Mikkeller and Rick Astley open bar together in London
80s pop icon Rick Astley has opened Mikkeller Bar London. The bar, which has been opened with the help of Mikkeller owner and Astley’s friend Mikkel Borgo Bjergsø, was dreamt up after Bjergsø met Astley several years ago.
“We finally found a fantastic location in the Shoreditch district that suits us perfectly. We have also been fortunate to get to know Rick Astley and his wife Lene Bausager-Astley, which means we have also found the perfect partners,” said CEO and Founder of Mikkeller, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø.
Astley was Mikkel’s childhood idol and the two met a few years ago when they collaborated to brew the beer ‘Astley’s Northern Hop Larger.’ The partnership started several years ago with a rumour that Astley lived in Amager, Copenhagen. However, it turned out that Astley actually lived in London and that, in spite of being married to a Dane, he never lived in Amager. Through the musician’s wife, who is also his manager, Mikkel got in touch with Astley. This resulted in a joint trip to Belgian Brewery De Proefbrouwerij where they brewed the beer ‘Astley Northern Hop Larger’ together – a red larger with a touch of ginger – a reference to Astley’s reddish hair!
In addition to the interest in beer, Astley and Mikkel shared the same vision of creating something new in London. The star, who has lived in London for over 30 years, wanted to open the doors to a place that will stand out among the city’s many beer places.
“I meet Mikkel back in 2015 – through his enthusiasm and passion for real quality. Because of this, I have fallen back in love with beer! London is a great city but needs a Mikkeller bar. It was really exciting to be part of creating Mikkeller’s first bar in the UK. I know we are going to have a lot of fun and drink some great beer!” said Rick Astley.
Mikkeller Bar London offers something unique to the beer bar and pub scene in London. In terms of design, the task was undertaken by Danish design bureau Femmes Régionales, who have previously designed a number of Mikkeller Bars.
Designer Mie Albaek Nielsen said: “Mikkeller’s Scandinavian DNA was the epicentre for the overall look. With the combination of high quality materials and inviting colour combinations, we have made the bar homely and at the same time, have shown off the dedication to the good craftsmanship that permeates the entire Mikkeller profile.”
Caroline Hansen from Femmes Régionales added: “Colour is important in our designs so for this bar we divided the walls so we could use different colours. We have used mint green because this is a clear Mikkeller colour. We used it in the Victoria Bar where we painted the floor in that colour and have used it since then. There is then a black line to divide the ceiling and the top of the walls, which have been painted yellow. We have also used wood floors throughout, along with brown marble tops and oak.”
The partnership with the legendary musician has also been taken into account by the agency by merging discreet references to Astley’s early pop magic into the design.
“We were inspired by the mood of the ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ music video, which we think has a unique sweetness and romance while having a kind of ‘Italian bohemian bistro atmosphere’ to it. More concretely, we used his lyrics in small details and Mikkeller’s Art Director Keith Shore made an illustration of Astley, combined with Mikkeller’s visual identity in a neon sign,” said Mia.
Caroline added: “This was a really, really important project for us. The fact that it is a London based bar makes it a perfect mix for us and Mikkeller.”
Mikkeller Bar London opened on 19th October.