BY NATALIE WÄNBLAD PHOTO ARMAND DOMMER
Indulge in delicacies from the sea in a wonderfully personal atmosphere. Oyster Bar in the borough Östermalm is the restaurant that dared to go all in for all the best; oysters, bubbles and Bowie, of course.
Fresh seafood, champagne, dimmed lighting and some great music on top of that, yes it’s a pretty good ingredient for a successful evening. Oyster Bar has since 2010 worked to offer Sweden’s best seafood in a nice relaxed and personal atmosphere.
– The objective of the Oyster Bar is serving premium seafood, fine wines and champagne in an environment that feels relaxed and personal, but with style. We do not lack in quality or service, but it may not feel too pretentious and snobbish as it can easily become when it comes to seafood and champagne, says Björn Almbladh, CEO and founder of Oyster Bar.
It was in late 2009 that Björn and his wife Anette began to brainstorm about what would become the Oyster Bar. After a successful career in the IT and telecommunications industry, Björn was eager to start something of a family business. The thoughts that first came to mind was to work as consultants, but then the thoughts all the time returned to the passion for oysters, seafood, champagne and interest in the interaction between people. When the domain name oysterbar.se proved to be free, he saw it as a sign to go all in, even though his only experience of the restaurant industry was as a guest.
– I have, like many other people, thought it would be fun to open your own restaurant. I started thinking about what I was most passionate about. One of the things I thought was fun about my last job was the dinners I had with my biggest customers. I taught them to enjoy the good life, oyster, shellfish and champagne. I strove to create something unique that other suppliers could not provide, and our customers would experience an evening they will never forget, says Bjorn.
The ambition to create unforgettable evenings is still one of the driving forces. Thanks to its wide network of contacts and social skills, Björn made the Oyster Bar a gathering hub of well-known personalities as well as seafood lovers. Almost every dinner seating, he mingles among his restaurant’s guests, which adds to the authentic atmosphere. Guests have a pleasant time and that the shellfish are of the highest quality is not something he takes lightly.
– Our goal is that all guests will have an good experience and be really happy. I usually say that I love happy and satisfied guests. My ambition is that we will have the best seafood, so only I can order the seafood. I know when and where the best seafood is available, I am almost a bit like a stock market analyst who follows the stock market, Björn says, laughing.
Since adolescence, Björn has been a great admirer and fan of David Bowie, both for his music but also for his personality and overall work. The past four years, the Oyster Bar has come to be characterized by this, the walls in the dining room are adorned with colourful paintings of Bowie, and his music seeps out through the speakers. The concept has been appreciated and contributes to the personal mood. After David Bowie’s demise in early 2016, the theme has become even more important and uncompromising, no other group and no other music will be played in the coming year.
– I would never had dared to do like that in the beginning, but now I’m doing what I want to do and it feels good. It is largely thanks to Bowie, he has inspired me to dare to go my own way. My call to all out there who dream and are considering a change, do something new that you have a passion for. Take the plunge if you have done a thorough business analysis and a realistic business plan, says Björn before he looks around in the dimly lit restaurant, and continues with a smile
– Seafood, champagne and Bowie – that’s the shit.