At its core, The Lockhart bar is a niche, Harry Potter-themed drinking spot that has gained more attention than it had initially anticipated. Ever since the widespread attention it received from an article on Buzzfeed, the pub has been overflowing with clientele, resulting in a near-constant twenty-minute wait to be seated. While you might arrive to the Dundas and Dufferin bar with butter-beer in mind, The Lockhart is not actually as magical as you might think. The owners, taking extra precaution to avoid copyright claims from Warner Bros., toned down the Harry Potter-ness of it all to keep from being sued. We investigated just how Harry Potter the Harry Potter-themed bar actually is, and came up with a handy rundown of what you’ll find when you get there.
The inside of The Lockhart is quaint, with about three subtle Potter references hiding in plain sight. If you look carefully, you’ll see a sign that states, “all was well,” which hard-core Potterheads will recognize as the last sentence of the book series. There is also a stag head displayed on the wall that is reminiscent of Harry’s famed patronus, and a discreetly hidden deathly hollows symbol lurking in the corner. Those are the most blatant references, and the rest of the bar seems low Potter-lore. The bar itself is labelled “Potions and Elixirs” and displays large, apothecary style jars and light fixtures reminiscent of the floating candles seen around Hogwarts. The exposed brick, teapots and scattered portraits of women channel an inner-city London-style tavern, but not one that you’d find in Diagon Alley.
“The Befuddlement Draft” ($28) is a shared, fiery cocktail that’s magical enough to be found in Hogsmeade. This weekend, if you solemnly swear that you’re up to no good, this drink will definitely be worth a try. Oddly, there is also an unexpected “Dr. Manhattan” drink ($7), which, for the uninitiated, is a clear reference to The Watchman graphic novel. When looking at the drink menu, you’ll notice that the names aren’t zeroing in on Harry Potter-themed titles as much as making as many pop culture references as possible.
Fortunately, The Lockhart doesn’t carry any chocolate frogs, however the food is where the Potter references really come to a halt. The menu is filled with an assortment of tasty Tapas meals that will balance nicely with the potent “Befuddlement Draft.” The Deep Fried Jalapeno Mac & Cheese Sliders ($12), although not particularly cheap, make for a surprisingly filling meal, and if you’re looking for something cheaper, the $6 Caprese Skewers are equally suitable. The tapas are great for sharing, but at the end of the day, The Lockhart is an upscale bar where the snacks are magic-free.
Conclusion: Too magical for the Dursleys, but too muggle-filled for the Weasleys.