If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to eat lunch inside a pharmacy, this new eatery will satisfy your curiosity. On Feb. 23, artist Damien Hirst will open “Pharmacy 2” at the Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhill, London. The restaurant — a collaboration between Hirst and chef Mark Hix — will serve classic British and European food but that’s about as far as “classic” will go.
Eating at Pharmacy 2 and experiencing the exhibition will feel vaguely like you’re inside of a hospital’s cafeteria (if the cafeteria was also a combination supply closet/chemistry lab). There are etched-glass windows depicting DNA strands, crafted pill designs embedded into the marble floor and embroidered on leather benches. The whole scene is bright but sterile, it’s not particularly comfortable looking but it does draw you in. If you have even the slightest bit of white coat syndrome, you probably won’t be comfortable eating here.
So, why mix food and basically the opposite of things that make you hungry? Hirst has become wildly successful as an artist with his almost antiseptic way of looking at things. In case you didn’t know, he’s the guy who made a name by putting animals in formaldehyde. One way to interpret Pharmacy 2 is that Hirst wants to make us confront how our food choices affect our health. Or maybe he wants us to think that good food is the best medicine… Or he’s just riffing on prior successes.
Either way, Hix is a widely renowned chef, so you can expect the food to be good.
Anyone who is intrigued by this unique dining experience can make a reservation here. If you get anxious about medial stuff but really want to see Hirst’s work, who knows, maybe there are a few Xanax plastered to the walls.