Interview with Caroline Tallving, Dryck Vinbar
In our continued coverage of Summer Streets in Sweden, we were glad to have the opportunity to interview Caroline Tallving, owner of Dryck Vinbar on Swedenborgsgatan, one of several streets in Stockholm that becomes pedestrianized during the Summer months.
After seven years of challenges operating an organic food store and noodle bar (where Dryck Vinbar now is) Caroline decided to start over and establish a friendly and modern winebar in 2017 with core values of natural, sustainble and (mostly) small-scale wine producers. Here at Pedestrian Space, we are committed to coverage of pedestrianization from various perspectives and were interested to gain insight on Swedenborgsgatan as a Summer street from her perspective as a yearslong business owner there.
ABOUT ‘CORONATIDER’ & ADAPTATIONS
Pedestrian Space: Was there some point last year (2020) when you realized that due to the pandemic and new ‘physical distancing’ regulations and related issues that the you would need to begin to adapt your business? If so, what were some of the early adaptations you made?
Caroline: The restrictions made it clear for us how to relate to this new era. We started up softly with signs to our guests regarding washing hands carefully and to keep distance. As time went by the restrictions hardened for us all.
Pedestrian Space: One can see on your website (and social media) the Winter Outdoor Serving that Dryck Vinbar now has. What was the process to secure this space (formerly parking space) for restaurant use?
Caroline: Last summer while talking to the licensing authority, they told me that I could apply to keep the outdoor service during the winter. The authorities were more permissive then due to the pandemic.
Pedestrian Space: How has your staff adapted to transition to outdoor service?
Caroline: My experience is that restaurant employees are very solution-oriented and well adapted. Since the pandemic started I have focused on our communication and information with my staff. To be very clear and transparent regarding all issues on this matter.
Pedestrian Space: Will that structure be removed or transformed during the summer season?
Caroline: Swedenborgsgatan is one of the city´s summer streets and therefore we will keep the outdoor structure until the summer street ends in the middle of September.
Pedestrian Space: Any other thoughts about adapting as a business during this pandemic?
Caroline: Well, I am very happy that our guests are very devoted to us. During November I invested in the outdoor service which has increased our seats and gives us a little more space. I am so grateful we had the guts to invest, in spite of bad times. We have an intimate relationship with SMHI and the gods of weather seem to open doors and bring people outside as soon as it gets warmer and sunny.
ABOUT BEING A BUSINESS ON SWEDENBORGSGATAN
Pedestrian Space: What was your initial reaction when Swedenborgsgatan was 1st going to be a “Sommar gågator” (summer pedestrian street)?
Caroline: Finally! The street is very appreciated in the neighborhood and people often talk about a vibe of Paris under the chestnut trees. My conviction is that people in general are longing for more meeting places and interaction and… to be more playful. Swedish people are shy when it comes to togetherness and need a little bit of help on the way.
Pedestrian Space: As a business owner on Swedenborgsgatan, what is your impression of the energy and rhythm of business and public space during the summer phase when it is a pedestrian street?
Caroline: The street is more alive as are the people. It creates a sense of freedom and playfulness, a feeling of unexpected initiatives to happen. Music, colours, art, happenings, diversity and so on…
Pedestrian Space: Are there any specific challenges you have observed (either for your business or the block in general) to specific issues when it is a pedestrian street?
Caroline: A lot of people in the neighborhood are complaining. The summer street is a day activity and you can find drunk and noisy people all over, summer street or not. My winebar has had a long story of complaining neighbors above us. They moved in three months after we opened and have complained and notified us to Miljöförvaltningen. Well, it´s a long story. We were forced to sound isolate the ceiling in the winebar.
Pedestrian Space: Would you welcome it being a permanently pedestrian street?
Caroline: Absolutely! The city needs more meeting places and areas for interaction.
I love Mosebacke Torg with the small kiosk for a lovely fika. Blecktornsparken is another area in Södermalm with a relaxed restaurant and generous outdoor hangout area. Tantolunden is just around the corner from where I live and my recreation spot for biking, picnics and with a great place with food trucks just by the water. Also, Djurgården and Vinterviken are always nice, green and friendly.Caroline on her favorite areas to walk around in Stockholm