The Swedish landlords pulling in the punters in Edinburgh
In 2003, Anna and Mike Christopherson decided to take a year out and do something completely different. They quit their jobs in Stockholm, and after spending a weekend in Edinburgh decided to move to Scotland.
“Traveling to Edinburgh from Sweden is really easy,” Anna says. “Just under two hours, and once you’re here there’s so much else on your doorstep. The Highlands, for example, where you can go hiking or deer hunting. We are so close to nature, and still there are a lot of things going on in the city, that’s the great thing about Edinburgh.”
Anna and Mike had always dreamed of starting their own business, and although it was not the main reason for moving they hit on an idea soon after arriving in Scotland.
“The Scots are open and easy to get to know,”
“Ten years ago the pubs in Edinburgh were rough, dark places with covered windows, fluorescent lighting and TVs on the walls showing football,” Mike says. “Unless you were a man and a regular, you didn’t feel welcome.”
Anna adds: “There was nowhere for women or somewhere everyone could hang out. When we opened Boda, our first bar, there was a line outside. In just three months we made back our investment.”
Today, Anna and Mike own and run five bars and cafés in Edinburgh. All except one (Hemma) are in Leith in the north of the city and offer somewhere relaxed to hangout either day or night. You can bring your kids and stroller during the day, work on your laptop, meet friends over beer, tea or dinner. They also host Halloween parties, beer pong championships, quiz evenings, running clubs and live music.
Both Anna and Mike say Scots are more sociable than Swedes and would miss that if they moved back. “The Scots are open and easy to get to know,” Anna says. “There is no awkward silence in Edinburgh.”
Mike adds: “It's easy to get things done here. If you only have some ambition you can accomplish anything.”
Anna and Mike’s bars
229 Leith Walk.
63-65 Henderson Street.
265 Leith Walk.
23 Elm Row.
73 Holyrood Road.
Read more on www.bodabar.com
Published: March 17, 2015