Polonium Name Drives Customers to Restaurant The Polonium Restaurant in Sheffield, England, has had slow business since it opened less than two-years ago. Then, British investigators found traces of polonium in former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. The news sent customers flocking to the restaurant.
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Polonium Name Drives Customers to Restaurant

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Polonium Name Drives Customers to Restaurant

Polonium Name Drives Customers to Restaurant

Polonium Name Drives Customers to Restaurant

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The Polonium Restaurant in Sheffield, England, has had slow business since it opened less than two-years ago. Then, British investigators found traces of polonium in former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. The news sent customers flocking to the restaurant.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

If you do call in sick, here's one place you might go - a trendy restaurant in Sheffield, England. That establishment gets the last word in business this morning because of the reason that it's so popular.

DEBORAH AMOS, host:

It's apparently because the name - the Polonium Restaurant. The Polonium serves Polish and Eastern European food, and it had trouble attracting customers since it opened two years ago.

INSKEEP: It did have trouble, and then British investigators linked traces of radioactive Polonium 210 to the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London. Now, reservations at the Polonium have soared.

Ms. ISABEL SADAROWITZ(ph) (Waitress, Polonium Restaurant): For the past few Days, we've had full bookings. It's been really good.

AMOS: Waitress Isabel Sadarowitz answered the phone when we called the restaurant. She's not sure why a poisoning has made people want to eat there, but she welcomes the popularity.

Ms. SADAROWITZ: It's a bit funny. I feel a bit bad because we're doing so well, and someone has died of it. But you just got to go on really.

INSKEEP: Which does lead to the question of how the Polonium became The Polonium. Well, long before Polonium, the element, was in newspapers around the world, the restaurant owner was in a Polish band also called Polonium. One of the members of that band was a chemistry student, and liked the fact that the 84th element was discovered by Marie Curie, who was also Polish. So that explains where the Polonium Restaurant got the name that's now bringing it so much business.

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

AMOS: And I'm Deborah Amos.

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