A unique neighbourhood spot at løkka

Fridtjof Seeberg, owner of Skaal Matbar.

Who are you?

My name is Fridtjof Seeberg, and I own and run Skaal Matbar at Grünerløkka. It was when I studied for my master's degree that I started working in the restaurant industry. After that, I tried a regular job, but I missed the industry. So, my wife told me to finally do what I had been talking about for years – open Skaal Matbar here at Grünerløkka.


What is Skaal Matbar?

Skaal Matbar is a neighbourhood spot where people can come together regardless of the occasion. Some people come here to celebrate their birthday once a year, and others come three times a week. Skaal is a low-key place, so I wanted to use the word Matbar, because it’s more relaxed than the term restaurant. I wanted a bar feeling, but with really good food.

Why did you open at Grünerløkka?

The best thing about Grünerløkka is the diversity of personalities, professions, backgrounds, and ages. I'm from Tøyen, so I've always liked the east side, and for me, Grünerløkka is a melting pot in Oslo. It's a place where you can be whoever you want to be, and there's acceptance for that, plus there’s many people and good vibes. It's a good neighbourhood where people support each other and want each other to do well. There's a sense of community that I feel is reflected in the regulars here – it's a very inclusive atmosphere, and I like that.


What’s a perfect day in Oslo for you?

A perfect day off for me would be if my wife also happens to have the day off, since it’s rarely we have time off together. We would start with a coffee at Wendelboe. Then we treat ourselves to a lunch with some good wine and go from place to place. We visit several spots and sit at the bar instead of spending the whole evening at one place. We have a couple of dishes and drinks, talk to the staff and other guests, then move on to the next place. It's the perfect day to swing by other good places in the industry, doing their thing.

What is it like to run a restaurant in Oslo?

It is extremely fun if you enjoy hard work and meeting people. Luckily, I like both. The best part is getting to work with so many dedicated people. You depend on people in this industry; nothing happens by itself, and it’s a lot of manual work. It brings a lot of joy and many friends – you must be prepared for a lot of hard work, but it's great fun.