From Iceland — Bar Changes Name After Political Scandal

Bar Changes Name After Political Scandal

Published January 6, 2020

Inês Pereira
Photo by

By the end of 2018, the local bar Klaustur had gained a lot of sudden attention. The establishment was the home to the recordings that, when leaked, gave place to the “Klausturgate” scandal. At the start of the new year, a post on the bar’s Facebook page announced they will change the name.

In November 2018, Bára Halldórsdóttir, an Icelandic activist, overheard six parliamentarians from the Center Party and People’s Party speaking abusively about their female colleagues and making jokes about minority groups while at the downtown bar Klaustur. She then decided to record the conversation and leak it to the Icelandic press. Since then, the politicians tried, unsuccessfully, to take legal action against Bára, creating outrage within Icelandic society and a lot of legal fees at the expense of the whistleblower.

That said, what Icelandic politics lost in credibility, Klaustur gained in popularity. According to Vísir, shortly after the scandal broke out, the bar started to get a lot of new customers that would come in and often makes jokes at expense of the happening, requesting drinks named after the MP’s involved, or asking where the microphones were placed.

Over a year has passed since the case was fresh in Icelandic media, and the bar is looking to detach itself from the name that is associated with Iceland’s politics at its worst. They have yet to announce the new name, but probably hope for it not to be followed by the suffix “gate” in the near future.

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