Not only has JK Rowling recently admitted that it is the dawn of the age of Hufflepuff, meaning it is my time to shine, a Harry Potter themed bar has just opened up in Toronto. Obviously this must be a sign, right?
After a plethora of encouraging messages from my UK friends, I begged Will to accompany me to “The Lockheart,” obviously named after the golden haired Gilderoy. Personally I think Gilderoy is a bit of a dick and would rather they had called it “The Dobby” or “The Longbottom,” but a honey has to go where the magic is.
After queuing for just 10 minutes, Will and I got seated at a trendy wooden bench style area, that was a far cry from The Hoggs Head Inn. As we perused the “Potions and Elixirs” menu, we were tempted in by “The Lockheart” Caesar, a Bloody Mary type affair (that probably would have been better named “Bellatrix’s revenge.”) However, after careful consideration, will ordered “The Botanist,” a cucumber and gin delight and I ordered a “Ludo’s Debt” which was rather like a Negroni.
As we waited for our much anticipated elixirs, I had a little peruse at the decor. Some decorative nuances hinted at an affinity to the wizarding world. There was a huge sign repeating the “potions & elixirs” sentiment, some vaguely magical pink lighting, a neon quoting the last 3 words of the series, a mildly disturbing stags skull and a stag-key symbol I dint quite get? There were no couldrons, dry ice, or weather projections on the ceiling… Hmm.
Taking my mind off the lack of Harry Potterness, our drinks arrived and were looking pretty buff, even though they weren’t served in elaborate vials or delivered by an owl.
Will’s Botanist won the cocktail lottery; it was limealicious with fabulous blend of gin and cucumber. Plus the glass was quite fun! Mine was tasty and whole precious galleon (dollar) less than Will’s at $8 (that’s £4 back home guys!) although it tasted distinctly like a slightly weaker than average negroni. That said, I slurped it back and enjoyed every drop.
Surely a magic themed bar would have some kind of magically tempting food menu? No. It was very much bog standard trendy bar fare, including popcorn. Popcorn. Bertie Bott would turn in his grave (actually, I’m pretty sure he is still alive in the wizarding world…but y’know.)
The only thing I can think is that a) the newspapers blew this place out of all proportion creating unreal expectations for die hard fans or b) these guys took it is far as they could without getting sued by JK Rowling for Copyright infringement? That said, surely no one has ever got served for having just a teeny smidgen of dry ice or some popping candy?
My inner badger was a little bit let down. However I don’t think my disappointment will change anything; these guys have clearly swallowed a bucket load of Felix Felicis – by the time we left there was a queue round the block just to get in.