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Restaurant Barr in Copenhagen: ‘Old Norse’ Fare Served on the Premises of the Former Noma


Restaurant Barr in Copenhagen: ‘Old Norse’ Fare Served on the Premises of the Former Noma

March 27, 2018

We’re unabashed followers of Danish chef Rene Redzepi (for proof, see Chef’s Own KitchenSecrets to a Well-Ordered Home, and Agern Restaurant).

Now we’re enthusing about Restaurant Barr, opened last June in the former 18th-century warehouse home of the original Noma. (That restaurant closed a year ago before operating as a pop-up in Tulum, Mexico, then reincarnating in a new “urban farm” space in Copenhagen less than a mile from the original site.) Barr was founded by chef and restaurateur Thorsten Schmidt, a longtime friend of Redzepi (who is also a partner in the restaurant). Schmidt spent most of his career running the fine-dining Malling & Schmidt restaurant in Aarhus, Denmark, but found himself yearning for simple food made with the same local, high-quality ingredients for which he and Redzepi are both known. The product is Barr (“barley” in Old Norse), which serves the “unpretentious but inviting” North Sea regional food the German-born, Danish Schmidt remembers from childhood. Let’s take a look at the interiors—they’re reminiscent of Noma, but with an easygoing, modern touch.

Photography by Line Klein, courtesy of Barr.

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Above: Barr was redesigned by famed Norwegian architects Snøhetta. (Other Snøhetta projects we like include several Aesop stores around the world and the revamped French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley, California.)
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Above: When Noma closed last year, Redzepi held an Auction to offload the Wegner and Møller chairs, Würtz ceramics, and Wahl & Ross wooden spoons that served diners through the restaurant’s 14-year tenure. But some of the restaurant’s original finishes remain at Barr, like the partly stained stone walls and hand-hewn wood ceilings.
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Above: The leather and oak chairs are by Danish designer Finn Juhl.
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Above: Most of the furniture and all of the built-ins are custom, designed and fabricated using traditional techniques by cabinetmaker Malte Gormsen.
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Above: Most of the oak wood used at Barr is from trees grown less than 30 miles from the restaurant.
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Above: Noma had (and still has, in the new space) 40 seats in the dining room; Barr accommodates 60 diners in the main room and another 30 in the bar.
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Above: A bar attached to the main dining room serves the full restaurant menu alongside wine, cocktails, and 22 beers on tap.
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Above: Sourdough pancakes with elderflower, mussel sauce, citrus, and caviar.
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Above: A wooden “door” is propped against the exterior, where the original Noma sign used to hang. Barr is located on the Copenhagen waterfront at Strandgade 93.

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