After a wildly successful 2008 expansion from a simple coffee shop to include the sale of mid-century furniture and boutique cocktails, the venerable Fuglen (est 1963) – previously covered here – has opened a sister store in Tokyo. At first glance, the Oslo-Tokyo connection might seem tenuous, but there is much to unite the two cities in matters of taste, and Fuglen (“The Bird”) is nothing if not tasteful.
While most people might think Japanese prefer tea – and they might just – Japan is similar to Norway in that both countries put a high premium on quality when purchasing coffee. In addition, the palates seem to be quite similar, opting for lighter roasted coffees and brewing methods – such as the pour over. Japan is a regular buyer of the most expensive lots of coffee in the world.
Tokyo is also one of the fashion capitals of the world and in that sense a perfect – if challenging – place to branch out. The value of art and design is undisputed; we think Fuglen’s specialty, Norwegian mid-century design – having been largely hidden in the long shadows cast by the other Nordic countries’ offerings – will be a tremendous success.
Presiding over the Grand Opening was the Norwegian minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske (last picture right). In the lead-up to the opening, the Fuglen team had worked frantically to get the interior finished. Luckily, everything came together in time.
We can’t wait to see the Japanese embrace a small part of Nordic culture!
Fuglen in Oslo is a high quality coffee bar during the daytime and has played an important part in developing the world renown Oslo coffee standard, “which is the best in the world and is worth flying for,” according to NY times coffee columnist Oliver Strand.
Fuglen’s cocktail bar at nightime is renown for its innovative way of combining classic handcraft with new ingredients, such as the Norwegian liquor, Aquavit. Its bar chief became last year’s Nordic champion with his aquavit cocktail, Dandy Lion.
Fuglen’s both of high quality serving parts work as a frame around the most important part of the concept when taken abroad – the 100% authentic and exclusive Norwegian vintage design interior shop. Fuglen’s mission is to show and communicate the somewhat secret, but impressive Norwegian design history to the world. Everything in the shop is for sale and 100% authentic Norwegian design from the 50’s and 60’s can be enjoyed as you savor a coffee or a cocktail.
Fuglen has made a seamless total concept around all of the three parts of the business. Fuglen has won the highly esteemed 2011 Award for Design Excellence for its total concept. In addition, Monocle magazine announced Fuglen as one of the “five best small retail concepts of the world” in the fall of 2011.
If you’re curious about Fuglen in Oslo, check out our write-up!