The Wizarding World in Wednesbury: Couple Opens “Harry Potter”-Inspired Coffee House
A little piece of the wizarding world has just made its way to the market town of Wednesbury in West Midlands, England. On April 2, partners and massive Harry Potter fans Jennie Bentley and Ashley Hodgkins opened the doors to their Potter-inspired coffee house called Junction 9 3/4, cleverly named because it sits near Junction 9 of the motorway M6.
Cozy and inviting, the café features Potter-themed decor like floating candles and owls. However, the centerpiece of the coffee house is a beautiful mural, painted by Bentley, of the flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Who wouldn’t love to sip coffee and cozy up to a good book with an automobile jetting towards you?
Unfortunately, due to COVID regulations, patrons cannot sit and enjoy the decorations yet. However, despite being only open for takeout, the café has had patrons lining up to order from the menu of coffees and freshly baked cakes so much so that its owners are struggling to keep up with the demand. Bentley recalls their successful opening weekend and the fantastic turnout from the community.
When we opened last week, both Saturday and Sunday, we were flat out and had people queuing down the street all day waiting to order. It has been crazy busy; we offered pre-order boxes, and they sold out straight away. Everyone has been so kind, friendly and respectful of the social distancing and safety rules in place. We’ve been so pleased to see how positive the reaction has been so far.
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Like most good ideas, Junction 9 3/4 was born out of a desire to create something better than what already existed. The couple had visited a similarly themed coffee shop and was slightly unsatisfied with the experience, as Bentley recalls.
Me and my boyfriend are both huge Harry Potter fans, and we went to somewhere else before and were a bit disappointed by it, so we thought we would try to do it ourselves.
Following that spark of inspiration, Bentley left her job and is currently working full time at the café, with her mother volunteering to assist. Once regulations lift, the couple plans to further expand upon the decor to eventually welcome guests to dine in. They are also hoping to offer wizarding-themed afternoon teas and wand-making workshops. Surely, these are activities that any witch or wizard would love to spend their afternoon doing.
For those of you in Wednesbury or the surrounding towns, you can visit Junction 9 3/4 on Market Place in Wednesbury High Street.
Do you know of any wizarding world-themed cafés or restaurants near you? If you’ve been to one, what was the best part of your experience? Let us know in the comments or share some photos and tag us on Instagram.