. Guy himself. Considine wrestled away the weapon from the police chief and killed Meredith. A jury later ruled that Considine was acting in self-defense.

Bonanza Stores did own G.O. Guy Drugs in the six-store chain's later years. They sold the stores to Pay 'n Save in 1987, which changed them to "Pay 'n Save Limited" outlets, since they were all under 8,000 square feet in size. Two months after the G.O. Guy sale, the remaining 64-store Bonanza chain was purchased by Yellow Front Stores of Phoenix.

I am certain the Third and Union G.O. Guy closed in the transition to Pay 'n Save, and I believe the original Second and Yesler location did as well, which would have been just short of that store's 100th anniversary. In recent years, that building had been called the Metropole Building and a convenience store called the Metropole Market operated in the G.O. Guy space. (Here's a 2004 photo.) Just inside the doorway, "G.O. Guy" had been laid in tile and was never removed. Last May, the Metropole Market was destroyed by a fire that was started by an ashtray thrown into a trash can. (Photo from Seattle Times coverage.) There's some irony in that because the building had been one of the few to survive the 1889 Great Seattle Fire.

As an aside, I found these statistics regarding the Seattle drug store marketplace in 1987... Pay 'n Save was the leader with 74 stores statewide and a 47 percent market share in Seattle. PayLess Northwest (which also owned seven local Osco stores) had 48 locations and 26 percent of the Seattle market. Bartell Drugs operated 30 stores and 10 percent market share. Drug Emporium had seven stores in Washington (only one in Seattle) and seven percent market share in the Seattle market.
tkaye
Senior Member
Posts: 181
Joined: 25 Jan 2006 17:12

Re: Bonanza Drug Centers, Bonanza 88 and G.O. Guy Drugs

Post by tkaye »

Here's a complete list of all ten G.O. Guy locations from an October 1966 ad:
  • Third at Union
    Burien-White Center, S.W. 128th & Ambaum
    Lewis & Clark Center, 160th & S. Highway 99
    Lynnwood, 212th S.W. & Highway 99 N.
    University Village
    406 Broadway E.
    Madison at Boren
    Third at Columbia
    Second at Yesler
    West Seattle Junction
From a September 1960 ad, here are the nine locations of One-Price Stores ("Every item a Bonanza value"), which was the Bonanza 88 chain's original name:
  • 215 Union St., Downtown Seattle
    210 Wells St., Renton
    20 Mercer St., Queen Anne
    9660 16th S.W., White Center
    Mount Vernon
    Everett
    Auburn
    Olympia
    Centralia
eric1972sea
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Posts: 2
Joined: 09 Oct 2011 23:36

Re: Bonanza Drug Centers, Bonanza 88 and G.O. Guy Drugs

Post by eric1972sea »

Sedro-Woolley WA had a Bonanza 88 on its Main Street during the mid to late 80’s.
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