Frederik Bille Brahe. Foto: SMK / Nikolai Linares

What's on | 18.feb.2018

Frederik Bille Brahe opens new eatery at the National Gallery of Denmark

With Kafeteria, the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) gets a new restaurant that will help raise the bar for museum food. The interior of the new café was designed in collaboration with the internationally acclaimed artist Danh Vo, who is currently exhibiting at the Guggenheim in New York.

In March 2018, renowned Danish restaurateur Frederik Bille Brahe will open his new restaurant, Kafeteria, at SMK – the National Gallery of Denmark. Located right by the main entrance, the new eatery can be visited without buying a ticket to the museum itself. The new café is an important milestone in SMK’s ongoing efforts to invite a wider audience to enter the museum.

As the name strongly suggests, Kafeteria is a cafeteria-style restaurant. Working closely with chef Jakob Kjær, Frederik Bille Brahe has developed a cuisine based on simplicity and reasonably priced dishes. The two creators focus on quality, seasonal and local produce and have a firm ambition to be 100% organic. The restaurant has its own bakery, offering a large selection of home-made cakes and bread freshly baked on the premises.

Frederik Bille Brahe is no stranger to the Danish art scene: after a career spanning several gourmet restaurants he opened Café Atelier September, transforming the renowned Copenhagen boutique-cum-gallery. Last year he also created the popular Apollo Bar & Kantine at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen.

‘Working with Frederik Bille Brahe and Danh Vo, we want to set new standards for what a museum café and food experience can be,’ says Mikkel Bogh, director of SMK. ‘Kafeteria is envisioned as a place where museum visitors – and all those who simply pop in for a meal or a cup of coffee – get an experience that is infused by the spirit, the history and the collections found in this place’.

Italian DIY furniture and Japanese lamps
The ambition behind the new eatery is to establish a synergy between food and art. Reflecting this, the interior of Kafeteria was designed in co-operation with the Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vo, who is currently exhibiting his works at the Guggenheim in New York – and will exhibit at SMK this autumn.

Danh Vo is interested in the history that underpins design and art. His choices for the new SMK restaurant include the Italian designer Enzo Mari’s ‘do-it-yourself’ furniture. In the 1970s, wishing to make design objects more readily available to more people, Mari created a furniture concept that enables people to assemble his designs themselves out of low-cost materials.

The distinctive new floor of Kafeteria was laid using broad oak planks from Dinesen Floors’ GrandOak series. Designed in 1956 and sporting a distinctive spindle backrest, Poul M. Volther’s iconic J46 chair will also be part of the interior, as will Nanna Ditzel’s (1923–2005) ‘toadstool’. The lighting consists of lantern-like lamps created by the Japanese-American artist and sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904–88), who is famous for his sculptural furniture and lamps.

Opening reception 21 March 17.00–20.00.
All are welcome

Corporate events
Kafeteria is also happy to deliver custom-made menus for corporate events at SMK. Frederik Bille Brahe and his team will bring in Danish and international partners to create gourmet food experiences of the highest international standard for your event.

Brunch & supper
Every Saturday and Sunday, Kafeteria serves brunch, and every Wednesday the eatery supports the SMK Wednesday events by offering the opportunity to have supper at the café or bring it home with you as take away.

The Kafeteria team
Chef Jakob Kjær (formerly of Admiralgade 26, Manfreds)
Restaurant manager Rikke Mie Bygmann (formerly of Relæ, Geranium and Saturne in Paris)
Chief barista Klas Rehn (formerly of The Corner and Koppi)

Opening hours
Mondays closed
Tuesdays–Sundays: 11.00–16.45
Wednesdays: 11.00–19.45
The menu will be online at from 1 March
Follow Kafeteria on Instagram at kafeteria.smk

Updated: 12.jul.2018
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