Episode 23

My home away from home in Stockholm is a little watering hole called Katarina Ölkafé. Owned by some fellow Americans, Katarina is a great place to enjoy craft beers, New York Jewish deli-style food, and fun conversations. It’s a small space that holds only about forty people at a time, so it’s really cozy, especially on cold nights during the long, dark Swedish winter.

I host events at Katarina from time to time, including PowerPoint Night, which is like open mic but with 5-minute presentations, and Country Night, where I play lots of old classic country records for the folks while they’re a’drinkin’. I also design the menus and website for the place.

A few weeks ago, I tagged along for an employee outing where we all had lunch together and then took a bus to a recording studio about an hour outside of Stockholm. The studio is at the home of Niek Meul, a chef, musician, and friend of the bar. The nine of us enjoyed some drinks and wrote a theme song for Katarina Ölkafé which Niek recorded and mixed. Everyone contributed some writing and singing, regardless of their level of musicianship and that made it extra fun.

The song is all about working at the beer café from the perspective of the employees. It’s three minutes long and will soon be available on streaming services, but we made a special one-minute version to share with you here. You can find the full version of the song on your favorite music streaming service under the band name Kaktuskruka and the complete lyrics are below. The cover photo and the other great images on Katarina’s website are by Matt Hickman.

Oh, Katarina
Written and performed by the staff of Katarina Ölkafé
Recorded by Niek Meul

Katarina is a job I like
Because I get paid to watch Counterstrike
81 kronor for a tiny beer
That’s the best deal you’re gonna get around here

Hot pastrami plus the mac and cheese
Ask the staff about them allergies
We’ve got sours and we’ve got bitters
You ain’t the first one to get locked in our shitter

Oh, Katarina
Pass me that hot sauce please

Katarina is a job I hate
People always bring their fucking Tinder dates
You think this place would be cheap and shitty
But it’s actually kind of expensive

Oh, Katarina
Pass me that hot sauce please

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