BALTIMORE — The wands will wave at Roland Park’s Johnny’s on Oct. 31 when the restaurant hosts a Harry Potter takeover.
The Foreman Wolf restaurant will be decorated to reflect the popular books turned into movies. There will be flags representing the different houses from Hogwarts—the fictional wizard school that Harry Potter attends in the series. A sorting hat will be at the entrance of the restaurant. And the entire staff will get in on the action dressed in costumes inspired by characters from the series, according to Sue-Jean Chun, spokeswoman for Foreman Wolf, the restaurant group that owns Johnny’s. A costume contest will also be held.
“It’s just a beloved character for our staff,” said Chun. “It’s the fitting restaurant for something like this. It’s more casual dining. It’s family-friendly. It’s an easy one. It made all the sense to do that.”
Although the decor is expected to by eye-catching — the restaurant group hired a designer to complete the transformation — Chun said that the main attraction will be the themed food and drinks.
Highlights from the special offerings include: Butterbeer cupcakes, which consist of brown butter cake with butterscotch filling and icing; a treacle tart, a British version of a pecan pie; and dragon’s breath macarons, a cinnamon pastry with a kick of spice, according to Chun.
“Our team says it’s legitimate Butterbeer,” Chun promised, adding that the restaurant will be fully decorated by Oct. 29, although staff will only be in costume on Oct. 31. “All the treats are priced and a la carte. And we’ll be serving the regular menu.”
Despite the first Harry Potter book being published 1997 and the last main line movie being released in 2011, the mania over the cast of characters dreamed up by British author J. K. Rowling is still going strong.
With a prequel “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” set to be released Nov. 16 and a Tony Award-winning stage production, ”Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which is currently on Broadway, the series is as relevant as when it debuted.
And although it’s not Hogwarts, Baltimore has strong connections to the series.
In July, a Harry Potter-themed bar crawl was held in Fells Point and included nine establishments like Sir Duke, Admiral's Cup and The Rockwell.
Danielle DiFerdinando, the Ellicott City-born handbag and accessories designer has released a line of products inspired by the show.
And Ottobar will host Wizard Fest, a Harry Potter-themed dance party, on Oct. 26. Tickets range from $25 to $35. In addition to a live DJ, there will be a costume contest with cash prizes, Quidditch pong, and Butterbeer and other Harry Potter-themed drinks. The venue also warns guests that no owls, cats or toads will be admitted.