I am taking a late night run to the drugstore. The glowing green and white sign looks like a shop; there are medicines and glass bottles in the front display. But then I see the colorful oversized molecule sculpture on the second floor, designed by artist cum restaurateur Damien Hirst. Welcome to Pharmacy.
Pharmacy looks antiseptic from the outside; when it first opened, 5-10 people walked in holding their prescriptions, expecting to get them filled. Located in the nice London neighborhood of Notting Hill Gate, Pharmacy is filled with suits and yuppies; during our visit, there are surprisingly many more good-looking men than women. One woman grabs our attention, though, wearing a feather boa and clad in winter white from head to toe.
I find myself lusting after the buff waiters and waitresses wearing sexy open-backed orderly gowns and matching (but not open-backed) pants, all designed by Prada. A worker sweeps up cigarette butts like clockwork, adhering to the clean, sterile environment, but nevertheless stirring up dust while I am trying to enjoy my wickedly purple drink named Medicinal Solution. Other drinks are cleverly named; the house wine is called pH.
Upstairs in the restaurant, I am mesmerized by the shiny silvery-gray wallpaper taken from pages of the Physician's Desk Reference. The miniaturized color photos are accompanied by a listing of the pharmaceutical company, product photo, dosage, commercial name and generic name...boxes and boxes of little pills, from comtrex to haldol.
We settle down into our aspirin-inspired bar seats, complete with crease, to make our analysis. Pharmacy is trendier than New York City's Barmacy, but it is not overly clinical or groundbreaking. I mean, have you picked anyone up at your local drugstore?
May we suggest:
50 ml Vodka
40 ml Parfait Amour
place in a shaker
serve over crushed ice
topped with single cream
150 Notting Hill Gate, London W11, 0171 221 2442
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