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Slippbarinn: A Bar For Nerds

Best Newcomer Bar
23.7.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
Slippbarinn isn’t one of the pubs you might stumble into downtown in the midst of a weekend drunken reverie. Rather, it’s a classy little place found by the harbour, in Icelandair Hótel Reykjavík Marina. Although it might not be in the epicentre of Reykjavík’s nightlife, it’s a two-minute jaunt down to the harbour, and the extra footsteps are well worth the effort. We got in touch with the bar’s owner and creator, Ólafur Örn Ólafsson, to get an idea of the motivations behind this newcomer bar.

“It might sound strange to say,” he told us, “but this is a bar for nerds. We want to cater to nerds of all kinds. If you’re a beer nerd, we have six kinds of beer on tap. If you’re a wine nerd, we have ten types of wine. And if you’re a cocktail nerd, well, you’ll be able to get any kind of cocktail you want, and they’ll be the best you’ve had in town. We make all our own syrups and squeeze all our own juices for them. Not to mention, we have six types of gin and ten types of rum.”

We weren’t even aware that there were ten types of rum, so we were duly impressed. Apparently plenty of other people were, too, because after a “difficult birth,” as he put it, Ólafur says they got so busy that they became busier than they could handle. “It’s our Achilles heel,” he says.

In terms of personal recommendations, Ólafur was hesitant to name a favourite. But he did say that he was especially proud of their T9 cocktail—a drink using the Icelandic schnapps Birkir, tea and honey.

The bar also has some fine food on offer, and Ólafur told us that if you’re coming with a group of people, one of your best bets is to get the Whale Tail—a platter of lamb, hangikjöt, Italian sausage, home-pickled vegetables, squid and fish that’s meant to be shared.

Despite having firmly established themselves as an exceptional pub, Slippbarinn has no intentions of resting on its laurels. The cocktail menu changes every two to three weeks, and the menu doesn’t stay the same for long, either. But you can visit the Icelandair Hótel Reykjavík Marína homepage (www.icelandairhotels.is/hotels/reykjavikmarina) to see the current menu. “We are constantly reinventing ourselves,” Ólafur told us. “We can’t settle down. It’s a process of changing and growing.”

Slippbarinn is located inside the Icelandair Hótel Reykjavík Marína, Mýragata 2. It’s open Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 to midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 to 1:00. During Happy hour, from 17:00-19:00, there is two for one on all beers on tap and house wines, in addition to specified cocktails.

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