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

J.K. Rowling
Posted by: sue
January 27, 2009, 07:42 PM

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."

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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.

Posted by n on January 28, 2009, 01:30 PM report to moderator

It would be nice if some resteraunt owner just bought it. A tourist attraction would change the feel of the place.

Posted by H on January 28, 2009, 02:30 PM report to moderator

@ 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 :)

Posted by ele0206 on January 28, 2009, 02:50 PM report to moderator
Harry Potter Year 7

Their food sucks. I hope some place with good food opens up!

Posted by Harry Potter Year 7 on January 28, 2009, 03:06 PM report to moderator
Lilly Angel-Harry Potter and Criss Angel Fan

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.


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 Fan

Posted by Lilly Angel-Harry Potter and Criss Angel Fan on January 28, 2009, 03:59 PM report to moderator
Eva Hedwig

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.

Posted by Eva Hedwig on January 28, 2009, 05:20 PM report to moderator
Kiwi Mc I

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 well

Posted by Kiwi Mc I on January 28, 2009, 05:25 PM report to moderator

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.

Posted by CordeliaPotter on January 28, 2009, 09:36 PM report to moderator

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.

Posted by ele0206 on January 29, 2009, 07:23 AM report to moderator
A Paperback Writer

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.

Posted by A Paperback Writer on January 29, 2009, 09:23 PM report to moderator

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 =)

Posted by mckenzie on January 29, 2009, 10:05 PM report to moderator
500 Points

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… :D

Posted by HarriettPotter on January 30, 2009, 04:30 PM report to moderator
739 Points

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.

Posted by LunaLovesPudding on January 30, 2009, 05:01 PM report to moderator
1013 Points

Okay guys! If we pool all of our money, how much do you think we would have? ;)

Posted by Dawlish and the Archies {WBM!} on January 30, 2009, 08:34 PM report to moderator
2233 Points

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.

Posted by Emily [ROAR] on January 30, 2009, 09:58 PM report to moderator
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