Fuelled by the immense popularity of Mary Quant’s Bazaar boutique on the King’s Road, and fashion’s new egalitarianism, by 1968, the King’s Road had become the hippest street in the world.
At the centre of this nucleus of cool was The Chelsea Drugstore, which opened in July that year. Inspired by Le Drugstore, a beyond-cool Parisian hangout on the Boulevard St Germain, the Drugstore had bars, food stores, a chemist, record shop and – of course – boutiques, all spread over three floors. The Drugstore was open 16 hours a day, seven days a week. London had seen nothing like it.
It even had a “flying squad” home delivery service where gorgeous girls in purple catsuits would bring your groceries round on their motorbikes.
It appeared in Kubrik’s A Clockwork Orange as the ‘Musik Bootick’, and was referenced in the Rolling Stones song You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Pressure from local residents forced the Drugstore to shut down in 1971. It then became a wine bar and is now a McDonalds restaurant.