Cafe and Restaurant where JK Rowling Wrote Harry Potter Novels Now for Sale


Jan 27, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

A cafe and restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland where J.K. Rowling famously wrote portions of the Harry Potter novels is up for sale again. The Scotsman reports the former Nicolson’s Cafe, which was sold several years ago and is now the site of the Buffet King Chinese restaurant, is now for sale by owner Eddie Ng. Mr Ng apparently offered to sell it to the Harry Potter author ” for £1 million ’ an offer which was politely declined.” The article continues:

“We were thinking of selling to JK Rowling first because we think
something should be done to mark the fact she wrote the book here.”

While Ms Rowling turned down the offer, Mr Ng is optimistic someone
will see the potential in turning it into a tourist attraction to mark
the unassuming spot where the Boy Wizard was created. He added: “The restaurant is on the open market but I would prefer someone to come in and preserve this place. We are looking for a buyer but it is still early stages.”

As many fans know, there is a plaque currently outside the building which marks the place where Jo spent so much time writing the beloved novels, and the current owner of the building hopes that fans will continue to visit the site.

“The plaque was one of two set up on the street in honour of the writer.
The other ’ which was unveiled by the Edinburgh City of Literature
Trust in 2006 ’ is still in place, fixed to the outside of the building.Mr Ng said the restaurant, just yards from the National Museum of Scotland, is in a prime location to draw in tourists.

He added: “I’m sure a museum would boost tourism. It
is quite a renowned place. We do not advertise the JK Rowling
connection that much, but it still attracts so much attention. We get
many tourists from Japan and America.”

35 Responses to Cafe and Restaurant where JK Rowling Wrote Harry Potter Novels Now for Sale

Avatar Image says: Buy it and move it stick by stick to Orlando.Avatar Image says: But in fairness it's really the train carriage where she dreamt it all up we want.Avatar Image says: someone should turn it into the leaky cauldron. that would be so awesome!!!! unlikely, of course, but we can still hope. =)Avatar Image says: I am really happy he said Japan, cause it proves to people who yelled in my face as disappointment when they heard the international premier of OOTP was going to be in Japan that there is a large number of Japanese HP fans. I am not a Japanese though, but i really hate people get jealous easily.Avatar Image says: I am really happy he said Japan, cause it proves to people who yelled in my face as disappointment when they heard the international premier of OOTP was going to be in Japan that there is a large number of Japanese HP fans. I am not a Japanese though, but i really hate people get jealous easily.Avatar Image says: and for some reason, it showed up twice|||Avatar Image says: They don't advertise it much? No kidding. I lived about 3 blocks from this cafe for a year -- and I had NO CLUE it was there! I knew where JKR's house was.(No, I'm not telling you; she's a private person.) I knew her car at the time. I knew the location of the other famous cafe where she wrote was (The Elephant House on George IV Bridge). But not this place. I've been back to Edinburgh twice since I moved away, and this cafe is STILL hard to spot, even when you're looking for it. It's NOT on street level. You have to find these odd little stairs. I doubt they get as many tourists as they would if it were an obvious place.Avatar Image says: It's a pity Mr Ng is selling. I hope the buyer is as generous and gracious as Mr Ng and his staff, who happily welcome in visitors who come specifically to see the site and don't stay to eat. They made my host, daughter and I very happy the day we visited.Avatar Image says: I've been there (and bought an 'elephant cup') and I'm almost glad it's being sold. It wasn't a very nice experience. They did have a wall dedicated to Harry Potter which was a nice touch and the view from the back windows was amazing (the Edinburgh Castle), but there was nothing else "Harry Potter-y" about it. I really hope the next owners will focus more on the Harry Potter part, and not so much on the cafe/restaurant/bleh part. :)Avatar Image says: A MILLION nods of the head to that idea, Mckenzie!Avatar Image says: Everyone put in $1 each, we could all own it. Maybe $2 with an extra million for changing it into The Three Broomsticks.Avatar Image says: 'Buy it and move it stick by stick to Orlando.' You've already stolen the theme park from Harry's place of birth! I think we'll keep everything else in Blighty where it belongs thanks very much.Avatar Image says: I agree, turn it into the Leaky Cauldron! Even though I live in the US. Haha. xD I would visit it someday.Avatar Image says: @ Nathan $1 each, great idea! I'm in :DAvatar Image says: "I lived about 3 blocks from this cafe for a year — and I had NO CLUE it was there!" Yeah I lived just down from Chambers St on Cowgate for 4 months and didn't realize it was there until someone told me about 3 months in...turns out it was right above Black Medicine cafe where I'd been drinking hot chocolate, eating bagels, and using the free wifi almost every day since I'd been there, lol. I never went into Buffet King though...Avatar Image says: Wrong place, Sophie. The Elephant House is not the one being sold. They are the ones who shout all around about being the 'Birthplace of Harry Potter' and sell bad pub food. The one for sale is formerly 'Nicholsons' and now 'Buffet King', a Chinese buffet. All they have is a small news clipping framed and hanging on the wall to announce that they are the cafe made so infamous by Rowling.Avatar Image says: It would be nice if some resteraunt owner just bought it. A tourist attraction would change the feel of the place.Avatar Image says: @ A paperback writer: I know that you will never ever tell us (or me privately) JK Rowling address, but I'd like you to know your immense fortune. Think of it: you could send her private letters and, if you're lucky, she might even read them herself!! Ok..I'm in my "dreaming mood" now...gotta go :)Avatar Image says: Their food sucks. I hope some place with good food opens up!Avatar Image says: Well, why in the world would they sell it for 1 million pounds?!?! A MILLION. God, and It's J.K. Rowling were talking about. They should give it to her for FREE. It's that place's reason (sort of....) that HP was (sort of....) written!! GOD. Honestly!! Anyway, yea... And I would get so pissed off if Harry P's theme park was not where it is now... ~~~~~Lilly Angel- Harry Potter and Criss Angel FanAvatar Image says: This is quite exagerated. I enjoy the books and audioscasetes. This is enough fun. Why should I go to one of the places where Jo wrote the books years ago when I have them nicely ordered on my bookshelve ? And I agree, Harry and the Wizarding World where born in a train. Would the next step be that British Rail offerers Jo to buy the Railway company and paint all the waggons with HP motives ? Every train a Hogwarts Express ? Maybe this would attract much more people, even me. Avatar Image says: Sophie that's not the one that's being sold thats Elephant House, yeah I'm with everyone else here I'm always up in the 'burgh and still forget that this plaque exists, its no advertised wellAvatar Image says: I dragged my kids all over Edinburgh looking for that plaque and restaurant. We found it (with information found in the Leaky Cauldron - thanks!) and took pictures. The plaque is high up so if you are short you might miss it. We also walked up the stairs to the restaurant and saw the little display of articles about the HP connection. I think the plaque is enough. I see no reason to make a bigger deal of it.Avatar Image says: Ok, i came back, I'm not anymore in my dreaming mood. I must say that if I'll have the chance to visit England and Scotland, I would really like to go and see the places where she used to wrote. You know, since a year ago I didn't really know a lot about JK Rowling's life. I was only a child when I started reading Harry Potter and, sincerely, I cared only about the books. But now I grew up, I start to be a lot more interested in what she does, the interviews and all that stuff. So, forgive me if I ask, but does she still live in the sorroundings of the restaurant's city? If someone answers me, I'll be really glad.Avatar Image says: Christie, I'm so glad it wasn't just me not noticing the place. (Yeah, I know right where Chambers St. and Cowgate are -- of course. I used to live in Richmond Court.) ele0206, as of my last visit to Edinburgh (summer of 2008), she still had the same house of which I spoke, but it's obviously NOT the same low-income housing flat she lived in while she was first writing HP1. I believe she has other homes elsewhere (London? I think) as well. I took a few photos of her street, but I didn't get too close. I wanted to respect her privacy. I never did see her around Edinburgh, though -- not like I used to bump into Ian Rankin in the Meadows on Sunday mornings. Still, it was fun to live in Edinburgh when HP6 was released. I got photos of the kids who got to go to her midnight reading in the castle. Plus, the autographed copy of book 6 which Rowling donated to the National Library of Scotland was on display -- and the guards let me photograph it (along with one of her original yellow legal pad with HP1 rough draft on it AND the first computer-printed draft of the same). Since I'll never be able to afford an autographed copy of any of her books, it was nice to get pics. Plus, Scotland is just a fabulous place. It's no wonder at all that Rowling continues to live in Edinburgh even though she could obviously choose anywhere now.Avatar Image says: ok, when i first suggested that it should be turned into the leaky cauldron, i thought it would be cool b/c she wrote the books there so it should be turned into a pub of her invention. until i read the comments, i didn't even realize that the place was not easily seen and hard to find even when you're looking for it. it's even more perfect for the leaky cauldron!!!! my mind is just blown away at how cool it would be. it would be really cool if there was a brick wall like the one that you tap on to get to diagon alley in the books. people would go in there and stand in line to tap on some bricks with fake wands. hehe =)Avatar ImageHarriettPotter says: It would have been nice if they kept it the same way it was when she wrote the books there *Mckenzie*, that's a great idea too! A leaky cauldron in london... :DAvatar Imagelunalovespudding says: Hopefully the person that buys it is a fan of the books and turns it into a little shrine. Having a mini Leaky would be so much fun. Or even just acknowledging that Jo wrote the books there would be enough for me.Avatar ImageZivlok says: Okay guys! If we pool all of our money, how much do you think we would have? ;)Avatar ImageEmilyDeibert says: If I had a million pounds to spend... =D I think it would be awesome to turn it into The Leaky Cauldron. I would buy a plane ticket just for that.Avatar ImageKaylie Marie says: I say we all chip in and make it a Leaky Cauldron, I would so fly out there and visit! That would be amazing. Keep the Harry Potter spirit alive!Avatar Imageele0206 says: @ A Paperback Writer: could you give me your email address? I don't think I'll have many chances to see Edinburgh (I'm italian, you see), and I would really really like to talk with you about your experience in the JK Rowling-related part of Edinburgh. I don't know if I explained well, I'm really tired today so I could've done more than one grammar error. Oh, probably you're asking yourself why I don't write here my email address: you know, I'm under 18 years old and I don't really trust everyone on the Internet so.. ThanksAvatar ImageCatherine says: I think its kind of funny that Jo was the first person Mr. Ng approched to buy the cafe. I also think the price of 1 million pounds is a little much!Avatar ImageGarden State Geek says: As much as I love these books and their author, I don't think these locations should be turned into holy shrines. Avatar Imagestevenk12468 says: J.K. should buy and and fix it up. She could donate the proceeds to charity. LoL..

Write a Reply or Comment

Finding Hogwarts

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.