Wheeling Oslo – The Secrets (The House)

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Our house, it has a crowd
There’s always something happening and it’s usually quite loud
Our mum, she’s so house-proud
Nothing ever slows her down, and a mess is not allowed

Madness

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We had just discovered the world famous bar Himkok. But it turned out that there were more hidden gems in the small and discrete Youngs gate around the corner from Youngstorget in Oslo. One of the hidden gems is called Kulturhuset (Cultural House), and used to be located across the street next to the bar Internasjonalen. At the former location, I had only visited because of some seminars and to use the toilet when I was desperate in the area of Youngstorget. But a while ago Kulturhuset moved into a very old but completely refurbished building.

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We were checking out the building on a late Saturday afternoon, so it was hardly any people there. This gave us plenty of space and opportunity to move around and see what the building could offer.

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At the entrance level, there is a back alley with a bar. You can take the normal lift up to the mezzanine level, where you find the main bar and a café serving light meals (salads etc) and a concert stage.

At the second floor you’ll find a beer bar, with a remarkable variety of rare and special beers. Expensive of course (hey, you’re still in Norway), but the lady behind the counter had impressive knowledge and gave good advice based on the kind of beer you normally preferred. There’s also a big library bar where you can sit and chill or have a glass of wine while reading, if you prefer that. There are also some event rooms that can be rented for ping pong, concerts, happenings or special occasions.

Same for third floor. In addition to event rooms, you find the game bar, with large shuffle boards and table football. Because of these boards, the large room is kind of narrow, so it might be hard to actually get to the bar counter on a crowded night.

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But happy hipsters are usually not the worst to ask to move, so it might be doable. Who knows? If I remember correctly, there were nice and accessible toilets on both second and third level.

They even have a rom called the Laboratory and one called “The secret room”. I wonder what goes one there. Probably something intellectual. Like the periodic table of social issues…

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When I came back from the toilet, André was chatting to another beer nerd, who had left his group at the neighbour table.

  • Guy: “What do you think about the wheelchair access here?” 
  • Me (thinking pessimisticly): Oh, no, what comes next? Some kind of disability joke, or something?
  • Guy: “You see, the construction company I work for, was in charge for the rehabilitation and the universal design of the building. And I was wondering what you thought of it.”
  • The two of us (positively surprised): “We think it’s great. Even if the building is very old, you have made it very accessible. You did a great job!
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Politics or ping pong?

Some days ago I actually discovered that the building is one of the three finalists in the Architect Award of Oslo City. So obviously we’re not the only ones who thought the beer loving engineer did a great job.

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The library bar

Kulturhuset might not be the place I will hang out every week-end. I like trying out new places and places where you can get some food. But if you’re looking for a place to grab a beer after work in the city centre, it’s a very good alternative. Especially if your friends or colleagues are picky beer lovers. Or wheelchair users who are in need of a nice accessible toilet.

But shh….don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret!

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