THE STORY BEHIND THE CAFE
The Royal Cafe is created and owned by Lo Østergaard and Rud Christiansen and we happily opened on 5th of May, 2007. It is one of the worlds first projects of “product placement” based on famous Danish manufacturers and presented in a Cafe/Shop environment. The manufacturers we managed to gather were Royal Copenhagen, Georg Jensen, Fritz Hansen, Bang & Olufsen, Kvadrat, Carlsberg, Holmegaard etc.
Our main philosophy was to combine a stunning experience, with a mixed historical design, showing a historical era – from baroque times to present day Denmark, but encountering a “CAFE” focus that is popular in society and growing at a fast rate, with numerous international chains opening worldwide. However we felt that too many cafes are becoming to uniform and too predictable, which in return means, that many opening today are not being creative enough, and basically copying one another. We also feel that it is important to notice that The Royal Cafe has “soul” and we like to call it “Funky Baroque – design confusion, humourous and chic”.
The Royal Cafe offers more in relation to design, enviromment and history and also focuses on Danish traditional food that has been around for more than 300 years, like “smørrebrød” (Danish open-faced sandwiches) and also traditional home-made cakes and cookies and historical deserts – though with a culinary twist, that makes it more acceptable for a worldwide audience – our menu is creative, designed and humorous.
Our signature open faced bite-size sandwiches are called “SMUSHI” and is created by using the two words “smørrebrød” and “sushi” – thus creating a total new form of cuisine. Also the idea with the SMUSHIES is to allow customers to sample more – without having to feel too full – as often is the case with traditional danish open faced sandwiches.
We not only have a story to tell, in fact after opening in Copenhagen, our customers have expressed great pleasure in spending time looking at all our various designs and added attractions, but also they feel that we have created wonderful pause and space in their daily routine, by constantly stirring up their curiosity with our design, food and products. What a pleasant way to spend a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
From the beginning we wanted the Cafe to have a 50/50 mix of shop and food – so that basically while shopping you could enjoy some coffee or food, and also while dining you could automatically direct your attention to the many products for sale on the shelves. Many companies have chosen our facilities to promote their new products, and also private functions as weddings, birthdays, cooking school, wine tasting etc. have worked with great success.
It is also important to emphasize that locations outside Denmark will automatically mean that The Royal Cafe will function and perform as a “mini” Danish embassy, as we have incorporated design, history and cuisine from Denmark – this in our oppinion has vital long term positive benefits for all involved.
As an extra added incentive the Cafe environment will statiscally attract a younger audience, as well as business people or other categories that have not necessarily “chosen” to go shopping – but perhaps merely intended to go dining or just dropped in for a refreshment. This naturally widens the attraction for more customers with a larger percentage. The reality is also that our clients are very cosmopolitan with a wide age group from 0 – 90. However The Royal Cafe has a very feminine touch also – as we know that a very high percentage of women come to cafe’s in general.
We have taken great effort to find products for The Royal Cafe construction which is either in production, or which through professional manufacturers have met our design needs and quality level. Fritz Hansen have for example produced the “ANT” chair designed by Arne Jacobsen in a new size called counter-height for the first time. Holmegaard Glass have produced the chandeliers according to our design, using their own expertise in glass making.
Royal Copenhagen have addapted several serving items, so that they are functional in a Cafe enviroment and suitable for proper presentation of our new cuisine. Also Georg Jensen uses their many designs in cutlery, vases, candlesticks and salt/pepper grinders for preserving the clients attention to their long history of design.
Our design is difficult to categorize – some may call it a clash of styles – a modern baroque approach, or even a historical Danish castle – with an up-to-date interior, but we believe that we have succeeded in creating a special atmosphere, where some of the Danish minimalism has been broken in a positive, way and thus showing the way for a new trend, that does not categorize “what goes together with what”, as we have seen proof of today in the fashion industry and in modern culinary cooking.
There are no borders anymore – and what used to be – is not necessarily a guideline anymore.