A Danish Spot to Dine In

Bornholm owners Lone (left) and Claudi Kofod (Photo by John Alexander via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

The restaurant Bornholm, named for the Danish island off the coast of Sweden from which the owners hail, is a recent entrant in the city’s Scandinavian food sweepstakes. Opened last August in downtown Brooklyn, the restaurant offers lunch and dinner in a setting entirely decorated with Danish tableware, fixtures and artworks. John Alexander of Brooklyn Daily Eagle spoke with the owners about how they came to open the restaurant.

In 2006, Claudi arrived in the U.S. with his family — wife Lone, daughter Camilla and son Casper — to cover a story about two men from Bornholm who came to America and started a design business in Philadelphia. While covering the story, Claudi realized he too would like to live in this country.

Claudi explained that Bornholm is a small island with 39,000 people, and it only takes two-and-a-half hours to drive around the entire coast of the island. Furthermore, Bornholm is known for its four unique round churches.

Claudi, Lone and their children began exploring the U.S., traveling from coast to coast and liking what they saw. But it wasn’t yet the time to move. Claudi and Lone went back to Bornholm and opened a bed and breakfast, which they expanded from seven to 16 rooms.

Eventually, they made the move to America, opening The Danish Café in Red Bank, New Jersey, in 2012. Then, last year, they opened Bornholm.

Claudi especially liked the small town feel of the Smith Street neighborhood they chose.

He said, “It’s easy to get around here. On our island it’s very difficult when everything is so far away. This neighborhood is easy to get around, close to the big city and yet maintains an inviting coziness.”

Go to Brooklyn Daily Eagle to learn about the typical Danish open-faced sandwiches that can be had at Bornholm, and also to read about how the owners often have to explain the difference between Denmark and the Netherlands.

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