So, the saga of Kura could’ve continued. Instead I am sad to write these notes.
This saturday, the 12th of July (ironically the day before my daughter was born), was the last day of service for Kura at their new location. It was a small shock throughout the community that Kura was folding, since they were the beginning point of something Stockholm had never seen before.
When Da Matteo opened up in Stockholm back in 2012, it was clear I wasn’t going to be onboard the Kura ship. Nevertheless, the guys came and hatched great plans for their new space, fueled by coffee I served them. Evesdropping made it all sound very exciting, though I have to admit I never truly understood the idea of opening in a food court. In retrospective, people will always say they thought this and that, so I’m not going to say I saw it coming. I didn’t, and I certainly didn’t hope for it to end.
It was decided just before opening that they were going with roaster David Haugaard instead of Da Matteo, which on a professional level disappointed me (naturally), but on a personal level saw a really great Australasian espresso crafted that I appreciated a lot. They also slimlined the tea selection somewhat, but instead offered V60’s of some of Davids fine offerings. The food offered were a 2.0 selection of what was the staple Kura menu; super salads and amazing toasts. It fitted the profile of this self proclaimed high end food court, with some of Stockholms most hyped up brands in the same room.
Things started to look suspicious already on the opening night. Half an hour before opening, Kura still had no electricity. Things like these are maybe what happens when things are stressful and last minute, but it turned out it was symptomatic for the whole food court. On a personal note, I looked around the whole food court for vegetarian options. Not much was on offer, but since Kura are famous for their salads, I wasn’t too worried. My concern though was that opposite Kura was a famous burger joint, with vegetarian burgers on offer at their other store. In this space though, their only vegetarian option was salads. Details like these makes you think of the administration and organisation not being that well thought through or communicated.
Swedes are a funny bunch. The idea of offering some of the more interesting concepts under one roof sounds like a brilliant plan in most cities. Sweden, not so much. They tend to go for well known concepts, thus leaving Kura and other independant brands unexplored for quite some time. So you have the burger joint, the sushi place and the dumpling hangout jam packed, as in every other place they already have. At best you’ll grab “Stockholms finest coffee” on the way out. The foodcourt itself, K25, didn’t do any advertising or help out with promoting breakfast deals, since the majority of places mostly catered for the lunch crowd. Again, poor communication and administration on behalf of the strata that is supposed to lift the place altogether.
These are all my own analyzes of the situation from what was obvious to anyone walking into the space, knowing coffee and café environments. I guess when people realized what gem was hidden in there food wise, it was already too late. When wanting to get out of the contract, the strata would not tolerate just anyone taking over, but were picky in picking the next tennant. Thus Kura had to endure a long search to find their own right replacement. I can only say that the new owners will most likely be tennants that are familiar with the owners of the K25, and that after Kura there will be several more independants dropping off shortly. The foodcourt itself already has lost its charm, service is hurting, and walking in between lunch and dinner makes you think of nothing boutique but something very generic and sloppy. I can only think that again, quality doesn’t pay off in Sweden. Not on the high streets anyway. I’m grateful there are still cafés out there who try hard and do a great job. Kura isn’t there anymore, but their legacy lives on and hopefully in time, Swedes will know quality from crap.
NP: City And Colour - Love Don’t Live Here Anymore