Oslo’s new food hall known as Mathallen has attracted almost a million visitors since it opened eight months ago, but they don’t spend enough money. Now the match is over for restaurant Von Porat, named after a famous Norwegian boxer.
Von Porat, owned by high-profile chef Jan Vardøen, declared bankruptcy on Monday, newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported. Its management said the number of dinner guests had been lower than expected, particularly during recent months.
The food hall, located in an old factory building near Oslo’s trendy Grunerløkka district, combines individual specialty retail food stalls with restaurants and cafés. Von Porat was the only full-fledged restaurant at Mathallen, located on a somewhat quiet mezzanine floor. The company behind the restaurant also has a butcher store in the hall, which will remain in business. Shortly after the opening last October, it was the scene of a real food fight between Vardøen and the government minister for food and agriculture.
According to new figures, Mathallen had 880,000 visitors during its first eight months of operation, well above a target of 1 million visitors for all of 2013. Total sales NOK 131 million, however, were weaker than forecast. Manager Frode Rønne Malmo told DN that visitors spend NOK 120 on average, which may not be enough for some retailers. Two of the stall operators had already quit before Von Porat folded, but have since been replaced.