Phoenix Cafe in Brixton features in new book Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling

Soner hassan from Phoenix Cafe with the Cuckoo's Calling book by J.K. Rowling
Soner hassan from Phoenix Cafe with the Cuckoo’s Calling book by J.K. Rowling

One of Brixton’s oldest and best-loved cafes has been immortalised in J.K. Rowling’s latest novel.

The Cuckoo’s Calling, a crime detective story published under the nom de plume Robert Galbraith, was launched by Rowling’s publishers earlier this year.

Staff at Phoenix Cafe, Coldharbour Lane, only found out they starred in the book when customers recently started pointing it out.

The charming cafe is described by Rowling as: “A tiny, brown-painted, shed-like place where you could… eat large and delicious breakfasts, with eggs and bacon piled high, and mugs of tea the colour of teak.” And then: “Its mirrored walls reflecting tables of mock-wood formica, stained floor tiles of dark red, and a tapioca ceiling…”

Owner Soner Hassan, pictured, told the Brixton Blog he was “delighted” his cafe had been mentioned.

“I was absolutely shocked,” he said. “They have got the place down to a t.

“They obviously came in within the last three years to do the research.”

Soner is now proudly exhibiting the pages describing his business on the wall of the Coldharbour Lane diner for all customers to see, so pop in and see it for yourself while you enjoy delicious breakfast and tea the colour of teak!



  1. Soner is a Legend. The most cheerful and best natured guy in Brixton, as well as a killer toast master.

    My recommendation: Toasted BLT with Mayo.

  2. Soner is the most cheerful guy I’ve ever met, who’ll ask you ‘the usual,darling?’ although you haven’t been in, for like,2 yrs….Love him 😉

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