Two massive Harry Potter fans got together and opened a bar.
Lately, it seems as if J.K. Rowling is determined to change our childhoods but one visit to the Lockhart will place a band-aid on your feelings, if only for a short time.
Matthew Rocks and Pouria Fakhraei met in Paris last year while running a wine bar in the beaches, realized they both had similar ideas and created the muggles only bar, the Lockharts.
Luckily, they weren’t super busy being new owners and had a few minutes to speak to Suburban Sassy.
Suburban Sassy (SS): Let’s start with something easy, tell us a little about the people behind The Lockhart?
Matthew and Pouria (MAP): Myself and my business partner Paris met last year while we were running a wine bar in the beaches. He had been running and working at bars in the area for some time and I had just moved from London having worked in the reinsurance market there. We found we had similar ideas of what we wanted in a bar and The Lockhart was born out of that!
SS: What’s the vision behind the Lockhart?
MAP: We wanted it to first and foremost be a neighborhood bar – somewhere you could feel comfortable and at ease. At the same time we aimed to provide high quality food and drinks at a reasonable price. We think we’ve managed to achieve the ambiance of somewhere that’s bright and welcoming while also having that cozy feel that appeals to so many of us.
SS: The name (The Lockhart) is similar to a Caribbean last name and ironically Matt you were born in Bermuda. Was this inspiration for the name? Who came up with the name?
MAP: I actually had no idea! The name actually is a reference to one of Paris’ and myself favorite Harry Potter character. We are massive fans of the books and it’s certainly something which inspired us when designing the bar. There are lots of little Harry Potter jokes hidden in the design of the bar and in the menu for customers to discover! In terms of Bermuda though, we have our dark and stormy on the cocktail menu, which we make with our house spiced rum and home-made ginger beer, and I’m hoping to get a Bermuda fish sandwich on the menu at some point as it’s one my favorite things to eat whenever I go back!
SS: What is it about the Lockhart that excites you the most?
MAP: I think for both of us it’s seeing our vision for the bar become a reality – which I know is a little cheesy but it’s a pretty cool thing to see happen. Also having a chance to add to the city’s bar scene is also an exciting challenge for us.
SS: How would you describe the style of your bar?
MAP: I think it’s a mix of styles and ideas but we definitely drew from certain fantasy elements. As I mentioned before we took ideas from Harry Potter, some parts of the bar look like they belong in an alchemists or potion maker’s workshop. But then we have modern ornaments such as our neon sign. The careful juxtaposition of old and new decoration creates a unique space that is completely our own.
SS: There are tons of speciality cocktails on your menu, where did most of the inspiration for the cocktails come from?
MAP: Paris designed the cocktail menu and I just helped name them! I think it was actually inspired by alchemy and potion making; transforming an everyday drink into something new and exciting by adding or modifying a few ingredients. We infuse our own liquors in-house which gives us the freedom to really experiment with and hone what we serve here.
SS: What will differentiate Lockhart from similar restaurants?
MAP: I believe that the interesting and welcoming aesthetic really appeals to passersby. Many bars in the area serve specialty cocktails and tapas plates, but our price point is much lower than other establishments, making our menu much more accessible to a larger audience. We don’t want to be an ‘exclusive’ bar – everyone can enjoy themselves and feel welcome here.
SS: What else do you have planned for the Lockhart?
MAP: We’ll be starting a trivia night soon which should be a lot of fun, industry night on Sunday nights (drinks discounts for servers and bartenders), also our brunch menu will be ready soon so Saturday and Sunday brunch. I’m really excited about the brunch menu, we’re going to do things like homemade pop tarts and potato waffle breakfast sandwiches which will be pretty spectacular!
The Lockhart, 1479 Dundas St W