It’s kind of amazing, what’s going on at this bar I suddenly have the privilege of working behind.
I say this because being there is so fun already and feels so perfect that I’m worried that writing about it so admiringly will jinx it.
I’ve spent the past two evenings working behind the bar at Søernes Ølbar, the new sister bar of Ørsted Ølbar. Tonight was the third night in a row I’ve had chips, sausage, peanuts, and high-gravity porters for dinner (and subsequent fourth meal) and I’m totally okay with it BECAUSE this new bar is the greatest thing ever.
Part of assimilating into Danish culture (or just out of American culture) is dropping the overuse of hyperbole. Example: “This is the best mocha I’ve ever had!” or “OMG this salad is inspirational, how did you make it? Tell me everything!” Statements like this are usually answered with doubtful smirks. Over complimenting does not exist in the Danish language. It leaves a fine vernacular code to decrypt in order to understand how Danes really feel about anything.
I am drunkenly digressing. The point is, after being present for the bar’s opening and first Friday night on the lakes, I am pretty sure that the surrounding community is crying happy tears that there is a new super-sweet afternoon drinking spot located smack in the middle of their neighborhood. Tonight, my favorites were the two fifty-year-old men who came up and squealed, “Are these ALL taps??!” and then started clutching each other with joy when I said yes. Here, the excitement is not understated. They are just as happy as I am.
But what I think is most impressive about what I’ve seen over the last few days is the beginnings of a loyal customer base we already seem to have. Prior to this weekend I was unaware that there was a huge community that truly appreciated what the owner, Kim Christiansen, had done with Ørsted Ølbar and loyally followed him to the lakes to check out his new location. Not that I am at all surprised! But after having my Facebook feed flooded with Mikkeller updates about its new bar on Stefansgade for months before their opening and not hearing a peep from Søernes, I wasn’t sure how the crowds at this week’s grand opening would compare.
The place was packed shoulder to shoulder when I walked in for my first shift at 6pm, when the bar was only an hour old! The crowd of 2000+ at Mikkeller was proof that social media works, but the crowd that showed up to Søernes to shower Kim in congratulatory cards, beer, and gifts at Søernes were proof that some people are big enough ballers not to need it. It’s interesting to think about in terms of arts management; Mikkeller beer might be high art in the Danish craft beer scene, but nobody said it needed to be served in such a sterile environment. Søernes has it all. DJs, soccer, ducks, mood lighting, and the best beer I’ve ever had.
It’s gonna be hard to get me away from this place. Good thing I’m on payroll.