Moving to Copenhagen changed pretty much everything in my life. The people, environment, food and culture I am familiar with are now 4,183 miles away. Everything is different. Except, of course, me. And a critical part of who I am, a part I take with me wherever I go, is being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Because of this, I am always looking to support Queer-owned business. This quest inspired me to start this series, in which I will visit and share my experience at queer-owned businesses in Copenhagen. My first stop, Next Door Cafe.
It was a Monday afternoon when my friend told me about Next Door. “You’ve been there, right?” she said, “It’s incredible. I know you’ll love it.” I hadn’t been there, but this particular friend is not one to recommend a place without truly enjoying it, so, seeing as I had some time before my next class, I headed over. Lucky for me, the cafe is only about a five minute walk from the DIS student hub.
The first thing you notice when you walk in to next door cafe is, well, everything. The cafe is decorated with a funky maximalist style. Unique decor covers every inch of the walls and the tables are decorated with quirky candles.
The tables are topped with transparent sheets, under which, notes and Polaroid photos and drawings lie. Some of these things, it seems, were years old. It was quite beautiful to see all the memories, immortalized in the table where they were once formed.
Around the cafe, there are also pride flags. A lot of pride flags.
Noticing the flags, I decided to look more into the history of the cafe. But, of course, not before ordering a cortado. (For any DIS students reading this, they offer a discount if you show your student ID!) I took a seat on a bright red stool by the window. A quick google search later and I was on the cafe’s website.
The cafe is located in Copenhagen’s Latin quarters. A part of the city known for celebrating diversity and being welcoming to all. This queer-owned cafe belongs to a couple- Skyler and Klaus. And, as the cafe’s website says, ” It is their love for each other, their love for the neighbourhood and their love for the cafe that turned Next Door from an empty basement to a warm and cozy community built place that has become the second home for so many. ” And, after having returned to the cafe multiple times since my first visit, I can tell you that this message is indeed true. I’ve noticed the regulars sitting in their usual spots. I’ve seen people writing essays, people working on art project and people on dates. The incredibly kind staff even remembered my name after a few visits. It really is a community, a home.