A UK pub has magically been renamed The JK Rowling

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Susan Devaney

The Conan Doyle pub in Edinburgh has temporarily been renamed The JK Rowling.

JK Rowling famously wrote the Harry Potter saga from a café in Edinburgh, and even cites Scotland as inspiration for her writings.

So it only seems fitting that the Scottish capital has returned the favour by naming a pub after the much-loved author.

From The Three Broomsticks to The Leaky Cauldron, it’s fair to say Rowling knows a thing or two about what constitutes a good pub in a written tale – right? 

Previously named The Conan Doyle (after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish author of Sherlock Holmes) the cosy pub on York Place was rebranded in time for Hogmanay celebrations – the Scottish equivalent of New Year’s Eve. 

Sadly, the magical new look is only a “temporary transformation”, according to Edinburgh News.

Event organisers, Underbelly, explained that the renaming is part of the literary festival, Message from the Skies, as it aims to celebrate female authors and the country’s literary heritage - with author Val McDermid, a celebrated crime writer, using the pub as a location in one of her stories. 

“The story behind the temporary transformation of the Conan Doyle to the JK Rowling is that Val McDermid has written a story about Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’s Message From The Skies which resurrects Susan Ferrier and Muriel Spark and champions women writers,” a spokesperson for Underbelly said.

“She also explores Edinburgh as a city which inspires writers with chapters set across the city.”

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The temporary change will come as good news to some irked pub regulars. 

“I am a little bit sad about the Conan Doyle pub being changed to the JK Rowling. Both authors are amazing and deserve their own spaces of celebration not being swapped out for one another,” one social media user wrote.

“Oh dear me, no… [I’m a] fan of JK Rowling, but there is no need for this abomination,” another user wrote. 

The pub will return to its former name by 25 January.

So, we’ll meet you down The JK Rowling pub before the end of the month, yeah?

Images: Rex Features / Instagram


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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for, writing about fashion, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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