Harry Potter on the rocks in Toronto bar

The drinks menu at The Lockhart lists a selection of potions and elixirs.
The drinks menu at The Lockhart lists a selection of potions and elixirs.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/THE LOCKHART

LONDON • The Lockhart, which opened in Toronto's west end last week, is a "casual neighbourhood bar", according to co-owner Matt Rocks.

But look closely and a few things stand out: There are "potions" instead of cocktails, the occasional costume-clad patron strolls in for a pint of Befuddlement Brew and the books on the shelves are all written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

The Lockhart is a bar for any muggle who has dreamt of Hogwarts, but non-enthusiasts are also welcome.

"We took ideas from the books and kind of added them to the decor, along with other things that we liked," says Mr Rocks. "But there are definitely some things in here for Harry Potter fans like myself."

The Potter references are obvious to anyone who has read the books, but also make for interesting decor to those not in the know.

There is a custom neon light on the wall reading "All was well", the closing line of the final book. There are also Potter Pop! dolls scattered around the bar, a potions and elixirs wall, and a hidden Deathly Hallows symbol.

The references do not end with the decor. The drinks menu, which Mr Rocks said his co-owner Pouria Fakhraei created using "a lot of inspiration from alchemy and potioneering", includes numerous references to Rowling's fantasy world. Customers can order a Befuddlement Brew, a Shacklebolt or a Ludo's Debt.

Despite the names, Mr Rocks said the bar offers "a really good product". All the liquors are infused in-house and the short tapas menu provides crowd favourites such as baked brie, gourmet popcorn and deep-fried jalapeno mac and cheese sliders.

The Lockhart, like its Defense Against The Dark Arts professor namesake, has been getting a lot of attention of late. Only a few days after opening, Mr Rocks said business "blew up" as neighbourhood locals and Potter fans alike flooded the bar. One man showed up in full Slytherin robes on Wednesday.

There are plans to continue adding to the business, with a brunch menu on the way, monthly Potter trivia nights and a Halloween party that Mr Rocks said he is "definitely dressing up as one of the characters" for. But butterbeer may not make the menu under its original name because of copyright reasons.

"I don't want to step on J.K.'s toes," he said. "I'm also, like, her biggest fan. I wouldn't want to upset her."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2015, with the headline 'Harry Potter on the rocks in Toronto bar'. Print Edition | Subscribe