SOUTHINGTON — A local Italian restaurant has decorated a temporary building in a “Harry Potter” theme.
Customers can dine under floating candles and be surrounded by Harry Potter replicas, including a “Goblet of Fire.” The Harry Potter movies tell the story of a young wizard and his friends at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
“I binge watched all eight of the movies,” said Cava Restaurant manager Tony Papahristou. “I wanted to make sure we could deliver that full experience, because I know how much everyone is into Harry Potter.”
The pine trees and 40-foot train used in a “Polar Express” themed dining room around the holidays was repurposed as the “Hogwarts Express”.
The manager wanted to appeal to casual Potter fans and those who would notice every detail.
”I just wanted to recreate the scene like when he’s going to Hogwarts, with the vintage luggage, bird cages and the lanterns,” Papahristou said.
Barabara Hekeler, president of the Southington Chambers of Commerce, said she appreciates the creativity the restaurant puts into their different displays.
“I think it’s a great way for them to be creative,” Hekeler said. “Their holiday display was very popular and I know they have Harry Potter now. It’s good they do things to appeal to all of people’s interests.”
The manager said he had to hold off on decorating and opening the main building’s rooftop for dining because of the popularity of the “Harry Potter” dining room.
“We had to delay that a little bit because it’s just too much,” he said. “I thought this would be good and that [rooftop] would be the main thing, but this is insane.”
Once the rooftop opens in a few weeks, Papahristou said the theme will be inspired by “Peter Pan.”
“I already ordered a Big Ben, it’s on its way from overseas,” he said. “The display is going to be double what the Alice in Wonderland was. It’s going to be amazing.”
The restaurant, located at 1615 West St., added the temporary building in the fall to replace a tent used during the spring and summer.