The Stone's Chelsea Drugstore

The Stone's Chelsea Drugstore

This is the site of the long-gone infamous Chelsea Drugstore

Location: 49 Kings Rd, London

Description: I went down to the Chelsea Drug Store,
To get your prescription filled

From The Rolling Stones song You Cant always Get What You Want (1969), with the reference to the pub that is now sadly a McDonalds. It also features in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange.

The modern glass and aluminium frontage of the Chelsea Drug store shocked Royal Avenue residents when it opened in July 1968. They were even more appalled by the clientele.

This was Britain's first American style drugstore and replaced the White Hart pub. Stainless steel, brass, marble and mirrors were all used, leading a resident to describe it as a Gin palace turned into a tin palace. Open 16 hours a day, seven days a week it is hardly surprising the residents complained. It closed in May 1971 and a pale imitation reopened in September.

The Chelsea Drugstore was modelled on Le Drugstore on Boulevard St Germain in Paris. Arranged over three floors the complex included bars, food outlets, a chemist, newsstand, record store and boutiques. It was open 16 hours a day, seven days a week. A major attraction was the flying squad delivery service. This was made up young ladies in purple catsuits using motorcycles to make home deliveries.

Tours: A Clockwork Tour

Tours: The Rolling Stones London Tour

Themes: MusicMusic Theme  ArchitectureArchitecture Theme  PubPub Theme
The Stone's Chelsea Drugstore

This is the site of the long-gone infamous Chelsea Drugstore

Ranking This Month: 139/3064

Pages Hit This Month: 83

Credits: BKRolling Stones

13» Shady Old Lady, Far be it from me to rain on your parade, but it is unlikely the Chelsea Drugstore in the song was the pub you describe. No doubt you could get drugs there but its more likely Mick would go fifty yards up the road to the corner of Markham Square to the Markham Pharmacy. This was the local dispensing chemist so he could get his prescription filled there. The chemist is long gone - its a pie shop now, as is the Markham Arms nest door which is now a building society. At the time I worked in Take Six, a mens boutigue on the opposite corner, crazy times!! (Hilaire)
Posted by Hilaire on 2010-07-31
12» We used to go there every Saturday and misspent all our youth there. It was a brilliant place to be and we met so many fantastic characters... Tony (Sister Julie worked behind the bar) Bradley, Gary, Dean, Keith, Jan, Veronica, Lyn, John Ellison, Steve Castle, Paul Bennett (still bothers me now!!!), Steve Ellwood, the bikers, the soldiers from Knightsbridge barracks. Drinking to excess wasnt in it..but what fab times. Stairway to Heaven and Freebird guaranteed.. (Caroline)
Posted by Caroline on 2009-10-23
11» I worked in the bars at the Drugstore in 1969. I remember those white mini-dresses we wore. I couldnt believe they paid me so well for having a great time. From there, I emigrated to Australia and then finished up in the U.S. first in Los Angeles then in Florida. (Eileen)
Posted by Eileen on 2009-10-03
10» I worked in the Chelsea Drugstore in 1970 when I was 19. I sold those huge watches that had 2 inch wide straps and enormous watchfaces. (the first SWATCHES) I used to wear things like Lincoln green velvet hotpants with matching jacket and suede green thigh boots to match! I actually met my husband on my coffee break whilst working there. Those were the days, my friend, I thought theyd never end....... (vicky lacy)
Posted by vicky lacy on 2009-09-21
John - your cousin Caroline was my best friend in London and lost her last address!! Please tell her I would love to hear from her -Im on Facebook as well as Drugstore fan page! (Carolyn)
Posted by Carolyn on 2009-04-16
Blast from the past. Being locals, we used to haunt the Store from about the 80s onwards. I think it was formerly the White Hart pub. My Chelsea chick cousin, Caroline, used to work in the shop & bar. Total Recall: The 2 pool tables at the back, Missile Command & Battlezone arcade games, the spiral stairway to heavy metal heaven (& strippers). Colourful black decor, ripped seats, thundering loud speakers set in a low ceiling. Head banging mayhem! "Your head is humming and it wont go In case you dont know...", its not the Piper calling, it means you have tinnitus. (John)
Posted by John on 2009-03-10
I worked in the drugstore in 1969 in the chemist section originally on the first level then got moved upstairs. I remember Donovan and Lulu and Oliver Reed and Mick Jagger were regulars. I had GREAT times there until I moved to the USA. We wore shiny little white mini dresses as our uniform. (Stella)
Posted by Stella on 2008-12-10
That was my Heaven. I remember Don that let me in even tho I wasnt 21. Thats right not 18. I was as regular as you could get. Standing in line with Mr Jimmy getting down to a Quo Boogie or replacing a string on my Air Guitar. Steve I remeber was a fantstic DJ and also the half time strippers ;-) Me and my freinds used to drive down on our Motorbikes and I even remember Missle command video game downstairs. All in all some of the best days of my life (Gary Smith)
Posted by Gary Smith on 2008-11-05
Im so happy someone remembers the lone yank in the Drugstore.... Ray, I cant believe I just fixed a photo on the computer of you and I at the end of the bar watching a pool game and we both look quite good considering the fashions of the day. Do you remember the night that Don and Jim brought you and I to Heaven and I was the only girl there? I am in Rhode Island and would love to hear from you - how do we exchange email addresses without the world knowing? Carolyn (Carolyn)
Posted by Carolyn on 2008-06-27
Hi to any one who used to work in the drugstore I would love to know how you all got on in life, Carolyn if you feel like getting in touch with me (ray) after all we did know each other well at one time!!! Please leave a message on this site and I will get back to you. The same goes for any one who remembers me (Ray Abbots one time barman). (Ray)
Posted by Ray on 2008-06-21
I worked both downstairs in the boutique and occasionally upstairs in the pub in the early 80s and it was still an amazing environment - untill you have to toss a skinhead from the benches outside out for biting off a pigeons head and bringing it in to show it around.... Don, Peds, everyone there was amazing and lets not forget Bruno the dog ! Anyone know how to get in touch with Carolin L.? Carolyn (Carolyn)
Posted by Carolyn on 2008-06-12
I remember the drugstore, I used to go from about 1979 until the end. From Thursday to Sunday on the Saturday night after closing time we would pile into the cinema for a late film mainly Easyriders song remains or the rocky horror. We had some great times, met loads of people, me and my mate Nobby even went there one nite wearing make up like Kiss! (Anonymous)
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-17
I worked at the drugstore in the early 80s, when I was there it had lost a lot of its former glory but it was still one hell of a place to be in. I feel really sad that it has been turned into a Mc Ds , I had many a wild night with Tom, Don, Caroline, Sally, Shara, Peter and other staff, not to mention the punters. I only wish I had kept in touch, Great great days. (Ray)
Posted by Ray on 2008-03-25

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