Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Did you guys see this?  The last sentence is key.  OK, dude, first you open a champagne bar during the worst economic times in this country since the depression (seriously, they opened in summer 2008, which is not your fault, but has to be taken into account).  Remember when they were supposed to have 20 champagnes by the glass? I don't think that was the case at any point.  Then, you put the word "lounge" in your name, which is a pre-recession word that deserves to get erased from the lexicon, along with "luxury" and "loft" - those days are not coming back.  Then you turn into a kind of douche bar/nightclub where food pretty much seems like an afterthought due to your liquor license requiring you to sell a certain amount of food (I am assuming this), then you rebrand yourself as a molecular gastronomy restaurant, with high prices and inconsistent (according to BAR) food.  And then you blame your restaurant closing down on Sacramento's "lack of support for uniqueness?"  I understand your frustration, well actually I don't because I have never owned a business so I can only imagine, but your business always seemed rudderless and smacked of a corporate investment scheme and was so NOT SAC.

Good luck in San Francisco.  I hear the restaurant business is a breeze there!

Post about Christiania after the jump

I only had the vaguest of ideas what it was before I went.  Maybe not past having heard the name.  It's a free state within Copenhagen and it's self-governed by collective vote.  And yes, you can buy pot there and smoke it openly, which is awesome but is only part of why it's rad. (what a sentence!)
It just has a very free and loose feeling, more like Northern  California than Scandinavia.  We talked to a 50-ish dude getting ready to take a bike ride with his friend about living there.  He said he had lived there for 6 months and that it had been a huge change in his life "for the better."  He said they vote on everything and that people can do what they want as long as it doesn't disturb others.  He said they like visitors because they're proud of what they've created. 
It's really hard to capture it in pictures, but there's a part outside the main little downtown where you can cross a bridge and walk around an inhabited island.  We didn't have time to walk the whole way but the guy said it takes 2 and 1/2 hours, and that that's the "real Christiania".

The drug trade is confined to a small area called "Pusher Row" and that's where the only scary looking dudes hang out.  You're not allowed to take pictures anywhere in that area.  All we saw besides that was a bunch of chilled out people, smoking joints and hanging with their friends, drinking beer and eating falafel.  No one was wasted (well except a few older, burn-out types) and there were smiles all around.  It was so not threatening or sketchy.  Also, hard drugs have been officially banned since the 80s, but are probably present in the same amount that they are present in Denmark in general.
I ate the second best meal of my trip at this little organic, vegetarian restaurant.  I felt shy about taking pictures.  It was chilly and drizzling, and the soup of the day was a hearty garbanzo and grain soup with lemongrass.  I would pay 100 bucks to have the recipe. It came with delicious bread.  The cafe was run by a crew of bustling, serene ladies.  I imagined that they were all supporting their layabout stoner boyfriends.
Okologisk is organic.
Hudgens graffiti
There's a bike shop there.  No cars are allowed.  I think some delivery trucks can come in, and residents park outside the walls.

Cat number 2 in Scandinavia.  This one was pretty rough.
Christiania has its own flag and this house is flying it.  They also have their own currency but will accept krone.  I think they don't pay taxes, so everything is cheap.

My feet look abnormally large cuz they are closer.
Oh just a chill beach in your peaceful free state? No big deal.

Someone is stoked.

They have their own little post office.
Even the trucks are stoned.
There are some artsy boats floating in the canal and this one had a waterfowl nesting in it with her babies.
Goodbye for now, Christiania


Anonymous said...

Read this great post, got very excited about all the photos and cool stuff--but then realized I just need to grow up.


DJ Rick said...

Christiania looks awesome.
LoungeOn20 owner should grow up.
It's about accepting resonsibility, isn't it?
He's not responsible for his own failure at all?
I was ready to accept molecular gastronomy, but not eager enough to go buy a suit or $200 jeans.
SF eaters are surely more ready for it, but the vibe of LoungeOn20 also seems incongruous with SF, so I expect him to fail there, too.
Try SoCal, dude!

Anonymous said...

I like that a Bee commenter busts out the failure of Sammy Chu as another example of Sacramento's non-eclectic dining taste.


Anonymous said...

Great pics/trip. I'm actually kinda surprised you two even decided to come back. (To Sac in general, not specifically to the amazing Lounge on 20).


beckler said...

well, we tried to move to christiania but they all had to vote on it and there was one holdout.

DJ Rick said...

Sorry...this place is too grown-up for you. You can't come in.

Shannon said...

Christiania looks like a larger scale Bolinas.

Anonymous said...

"The cafe was run by a crew of bustling, serene ladies. I imagined that they were all supporting their layabout stoner boyfriends."

So like us. Welcome back!