The Elephant House Café Set to Reopen This Year

The Elephant House café in Edinburgh, Scotland, was sealed in Wizarding World history when J.K. Rowling wrote the first drafts of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone there. The building was caught in the crossfire of a huge blaze on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh three years ago, but we finally have an announcement about its return to business.

Despite the fire back in August 2021 and further troubles when the building’s owner faced liquidation, café owner David Taylor has fought hard to keep the Elephant House alive, promising that he “would always stand by [his] cafe.” He said in a recent interview with the BBC that he is hoping to reopen the café at its original location in “late spring, early summer” after around £1 million worth of refurbishments. The table used by Rowling to write sections of the Harry Potter book was rescued from the fire and will return to its home in the café once the renovations are complete.


The table on which J. K. Rowling wrote some of the first "Harry Potter" book.

The table in its new home on Victoria Street (Credit: David Taylor)


The table is currently sitting in the café’s second branch, which opened just before Christmas. The second branch is located on Victoria Street, a short walk around the corner from the original location. The street is said to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley, keeping the café’s magical ties strong. The café has taken inspiration from this location for its menu, serving butterscotch beer, a drink similar to the franchise’s beloved butterbeer.

The table is also set to be going on an international journey. Taylor recently launched the Elephant Café International, a franchise that will open a location in Manilla in February before continuing to other, currently undecided locations across Asia. The table will be featured in the Manilla branch before returning to the UK.

Will you be visiting the café once it reopens?

Neave Williamson

I've been a proud Slytherin for as long as I can remember, and love taking inspiration from the Wizarding World for short films.