Like the Haunted Mansion but with an adult-themed mural or two.
Opened in 1996 and sporting a profoundly professional web site, The Moose Bar might be the dive bar this reviewer has encountered with the biggest disconnect between external marketing and physical appearance. This is a dive of a dive of a dive. Outside, there’s a giant moose on the gate. Inside there are multiple murals of a moose fornicating with a woman. On every each there’s graffiti. On every inch beside those inches, there are stickers. To see that interior paired up with a web site that features, gasp, moving graphics is a little jarring.
Copenhagen is the kind of city without a single point of focus, to be sure, but if there was one, the area that surrounds The Moose is a good candidate. Home to long stretches of pedestrian-only pathways, the area can feel a bit like a labyrinth of branching roads and alleys. The Moose lives on one of those branches, easily found thanks to the hanging metal moose head sign above the door. Once found, the moose head-emblazoned gate leaves no doubt.
The space is narrow and dominated by the bar just inside the front door, a narrow u-shaped structure that doesn’t leave a ton of room for a bartender, but manages to squeeze in a line of taps and ample liquor bottles. A single table (with an alley view) sits in the front window and a few low chairs can be found opposite the bar. Aside from a handful of stools, there isn’t much else too this first room (aside from the Dracula doll hanging from the ceiling, of course).
But the space winds surprisingly on, a few steps leading to an elevated, longer second bar and seating area that has lost all hint of paint or decoration or really anything except for wood planks and stickers. Tables reminiscent of those wooden spools that spin up industrial cable line one wall, the bar lining the other, sporadic green paint dotting the walls. But no description of The Moose is complete without a full dissection of its most prominent and most striking visual feature: moose murals.
Along the secondary bar, on the walls that lead up to its elevated home, there are large, meticulously-drawn depictions of moose and woman um…intertwined. Though I didn’t have the heart to really grill the bartender on the origin of the paintings, I would have enjoyed being part of the discussion that allowed for them to grace the walls. Pictures of the paintings do them some justice, but it’s hard to compare against the experience of viewing them with cold Carlsberg in hand.
The Moose features one last surprise, a room that looked almost forgotten at first glance and only found because it exists on the way to the bar’s restroom. Low ceiling, strewn-about furniture, foosball table, railings for drinks, it’s a magical room, but one easy to miss without adventuring past rooms one and two. On busy nights, no doubt the room fills up to some level, but during a little day drinking, it feels like a forgotten world of colorful paint, graffiti and yes, you guessed it, more stickers.
Modern web site be damned, The Moose feels anything but modern, instead a dive bar throwback littered with moose murals and band stickers perfect for ducking out of Copenhagen pedestrian crowds. That a cold beer can be had in company of a woman’s blossoming love for the wildlife of the area only enhances the entirely unique and worthwhile experience.