Established 1993. Iconic since 1883.
Harry’s Restaurant sits within an iconic gothic style building that dates back to 1883. Originally designed by architect Robert Medley Fulford, and brick built more than a century ago, the building was constructed for an English architect and sculptor by the name of Harry Hems.
Harry started a company that specialised in ecclesiastical sculpture and church fittings, and named it “The Ecclesiastical Art Works”. He opened the workshop in 1883 and extended the following year. Hems named it “Ye Luckie Horseshoe Studio” after finding a horseshoe as he arrived in Exeter by train on 4th December 1866.
Harry’s “Luckie Horseshoe” can still be found above the main entrance to this day. Known for his charitable work, for many years he held Christmas lunches in his workshop for the elderly poor people of Exeter, inviting as many each year as his age. A tradition that has evolved and still lives on today with Harry’s Restaurant hosting the annual Harry Hems Night.
After Hems’s death, his business was carried on by two of his four sons until they retired in 1938. The building was sold and bought, and used until the 1970s by a boot, shoe and leather merchants; then a wine merchant; before being acquired by the Pounds family in 1993.