Crystal Pei acknowledges there’s been a Nordic invasion in New York City, but she says most of those spots are of the same vein: “Everything Scandinavian here is minimalist Swedish and Danish,” she explains.
So when she and her partners, Elliot Raymin and Rut Hermannsdottir, open Budin, a coffeeshop, bar, and design store named for the Icelandic word for “shop,” in Greenpoint, they’ll focus on expanding into the rest of the region.
“Our cafe and bar will serve Icelandic, Norwegian, Finnish coffee, cocktails, and cuisine,” she explains. “We hope to eventually serve Nordic snacks, and we’ll have this cozy, Viking, sweater, seaman sort of vibe.” That coffee, she notes, will be a traditional Scandinavian brew, made with lighter beans.
The design store will follow in the same cultural vein, bringing in furniture plus sweaters, cookwares, jewelry and other home goods from those countries. “Scandinavian countries have an extremely detailed focus,” Pei explains. “It’ll be a ’50s-style Nordic establishment, like a Scandinavian Mad Men.”
That space will set the stage for Nordic musicians and artists, who will rotate through on a regular basis, too.
Pei and her partners are in the throes of final lease negotiation, and once they’ve signed, they’ll divulge the exact address, which, she promises, is on Greenpoint Avenue between Manhattan and Franklin. Look for Budin to open sometime this fall.