Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bitter Pill as Hirst's Pharmacy Has to Shut Up Shop

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bitter Pill as Hirst's Pharmacy Has to Shut Up Shop

Article excerpt

Byline: LUKE LEITCH

PHARMACY - the Notting Hill restaurant that served up Damien Hirst's art alongside haute cuisine - shut its doors for good today after five years.

The landmark restaurant, once a firm celebrity favourite, has suffered a downturn in business which forced its owner, the Hartford Group, to sell its lease.

Staff were told of the closure this morning and Turner prize-winner Hirst, who co-founded the venue, was there to oversee the removal of his medicinethemed works.

He said: "It's a very sad day for everyone who has worked so hard to try and make the restaurant a success." The artist also took a thinly-veiled swipe at PR boss Matthew Freud, who helped found the restaurant but stepped down from its board in 2000.

He said: "We created something very special but obviously began with the wrong people, and when it was taken over by Hartford Group, despite their financial commitment and enthusiasm, they didn't really have a chance of making it work. …

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