death row diners
The restaurant was critisised for offering a 'Death Row' dining expereinceDeath Row Diners

A restaurant which planned to offer "culinary twists" on the last meals of prisoners has been cancelled even before it opened its doors following criticism and threats against the owner.

Death Row Dinners, a pop-up which was due to open in Hoxton, east London, experienced a huge amount of backlash for its "bad taste" menu based on what convicted criminals ate before they were executed.

The restaurant's website also caused controversy for displaying the menu options around the necks of real-life prisoners. These were soon taken down as the outrage surrounding the restaurant escalated.

The £50-per-head restaurant originally said they were "shocked and saddened" by the negative reaction, but vowed to stay open. Death Row Dinners compared offering a last meal themed experience to taking part in a Jack The Ripper street walk through the streets of London.

A spokesperson said: "We were expecting some negativity - after all it is an idea that was always going to polarise. Doing something that pleases everyone is impossible and also in danger of being wallpaper, and that's not what we wanted.

"If you don't like it, it's very simple, just don't go. Concentrate on what you do like, not what you don't."

Death Row Dinners
The website stated diners could enjoy a last meal 'without the nasty execution bit'Death Row Diners

Despite this, the event which was due to run between 24 October and 29 November, has now been cancelled and all traces of Death Row Dinners removed from the web.

Both the restaurant's website and official Twitter account have been deleted, as well as all references to the promotion company behind the event, Brixton-based Dirty Dishes.

However, a spokesperson for Dirty Dishes told the Hackney Gazette that the restaurant launch had been pulled due to "serious threatening behaviour".

"As [the organiser's] personal safety and the safety of the guests is at risk the event can no longer go ahead," the spokesperson said.

Among those who criticised the restaurant was Amnesty International, a human rights group that opposes the death penalty.

"We thought Death Row Dinners had to be a spoof. It's hard to believe someone would choose that as a theme in real life," spokesperson Niall Couper said.

"It is in appallingly bad taste."