Popular coffee shop expands abroad

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One of Oslo’s highly acclaimed coffee shops, Fuglen, also sells vintage Norwegian design from the 1950s and 1960s, turns into a cocktail bar at night and means “the bird” in Norwegian. Now it’s about to fly both east and west.

The popular multi-faceted Fuglen has been written up in magazines like Monocle and newspapers including The New York Times. Now newspaper Aftenposten reports that Fuglen plans to open a shop in Tokyo next year and in New York in 2013.

The unusual expansion to Japan came about after a Japanese visitor to Oslo frequented Fuglen’s shop on Pilestredet and clearly liked it. He had a location in Tokyo available and will also act as Fuglen’s representative in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

The trio behind Fuglen – Einar K Holthe, Peppe Trulsen and Halvor Digernes – plan to open another of their cocktail-design-coffee shops in New York’s East Village the year after. Boosted by flattering media coverage in high-brow publications, and with lots of foreigners visiting the Oslo location already, they think their concept will be popular outside Oslo as well. Monocle, noting how the trio transformed the old Kaffefuglen coffee shop that has been located on Pilestredet since 1963, rated Fuglen as one of the world’s five best small-scale retail ideas in 2011.

Views and News staff