Harry Potter fans will be able to grab an official goblet of Butterbeer next month at the Harry Potter New York flagship store.
As you can imagine, New York fans are as excited as Harry when he learned he was a wizard. After all, this is the closest thing fans have to Hogwarts in NYC. Ahead of the opening, we got a sneak peek of the first-floor Butterbeer bar inside the store—the biggest Harry Potter store in the world—and we were greeted by none other than Evanna Lynch, the actress who played Luna Lovegood. Lynch was there to show off the butterbeer and talk about the new store. Here's what we learned:
There will be three types of Butterbeer available at the bar, which is located on the bottom floor of the shop on Broadway and 22nd Street. You can choose between regular Butterbeer in draft, Butterbeer ice cream and vegan bottled Butterbeer you can take on the go.
Lynch says her favorite type is the bottled Butterbeer because it is vegan.
"I tried it today for the first time," she told us. "I like how refreshing it is and it's vegan, which is important to me...I'm really pleased that I got to try it. I have tried the other Butterbeers but it's very similar—but never in a bottle. It's more of a souvenir."
We tried the draft Butterbeer, too and it was both refreshing and sweet like cold and frothy butterscotch candy.
The draft Butterbeer is served in an impressive tankard that you can take home with you. The collectible label was designed by MinaLima, the design duo behind the graphic props of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. The bottled Butterbeer label is also exclusive to the store and also designed by MinaLima.
The label was inspired by the Magical Congress of the United States of America from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, featuring reds, whites and blues reminiscent of the U.S. flag and MACUSA and Butterbeer insignias.
Part of the whole excitement around the Butterbeer is the bar itself. When you enter, you'll immediately see a giant cascade of nearly 1,000 glowing Butterbeer bottles that rise from the floor and appear to float over the bar. There are giant copper pipes that decorate the ceiling to make it look like the Butterbeer is flowing through them.
Tables inside the bar are covered in newspapers from Harry Potter and one of the brick walls features Butterbeer barrels.
If you don't want to or can't get into the store because of lines one day, don't worry, there will be a pick-up/to-go window that you can order your Butterbeer from.
Three "floating" signs show the menu, which not only includes tankards for $10 and ice cream cups for $8, but also some snacks like incredibly designed cookies, from sorting hats to wands, as well as Hedwig the owl and froggy cupcakes.
It's no surprise that the treats behind the counter are so detailed. The entire store boasts an attention to detail with 15 different themed areas, including one with a massive model of Fawkes the Phoenix (weighing in at 220 pounds), which was created by a team of specialist propmakers over several months, a London phone box, Hagrid's massive boots, an interactive wand table and a majestic griffin in the store's grand main atrium.
Plushie toys can be found under a Dirigible Plum Tree, too.
Lynch said she took a tour of the store on Wednesday morning and she saw the "stunning" phoenix, which fans are going to love.
"I saw myself all over the place, blinking," she said, explaining there are screens with the characters and they blink at passersby. "There's a tree with the dirigible plums, which is meaningful to Luna. There's never been a Luna section of any park or any experience so that meant a lot to me. I hadn't seen it up close since the movie so I was thrilled."
Fans can actually see characters like Luna in "Chaos at Hogwarts" a virtual reality game that places them inside the castle, where magical creatures and secrets are ready to be found. “Wizards Take Flight” also lets guests fly on brooms as they battle against Death Eaters over the skies of London and around the grounds of Hogwarts Castle. More tech will be used throughout the store, too. Using the Harry Potter Fan Club app, visitors will find a number of Enchanted Keys that unlock exclusive behind-the-scenes facts, figures, and videos that bring the store to life.
The Harry Potter New York store will be the largest collection of Harry Potter merch in the world, and while it could have been located at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando or in London even, it being located in NYC is actually pretty special, Lynch said.
"The Fantastic Beast films are very much a New York story," she said. "To me, this blends the two worlds. It shows that the Wizarding World is not just a U.K. thing, it's an international world. That's why I've loved the books — there's just so much texture and so much depth. It is a world. It mirrors, I suppose, the London experience and Harry walking Charing Cross and turning the corner and there's Diagon Alley."
Harry Potter New York will open on June 3 at 935 Broadway in the Flatiron District.