The Conan Doyle Pub Is Renamed to the J.K. Rowling

A Scottish pub named in honor of Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has magically gotten a new name, at least for now.

Located in Edinburgh, Scotland, popular pub "The Conan Doyle" was changed over to "The J.K. Rowling" recently, with the exterior painted over and a new sign that shows the Harry Potter author sitting a table with pencil, paper, and food. However, with the pub owners refusing to officially comment on the mysterious name change, many were upset with what they perceived as a city landmark being overtaken by commercialism with some Sherlock fans even considering boycotting the pub.

It turns out, though -- to the relief of some and the dismay of devoted Harry Potter fans -- the pub's name change is only temporary. The events firm Underbelly confirmed to the Edinburgh Evening News that the "Conan Doyle" name change is part of an art installation and not a permanent switch. The installation, called Message from the Skies, is a collaborative effort from crime writer Val McDermid, Theater director Philip Howard, and Double Take projections designed to showcase streets and buildings that have inspired Edinburgh's famous authors, including Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Muriel Spark, and Rowling.

"The story behind the temporary transformation of the Conan Doyle to the JK Rowling is that Val McDermid has written a story for Edinburgh's Hogmanay's Message from the Skies which resurrects Susan Ferrier and Muriel Spark and champions women writers," a spokeswoman for Underbelly said. "She also explores Edinburgh as a city which inspires writers with chapters set across the city."


As Harry Potter fans will recall, Edinburgh is where Rowling wrote much of the fiction series and the city has several locations significant to the series, including the coffee shop The Elephant House. The Elephant House is where Rowling famously began writing the Harry Potter series, later telling the BBC that she did so because it was a way to get her infant daughter to sleep.

For fans wanting to visit the Rowling pub, however, they will need to act fast. Message from the Skies kicked off New Year’s Day and runs through January 25, 2018.