Close Menu

Hirst and Hix to open Pharmacy2

Controversial British artist Damien Hirst has partnered with restaurateur Mark Hix on a reincarnation of his popular ‘90s Notting Hill restaurant Pharmacy.

The idea came about during a chance encounter at Scott’s in Mayfair. Hirst was looking for a chef, Mark Hix walked in and the rest is history.

“Damien and I share a love of food and art, so it makes sense for me to exchange my skills by creating the menus at Pharmacy 2,” Hix told The Telegraph.

“Pharmacy 2 combines two of my greatest passions: art and food. I’ve always loved Mark as a chef and his approach to food, so it’s great we’re working together on this,” Hirst revealed to the Evening Standard.

The original restaurant opened in Notting Hill in 1998 at the height of the “Cool Britannia” days of Blur versus Oasis and the rise of the YBAs (young British artists) including Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Wood.

Despite attracting a celebrity following, boosted by backing from PR whiz Matthew Freud, the restaurant closed its doors in 2003. Its fixtures and fittings were auctioned off at Sotheby’s in 2004, making a total of £11.1 million.

Those keen for a repeat prescription can head to the reimagined Pharmacy, Pharmacy2, housed within Hirst’s Vauxhall art space, the Newport Street Gallery.

Reopening on 23 February it will serve classic British and European food, acting as a café for visitors during the day and a destination restaurant by night with vivid, trippy interiors that will appeal to Instagrammers.

The site features candy coloured pill-shaped bar stools, neon crosses, work from Hirst’s Medicine Cabinets series and butterfly Kaleidoscope paintings. The wall by the bar looks like a periodic table for different drugs, while the windows are etched with DNA strands.

In contrast to the eye-popping interiors, dishes are more calm and traditional in nature, such as crushed potato and black pudding; polenta with a cracked egg and shaved truffle; and pancakes oozing with egg and harissa for brunch.

Ingredients will be British but inspiration for the dishes will come from all over the globe. The menu will chance every week depending on Hix’s mood.

“I work a bit like an artist — what’s a good idea one minute is not necessarily a good idea the following day,” Hix told the Evening Standard.

This isn’t the first time Hix and Hirst have worked together – Hirst’s work Cock and Bull; a bull with a cockerel on its back suspended in formaldehyde forms the centerpiece of Hix’s chicken and steak restaurant Tramshed in Shoreditch.

Hirst has also collaborated with YBA Tracey Emin, who designed the label for Tonnix, a Portuguese wine range made by Quinta de la Rosa listed at all of Hix’s restaurants.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No