Image © Tapio Mäkelä

Image © Tapio Mäkelä


1013 mbar = 1 atmosphere = 1,013 bar/33,3 RPM

mbar is an atmospheric bar, terrace & café in the heart of Helsinki. While during the day it is a place to drop by for coffee, lunch, and net access, in the evenings an interesting line-up of djs turn mbar into a lively nighttime venue. In the summer time mbar also has a fabulous terrace on Lasipalatsi plaza seating 300.

Located at the media centre Lasipalatsi between Helsinki bus and railway stations, only a block away from the Finnair bus terminal, mbar has become a meeting point for travelers. mbar's 6 PC terminals and wireless LAN access comprise the widest Internet service in town.

1013 mbar stands for one normal atmosphere. The mbar logo is a slightly remodeled weather symbol, which stands for "precipitation within sight, reaching the ground or the surface of the sea, near to, but not at the station". Besides the word play around good atmosphere, the meteorological choice of terminology has a history behind it.

mbar has its roots in Meteori, a bookshop and a café that Tapio Mäkelä initiated in 1998. Meteori burned bright in the Northern sky, but like many Internet related ventures, it hit the ground (though softly without a crash) in the year 2001. Funnily enough, Meteori was featured in the BBC series "Future just happened" Finnish episode alongside with Nokia - months after its closure. 

Mika Raunio, who was behind Meteori's computer systems and who had been active with the dj-scene during Meteori, joined Tapio along with Jukka Murto to form the new company, mbar inc. In the beginning also a legend in the Helsinki bar scene, Eki Kallunki, worked with mbar. Jukka Murto is one of the leading Finnish dealers in vintage design furniture. Though mbar was designed collaboratively, Jukka contributed with such luxurious items as Tapiovaara, Bertoia, Chadwick and Eames furniture. 

During Meteori years a cultural profile started to take shape. Finnish Comics Association brought in a comics vending machine. Small exhibitions, live concerts, live poetry club Meteli and other events took place in Meteori. The dj scene also evolved, Meteori became a platform for a few different types of electronic music scenes. These mbar inherited — and has added new features.

- I see mbar firstly as a social venue, consisting of a very mixed group of people including staff, artists and customers. Secondly it is a platform which offers an opportunity for different types of cultural scenes to occupy it for different activities ranging from electronic music to comics and poetry, says Tapio, who has his own background in media arts, design and research.