For me it’s important that a café remains a meeting place for people. Some cafés, such as Four Barrel in San Francisco or The Barn in Berlin, take this to a point that is philosophical. They want you to enjoy not only your cup, but your company without disturbance from wifi or other attention occupiers. At Da Matteo Fridhemsplan we do offer free wifi, and we do have music. Sometimes, due to the fact that we share our space with a retail store, the music isn’t optimal either. I remember with horror last Christmas pumping consumption music beeing played outrageously loud while people were basically sculling their espressos to get out.
My interest is in the cultural sector, and I do like photography. We have quite a few regulars and some really boring walls, so when a photo class student asked if she could place her images on our wall as an exhibition, it was a starting point for a rotating system that now is booked months in advance with people wanting to put their stuff on our walls.
I won’t discriminate, and we let amateurs, semi- and true professionals hang their stuff on our walls alike. It’s also political. In order to hang at a gallery, you’re expected to sell your stuff. If you get in at all. The public space is closed for most artists. So, the café is the perfect meeting space where you can sit alone and watch someone elses view of the world while waiting for someone, or enjoying that cup.
We also love to see when the people themselves put on an opening. It opens up possibilites to reach out to new customers and people that didn’t even knew you existed. I won’t lie, I’ll probably put my own stuff up there at one point. This is what makes independant artisan coffee houses unique, and almost the last outpost for an DIY culture. I know there are several other cafés in Stockholm putting up various photographs/art. Kafé Esaias, Drop Coffee to name a few. Also Snickarbacken host a real gallery inside the café. And not forgetting Moderna Muséet, the MOMA of Stockholm, that hosts a brilliant espresso bar. Art and coffee goes together!
Right now you can see Sven Isakssons photographs taken live in Stockholm during 2012, of various rock’n’rollers. Unique and exclusive pictures of Mick Mars, Slash and Iggy Pop to name a few! Very cool, very rock’n’roll!
NP: At The Gates The Architects