Fuglen – Coffee Shop by day and a cocktail bar by night
Beside bars I also like to visit coffee shops of the Third Coffee Wave Generation. Norway is one of the top coffee consuming nations in the world and a Mecca for coffee lovers. In my search for nice coffee places I found Fuglen. During night time Fuglen changes into a kind of speakeasy cocktail bar and serves innovative drinks. Coffee and Cocktails, a great blend!
As soon as you enter the coffee place, you enter the 60s. Not surprinsingly, this place was already established in 1963. You will find vintage living room decor in three rooms, linoleum floor, teak wood, a juke box and a lot of decoration to explore and also to buy. This place is not only a bar and coffee shop, it is also a vintage design shop. I stayed in the front area where the coffee is prepared and later the drinks. There is no bar counter to sit but alongside the windows you will find your place on 50s bar stools. I found my seat in a corner, watching the passing cars and watching what was happening behind the bar. I was just right there, when they changed from coffee to bar service. The atmosphere was laid-back and friendly, there was tasteful calypso music and I enojoyed first of all a coffee. I love to drink coffee, no matter how late it is.
A tiny speakeasy bar is hidden behind all the coffee equipment.
The spirits are stored in the nice vintage backboard and there are some bottles with homemade syrups and infusions. I also found a Linie award right next to the barista awards. The menus are on clipboards and hang up together at the wall. The cocktail menu listed eight innovative cocktails. All made with homemade ingredients and of course mainly aquavit based. I really liked the fact that they mention the preparation method of the drinks, like stirred, shaken or built, and also the used glassware. For me, it is a helpful indicator for the type and strength of a cocktail. It is a self-service bar and you have to wait in front of the bar counter until your drink is prepared. The working area is tiny and didn’t look very functional to me. I liked the fact being closer to the place where the magic happens. It felt like being in the kitchen and standing right next to the chef. The bartenders are very relaxed but attentive and super friendly. The shakers moved to the rhythm of the tunes, in one hand and sometimes in two hands.
My first drink of choice was a Cuckoo’s Nest and my first question: “what is wood sorrels”? The bartender gave me a tiny plant and I recognised by the shape of the leaves that it was clover. A slightly sour taste that appeared in the drink later. The drink itself was refreshing due to the freshly chopped cucumber that had been put into the shaker. The Lysholm No.52 Aquavit with its anise and caraway notes, but especially with the unusal ginger brought a nice spicyness. Sourness, acidity and saltyness rounded off the drink. For this tiny space the drinks are well thought out concoctions and the preparation is quick. Next drink I opted for the Brutal Barista that fitted the coffee concept the best. Lovely drink with a mix of coffee, vermouth, Campari and crowberry syrup.
The concept is wonderful. Coffee and Cocktails are an amazing blend. The amtmosphere is laid-back and the drinks are delicious.