Cafe where Harry Potter was written to open Filipino branch

JK Rowling wrote at The Elephant House in Edinburgh during her time in the capital city.

Edinburgh cafe where Harry Potter was written to open branch inspired by fantasy series in Manila Google Maps

An Edinburgh cafe where JK Rowling wrote chapters of Harry Potter is set to open its first international branch at a Filipino mall.

The Elephant House will begin serving customers at Manila’s sprawling Greenhills Shopping Centre later this year after signing a deal with one of the franchise’s official merchandise retailers.

Retailers Museum Context – which operates two stores in the capital’s Old Town devoted to merchandise from the film series – agreed a deal for the franchise to open in the San Juan area with owners Visum Ventures.

The coffee shop is due to open in December, the firm said.

“This franchise will offer Filipinos and tourists a unique and appealing experience, combining Harry Potter fandom, immersive ambience, and merchandise sales,” Visum owner John-Michael Hilton said.

Rowling previously debunked the coffee shop’s assertion it was the “birthplace” of her fantasy series, although she said she did write there.

However, The Elephant House retained a sign in the window boasting the disputed moniker before being gutted by a fire on George IV Bridge in August 2021.

Rowling previously said she came up with the idea for the Harry Potter series – which has sold more than 500 million books in over 80 languages – in a flat in London’s Clapham while living there in the early 1990s.

She said she was “amused” by Elephant House’s claims in a social media post during the Covid pandemic, but “let them off” as she did write there during her time in Edinburgh.

The cafe erected a plaque stating Rowling had “written much of her early novels in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle”.

It also claims Rebus author Ian Rankin and No.1 Ladies Detective Agency writer Alexander McCall Smith were frequent visitors.

Museum Context declined to comment when contacted.

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