The restaurant business can be brutal in Norway, but a local tycoon in Oslo reported some better results last year. Now he’s embarking on more major projects.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that Bjørn Tore Furset, age 47, logged revenues of NOK 363 million (USD 43 million) in 2015, with profits before tax rising to NOK 12.5 million from NOK 10.7 million. Furset is behind some of Oslo’s best-known restaurants including Maaemo, which holds three Michelin stars, Tjuvholmen Sjømagasinet and Lofoten at Aker Brygge. He has a record of restoring and bringing life back to historic locations with his restaurants at Ekeberg, Ingierstrand, Festningen at the Akershus Fortress, the Dyna Fyr lighthouse in the Oslo Fjord and, currently, The Grand Cafe at Oslo’s Grand Hotel.
His company Fursetgruppen runs both restaurants at Oslo’s Opera House plus the large Grilleriet at the site of the former Opera House. The company struggled to make a go of its restaurants in the Paleet shopping center on Karl Johans Gate, but Furset said they’re doing better now.
Another current project involves Oslo’s first purpose-built restaurant site in years, Onda at Aker Brygge, and an agreement with the London-based Hakkasan group to turn it into one of Hakkasan’s modern exclusive Chinese restaurants. “We’re proud to get Hakkasan to open in Oslo instead of Stockholm or Copenhagen,” Furset said. Plans call for it to open its doors next year.