Edinburgh's Conan Doyle pub is rebranded the JK Rowling

IN a mystery befitting his greatest character, the pub named after Sherlock Holmes writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has been dramatically renamed.
The 'former' Conan Doyle pub on Broughton Street.
 Pictures: Alan JenkinsThe 'former' Conan Doyle pub on Broughton Street.
 Pictures: Alan Jenkins
The 'former' Conan Doyle pub on Broughton Street. Pictures: Alan Jenkins

Drinkers in the popular Conan Doyle pub, on the edge of Edinburgh’s New Town, were astonished to find it magically re-branded - as the JK Rowling.

Owners Nicholson’s Pubs were staying tight-lipped on Sunday - but it is understood the swift moniker change is an elaborate stunt for Hogmanay.

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As news of the change spread on social media yesterday, speculation was rife as to the reasoning behind it.

Lucy Barker tweeted: “Hello @Nicholsonspubs, why has the Conan Doyle pub been renamed the @jk_rowling?”

Others were left less than enamoured at the prospect of a permanent name change - prompting fledgling campaign calls.

“The JK Rowling’, famous for being close to the birthplace of...erm... Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!!! Bad move people! #ChangeItBack,” tweeted Lord Wobbly.

Not only has the pub been emblazoned with its new name, but the elaborate gimmick includes a stand-in sign.

It depicts Harry Potter author Rowling, also synonymous with the city, sitting at a table by a window.

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In front of the billionaire author is a notepad while she appears to be tucking in to a pub meal.

The pub was named after the great Scots storyteller Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle who was born in nearby Picardy Place in 1859.

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A bronze statue to his most famous character Sherlock Holmes overlooks the pub in York Place.

Rowling famously wrote the best-selling Harry Potter books at The Elephant House, a mile away in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

What she makes of the stunt was unclear last night - as was whether it includes the pub serving butterbeer, a favourite tipple of the characters in her books.

“I can’t say anything about it but all will be revealed tomorrow,” said a Nicholson’s spokeswoman.