HOUSE OF SCANDINAVIA
Tjoget – it's all in the mix
When Stockholm bar Tjoget was included in the prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars list, it put a solid stamp of approval on the concept and hard work done by its owners, and founders of all three Tjoget-run bars, Andreas Bergman and Joel Söderbäck.
Joel and I originally came up with the concept,” says Bergman. “During our lives we have travelled extensively around the countries bordering the Mediterranean – not just the European ones, but also those in North Africa and the Middle East. We wanted to translate our impressions from that region when it comes to style of food, drinking and lifestyle into a restaurant and bar in Stockholm.”
Gradually the ideas flowed and a firm plan, based around serving food, cocktails, wines and beers, inspired by the Med took hold. Beyond the food and drinks aspect though was the need to provide excellent service. For inspiration there they looked slightly further afield.
“Even though we’re not at all an American restaurant, our style of service, the music and the atmosphere as well as the design of our place is heavily inspired by the New York restaurants and bars we have been visiting since we were 21. We go to New York at least once a year and will be opening a bar there this spring together with the Swedish company, Sneakernstuff,” adds Bergman looking ahead to the next phase of expansion for the company.”
With this in mind, a SXSW tie-up with SAS made perfect sense.
“SAS is looking to expand its food and beverage program, looking to further improve its quality food and drinks offering, says Söderbäck. “This is a first, and natural step to collaborate on the beverage program. It makes sense that the biggest Scandinavian airline would collaborate with one of the world’s 50 best bars, situated in Stockholm, to up the beverage program onboard, right?” he smiles.
The old saying goes, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” In this particular case, the proof of the cocktail was in the drinking, with travelers on the non-stop flight from Copenhagen offered a unique take on an old favorite. “We served our favorite airplane drink, Bloody Mary – fresh tomato juice and a spice mix never before served in the air,” he adds.
On the ground in Austin, Bergman, who is visiting SXSW for the first time,will take part in a seminar on sustainability in the restaurant business.
And as for the secret to their success?
“Service is everything to us!” Söderbäck says. “And that’s actually pretty easy – be nice and make your guest feel at home. Also vital is a broad knowledge about the craft and product. Make sure that all beverages are cold, and use great ice in your cocktails – nobody likes warm champagne! And finally, of course, you also have to have the right clientele to make a bar in the end!”