If you’re a Potterhead, you’ll appreciate going to The Lockhart, a new bar at Dufferin and Dundas for all of the Harry Potter references. If you’re not, you’ll still enjoy the vibe of this new neighborhood bar.
The name of the bar, that also belongs to the most useless Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, is just the beginning of the many allusions the bar makes to Harry Potter. At the back of the bar, a neon sign in the shape of a heart reads “All as well,” a quote that fans will remember from the end of the series. The brick wall behind the bar reads “Potions and Elixirs,” which is surrounded by shelves of liquor that look like they may contain something more powerful than just alcohol. The bar itself is designed to look like a modern apothecary, which has a menu to excite any Harry Potter (or alcohol) fan.
The drinks were magical. While they didn’t turn me into a toad or make me fall in love, they were really good. There were a variety of intriguing selections like Ludo’s Debt, The Shacklebolt, and Beffudlement Brew, which made it difficult to settle on one.
I opted for The Royal Tea, a mixture of peach vodka, tea, lime juice, and tonic brewed to perfection. A friend had the classic butter bear — named something different, than our traditional Butterbeer, on the menu to avoid copyright law infringements — which was apparently as good as they had imagined it to be when reading about Ron and Harry drinking theirs. There’s even a drink named after something so deeply hidden in the books that the bar tender promises you the drink for free if you can provide an accurate explanation.
Though it may seem like the perfect place to go to on a Friday night, be aware of the long lineup that probably awaits you. I went on a Saturday at around 9 pm and waited almost two and a half hours to get in. The bar is quite small and has very limited seating, so it takes a long time to get a spot. In addition to the long wait in the cold, we were disappointed to find out that the kitchen closes at 11:00 pm, so make sure to go early if you want munch on some magical food to accompany your drink (which is apparently very good)!
Overall, The Lockhart will probably make you feel like you’re having a drink with friends in Diagon Alley. Though there are many more things they could have done to enhance the Harry Potter theme, the magical drinks and subtle cues will probably be enough to satisfy your craving of being apart of the Wizarding World. People have travelled from all over Canada, as well as overseas to see this bar, so it’s worth visiting if you’re in the neighborhood!