Thursday, August 31, 2006

The soul of the city

Yesterday the Oslo newspaper Aftenposten reported that one of the most traditional beer-halls in Oslo were to close. Olympen - or "Lompa" (Abbreviation really meaning a potato pancake) will be turned into another posh restaurant. As if we did not have enough of them......

"Lompa" has been the soul of Grønland - a place where generations have enjoyed their beer and eaten traditional food. With large paintings on the wall from old Oslo painted by Henrik Backer. A memory from a time when the city had small wooden buildings and narrow streets. Now they will axe this instituion and make into a trendy new eatery.

Lompa is the latest of several traditional eating and drinking establishments to disappear and will certainly not be the last. Gradually the memories of the old city is replaced by a new restaurant, a sushi bar, or a pizzeria serving uninteresting food. And the Norwegian conservation authorities does nothing at all.

When I lived in Brussels in 1999 the restaurant Falstaff close to the Stock Exchange went bankrupt. The belgian authorities demanded that the new owners should restore all the interior and that it should remain as a traditional restaurant. Here you can still eat Waterzooi or Carbonnade de la Flamande today accompanied by a Leffe Blonde or a Duvel.

I wish that our authorities could act in they same way before it would too late. The building itself is listed and so should the interior be. And the owners should be instructed to preserve the character of this institution. Lompa is a part of our heritage and links the citizens of Oslo to their past.

But will they? I think not....


Anonymous said...


Snublet tilfeldigvis innom denne siden i et forsøkt på å finne ut hva som hadde skjedd med lompa, etter at jeg selv har bodd flere år i utlandet og på en tur hjemme til min store sorg fant ut at Lompa nok har sunget sitt siste vers.
En veldig fin beskrivelse av en av Oslos virkelige institusjoner for ivaretakelse av mental helse og inntak av god drikke.
Har sett litt på det andre du har skrevet også, og mange spennende og underfundige tanker og oppdagelser.


jonaslaberg said...

Hyggelig da, å vite at deres frykt ble gjort til skamme, i og med at Lompa har gjenoppstått i all sin prakt, like folkelig og fin som den alltid har vært, både hva hensyn til meny, priser og interiør angår! :)