(First draw quote article in Monocle May 2009) Bird life has taken on a new meaning in Norway’s capital Oslo. For the besotted clientele of the multiconcept space FUGLEN – translated ‘the bird’ – it has come to signify the good things of a life well lived. As a café, an outlet for interior objects and a soon to be launched high cocktail bar it is a crossroads where several subcultures, stories and concepts meet and converge. And as the founder of this new concept, barista champion of Norway 2007 and former daily manager of the original coffee shop it is all built on Einar Kleppe Holthe says “It is genuine and you can feel it” It is seriously cool. But there are no airs and graces here. Low strung people cuddle up on sofas, an enthused father chain-kissing his toddler, mellow tunes flowing from the speakers. The quiet, almost aquatic ambience contrasts the stress and noise of outside traffic. Upon entering the first and original room where KAFFEFUGLEN – translated “the coffeebird” started in 1963 and has been selling coffee over a counter for impressive 47 years you feel what he talks about And then entering the two new rooms behind the wall where you find yourself wondering if you have walked into your stylish grandmother’s private drawing room you are completely lost in time.


What Peppe has done with the neighbouring rooms is just impressive Einar says. With out his work capacity, his keen eye for room and space and expertise on furniture and interior from the 50s and 60s this place and concept could never live on. The BIRD needed to grow or it would succumb financially. And know it has grown three times both in size and concept Einar smiles. And financially it has grown four times since the two idealists started their rescue of the BIRD together in may 2008.

Co-owner, daily manager and interior responsible Peppe Trulsen is a bit of a nostalgic romantic – spending part of his childhood chasing treasures in grandma’s attic. He has been noted as one of Norway’s foremost experts on 1950’s and 60’s design after creating Flabbergaster - a much-acclaimed second hand interior shop concept. On invitation from Einar Peppe brought his unique curatorial expertise to the old Kaffefuglen, and the coffeebar now doubles as a living showroom. Carefully selected objects are staged as in real life – this is not the second hand shop with confusing piles of dusty rubbish. Guests who cannot take their eyes of the interior objects can feel free to carry them home – after swiping a plastic card. “FUGLEN” or “The BIRD”as a concept is a revolt against faceless chains making the Western world a blander place. Having a real sense of place, the walls radiate history and identity, telling the tale of an era of optimism and belief in the future. Having used over 1800 hours painstakingly restoring the interior of the two neighbouring rooms, Peppe has rebuilt the rooms identical with the original first room and thus preserved a valuable piece of Norwegian design history. As a reaction against strict and cold Modernism, Scandinavian designers travelled to Japan to export its include its warm, natural and simple aesthetic. The traces of Japan are obvious in the original “Coffeebird”. Original 1952 Biri-straw wallpaper, extensive use of wood, boxes and fittings creating multiple architectural levels inside a room – it all says Japanese teahouse meets mid-20th century Scandinavia.

According to Norwegian daily Dagens Næringsliv, Widar Halén -senior curator at the National Museum - has declared Kaffefuglen a cultural heritage site, as a unique remaining example of Japanese influence towards the end of the wave of Scandinavian Design in the 50s and 60s. Peppe and Einar thinks Oslo’s urban landscape is being ravaged by modernisation, but Kaffefuglen’s restoration shows that you can build something amazing out by simply building on the existing local heritage. Visitors are enveloped in a striking and intoxicating smell of coffee mixed with selected tea blends. Caffeine aficionados get superior quality from the finest producers in the world. This together with development of the new concept and financial administration is where Einar contributes with his expertise. Most at nights after taking care of his day job witch is running one of the oldest coffee companies in Oslo, Stockfleths. Oslo has a unique specialty coffee subculture, where discerning customers make sure the specialty coffee do not compete on price, but on quality. And this culture the “BIRD” has been an important part of in all the years it was a coffee shop in the Stockfleths system.

The clientele is good-looking and interesting and four of them have been here since 1963. Since the space is somewhat off the beaten track, the people who come are brought here by a shared passion for quality, interior and atmosphere. Hot drinks are made with love, the baristas take the time needed to make a prepare a perfect product, regardless if the queue in front of the counter spills out on the street. We’ll be back. (end quote)

This article preatty much sums up what happened before, since then January 2010 we finally opened the bar together with the third bird man, Halvor Digernes, now running both the coctailbar and the coffebar, the Coctailbar builds on the old leagasy of the "speak Easy" bars of the states, and is just as classic and quality oriented as the bird bar should be, Peppe has his hands full running this new webshop, and focusing on the vintage design part. And Einar is still running Stockfleths in the day time, helping out when he can. In addition we will soon open the fourth room of the bird, and then we have a boutique, office, photo studio and storage as well. Hope to see you all arround the bird any given day.


To all and everyone.