Artist Damien Hirst debuts new pharmacy-themed restaurant in London

Mark Hix
Mark Hix

“Could I have the formaldehyde lamb with a side of shark?” This is an example of the kind of terrible jokes you can expect to hear at Damien Hirst’s new London restaurant.

Today, Pharmacy 2, a restaurant that looks vaguely like a drug store, opened in Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, south of the River Thames, according to Bloomberg,

The décor includes medical cabinets, etched-glass windows depicting DNA and pill shaped bar stools. The words “Prescriptions” hangs above the bar.


Damien Hirst (Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0)
Damien Hirst (Credit: SA 3.0)

The restaurant is a collaboration between Hirst and chef Mark Hix, and the menu is international, including north African brik fried pastry with duck egg and rose harissa.

“It was only a few months ago: I was on my scooter going through Mayfair and I saw Damien and Maia, his ex-wife, sitting outside Scott’s,” Hix told Bloomberg over a preview lunch at Pharmacy 2. “I went over and he said he needed a chef and I said, ‘Why don’t we go into a proper partnership?’”

“I’ve known Damien for 10, 15 years through the art world and mutual friends. And the thing is, he’s always got into bed with chefs he doesn’t know. So the minute I said that to him, I think he felt confident because he likes the food at Scott’s and the Ivy in the old days, so he trusted what I was going to put on the menu,” Hix added.

And unlike Hirsts art – Hirst is the richest living artist – his food is accessible and reasonably priced. Mains start at £13.50 ($19) and the desserts are just £4.