I remember it as if it were yesterday: Never in my sinful life, despite repeated visits to Prelaten, Jonas, Futtloftet and Pizzahuset, had I experienced turning into a nightclub.
The leather pants have existed as a bar and inn since 1728, in other words 66 years before Tromsø got its city status. Is it nice that a history-interested and non-believer first journey, almost experienced a touch of religious influence at this visit.
Originally established as a bar for the Grand Café. At this time, the bar had the name Nr. 4, named after its street number. It was not until 1930 that the inn took the name Skindbuksen.
The background for this name choice was that the bar for many, many years had been a very popular place for the town’s hauliers / taxi drivers, and an important part of the work outfit for these, was a solid leather pants. (A haulier was a person who used horse and carriage to bring goods and people around the city).
And speaking of truckers. From Tromsø’s nightlife history, we actually have a similar story to refer to. In the middle of the 20th century, Tromsø was Norway’s largest haulier town, in relation to the population, and when Ølhallen opened in 1928, it should turn out that the pub quickly became a favorite home for the town’s hauliers, in addition to fishermen and hunters.
Hers took they regularly have their lunch, consisting of packed lunches, as well as a refreshing pint or two. On Friday afternoon, after the end of working hours, it could sometimes be both 7 and 8 of the frothy variety, and if the driver was then unable to get out of the room on his own, then he was helped out on horseback and sleigh , after which the horse found the home address, all by itself.
It is told that it was in two places in the city that the carriage horses stopped completely by themselves, and that was every time they passed Ølhallen and Vinmonopolet. In other words: Evil habit is painful to reverse.
The city’s sister haulier, Odd Andersen drove his last wagon loads in 1979, and in all the years after, and until his death in 2015, he was a regular guest at Ølhallen. On one of the walls at Ølhallen hangs a tribute, in the form of a drawing made by Odd Klaudiussen, and a poem by the undersigned, over to by the town’s hauliers and regulars, mentioned Odd Andersen and Arne Hansen.
Dear Tromsø resident: A warm welcome to Bo-Bi Bar
With its almost three hundred years on the back of his trousers, Skindbuksen is today one of Copenhagen’s oldest issuers. In the same area, just around the corner, is the nightclub Hviids Vinstue, established in 1723, as well as one of Europe’s first luxury hotels, Hotel d’Angleterre, established in 1765.
Also Tromsø has had its d’Angleterre, a café which at the beginning of the 20th century was located on Prostneset, and which in typical Tromsø was quickly named Dangla.
The address of the leather pants is Lille Kongens gate 4, and thus belongs to the geographical area of the Inner City, which in its time went by the name Minefeltet.
The area was in the 19th century known for its countless pubs, and the clientele consisted of a glorious mix of artists, thirsty Copenhageners, prostitutes and criminals.
In other words: Here it was easy to go on a proper smell, or mine if you will, with the fatal consequences it could have for life and health. Eia I was there! The most legendary artist café in Copenhagen at this time was without a doubt Café Bernina, established in 1881, on the corner of Badstustrædet / Strøget.
Great things used to happen here in their time as Knut Hamsun, Christian Krohg, Amalie Skram, August Strindberg and Edvard Munch. At Bernina, Hamsun was the king of the party:
The cafe was closed in 1953.
In Tromsø, even the artist community always been much smaller, than that which the King by being able to boast, for example, in the 17th and 19th centuries. Let me nevertheless mention four nightclubs in Tromsø, which throughout history can be said to have a certain reputation as a gathering place for the local bohemian, the intellectuals and our artists. The nightclubs I think of are Stenbergs Café and Restaurant, Sesame, Toppen and Prelaten.
Stenbergs, established in 1904, was quickly nicknamed the Collegium Politicum, then as a gathering place for all who were preoccupied with the forthcoming dissolution of the union from Sweden in 1905, and the place also gradually became a popular home for the city’s journalists, budding writers and local politicians of the time. The cafe also went by the name City Stock Exchange.
Sesame, established 1969, became a very popular nightclub for the city’s musicians and literary enthusiasts. Here it was regularly arranged called «U-pop evenings», with lectures, hymns and poetry readings.
In Polar Hotell’s top floor, lay the legendary restaurant Toppen, which is perhaps to be regarded as the city’s first nightclub for «the local bohemian». Her cultural workers of various kinds, actors from HT, intellectuals and some quasi-intellectuals, also those of various kinds. Fried cod roe on bread, with remoulade and lemon slice, was the most popular dish on the menu. The restaurant was established in 1983.
The Prelate, established in 1975, is perhaps the patio in Tromsø that has gathered the most guests from the city’s cultural environment. The prelate became a crucible. Here met the city’s musicians, writers, city originals, university people, politicians, yes, here even had its own main table.
Tromsø plus Copenhagen is true!
Do you have the sense of a minimalist expression, in terms of decor, yes, then Skinnbuksen is not the place for you. Here you enter a basement room, intimate, crowded with trinkets, ceiling paintings, piano, regular guest portraits, old beer bottles and drinking mugs on display. And certainly my hat: Do not you think the undersigned «Ode to Copenhagen» has also got a place on one of the walls.
Her meeting man lively, jovial and suitably animated Copenhageners, in a cheerful layer over Danish sandwiches, a Wiener schnitzel, a beer and a schnapps. Also Norwegians and Swedes, of course, usually a little more than “suitably animated”, not to mention marinated. Knowledgeable, cheerful and diplomatic waiters, however, make sure that everything goes smoothly and pleasantly.
Sometimes the chorus resounds loud and hearty through the room, and off to the dancer checking on the tables. I just love it!
Dear Tromsø resident: Welcome to Skindbuksen.