Rival blog

Written by me Jesper Henrysson, CEO The Rival. It's going to be big and small. In front of and behind the scenes. Laughter, sigh, moan, news more.

Vis the best weekend of the world with " When We WereKings"
Thank you to Erik Niva, Håkan Andreasson &All Things Live!
October 18, 2021

Hey, time for some coffee!
It was a terrible move over the weekend when the theatre was full of audiences who literally love football, Erik and Håkan and their live podcast "When We Were Kings".
What to say about this more than that it was absolutely amazing! I myself like football but could not imagine how good this performance was with everything that revolves around football, big and small, initiated and detailed. Absolutely wonderful! ( Now, however, I think that Erik and Håkan talked very little about IK Brage... incomprehensible ha ha! )

Here I am outside one of our dressing rooms. Next week I'm going to show you how we "bun" up in the dressing rooms for the artists' arrival. Speaking of "bun up", jag ate our brunch buffet this weekend and it was as lovely as it can be since we topped the team with oysters and sushi. Yes, I know it's hard to get a table for our brunch but you can always take a chance on a drop in! Think November. Think Book a table. Click here!  

Photo Credit Karin Johnson, Stage Manager Rival
This Thursday our favorites come back to Rival and they run 5 concerts Thursday-Sunday – Bo Kaspers Orkester (production company Lifeline). If there are still tickets left, book here.

I'll talk to you next week!


Prace, Bo Kaspers and other magical
October 8, 2021

Last night it was finally dax! Just seeing all the cases of things that were loaded in front of Bo Kasper's Orchestra the night of yesterday, well then it's better than Christmas Eve! It's been 540 days since it was played, musiced or laughed in the spring. theatre. Last night it was finally time again! BKO also plays tonight and twice tomorrow Saturday. There are few tickets left. And it's going to be magical!

Speaking of magic, it's just that to hang out with chef Robin and his team Micke, Sebastian and Kajsa in the kitchen. To see them in action and at the same time get to taste dishes ( it's actually an extremely important part of my CEO job to do it, i.e. taste... everything!  ). I am really incredibly proud of the gang in the kitchen who day in and day out deliver breakfast, lunch, dinner and yes everything that can be eaten at the hotel. Incredible bunch who are now prepping for weekend dinners, brunches, breakfasts and room service!

Yes, sometimes you have to inspect the stores and today it was the warehouse with Plopp that was to be tasted... Tough job, but someone has to do it...
See you at the weekend greet



Happy days are hereagain!
September 28, 2021

What a week ahead of us! Tomorrow, September 29th, the remaining restrictions that have had a major impact on our industry for the past 18 months will finally be lifted. Norway chose to let loose on a Saturday and of course it made headlines because the Norwegians were really happy, that kind of dancing happy that only Norwegians can be. In Sweden, we're lifting the final restricitions midweek, on a Wednesday (which promises to turn into a little Saturday) So watch out! Now we are   busy with table bookingsin the bistro - so much fun. Now we are prepping for the onslaught, fridges to be filled, glasses to be polished, bar stools to be put back in both Watson's Bar and the Bistro bar. The guys from Åbro and the brewery from Vimmerby deliver thousands of liters of beer. Then there are the pallets of other drinks – deliveries are "monitored" by Tobbe. Marcus the Rival's bar manager, is refilling all the fridges and pantries. In the photo, Marcus looks elated! And we're so excited to see our new bartenders "in action" now that Friday, October 1st is approaching. With after work ( a wonderful phrase in these times ), music, guests hanging out at the bar, happy bouncers, great vibe, love is in the air... 

On Friday, Oct 1, my good friend Robert Plaszczyk, a well-known Södermalm personality in music - and football - (team affiliation, you'll have to guess) will be spinning the tunes in Watson's Bar, starting at 5pm.

I hope to see you here live!


A hotel manager is nothing without his employees!
September 22, 2021

I wish I could write that I had green fingers... But the one who's carried all the flower boxes down from our balcony rooms and suites, thrown away the old and planted new is Hala ( the strongest hotel Operations Manager ever!) So now we have beautiful heather with decorative ivy in our flower boxes – bring on autumn and winter!

Here's Em, who runs the breakfast kitchen today! I'm so glad Em and her colleagues are extremely early risers. If I had Em's job, Rival would probably have been a hotel without breakfast! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, "someone" has said - unclear who - but we agree! In addition to the buffet, you can also order other hot dishes from our à la carte breakfast menu, free of charge of course. My favorite is "Eggs Florentine" which you can try if you're staying at the hotel or just want to pop in for a nice breakfast. I'm keeping it short today. We gearing up for a full reopen now, i.e. bar hang, after work, concerts and entertainment. We still have a few show packages left...
All the best from a little stressed out - 


Is there anything more glorious?
September 14, 2021

A de luxe room overlooking MariaTorget. In sweet September. A sumptuous hotel breakfast served until 11.30 on weekends... hard to resist! 

Whether you a Brage, Hammarby, Arsenal or Tottenham fan – October 14th marks the first night with Erik Niva and Håkan Andersson on the Rival stage! A live podcast for two and a half hours including a delightful break! What's not to love? Tickets will be released tomorrow, Wednesday, September 15...

After all, life at Rival is both more fun and more pleasurable now that the countdown to September 29 has begun. There is a lot to be done but a lot is already done and now we are just waiting for the starting shot itself. Energy combined with anticipation is a great feeling. Some who have admirable energy are our heroes and heroines at housekeeping ( yes, Swede English ).

If I find it "difficult" to make my own bed, it is a trifle compared to our cleaning staff who together sometimes make over a hundred beds a day. "Departure room" – then everything should be cleaned, the linen should be removed, accuracy, filling, wiping, plaster, fix everything systematized. "Stay room" – that's when the guest stays more than one night and then it's a different kind of cleaning. Then there is the luxury of turn-down service in the slightly more expensive room categories and that's when we knock on the door sometime in the evening. Then we change towels, clean the bathroom, "make up the bed and put the room to bed". Finally, water bottles are placed on the nightstand, trash cans are emptied, shirts are hung and shoes are prepared. We "finish" by lighting some lamps with soft lighting. Now the room is "thorny" and when the hotel guest comes back to their room, we want it to feel welcoming, a little at home and pleasant. So yes, our cleaning staff is an extremely appreciated profession here at Rival. Now you're probably really interested in all the exciting things that are in the hotel rooms – oh, that's fun – here's more reading for the curious!

See you in the hotel corridors!
Greetings, Jesper


Oh, no,no!!!, no
7 September 2021 at 15.58

The 18-month wait is over. From left, part of the Rival's team: Paula Nilsson HR Manager, Karin Johnson Stage Manager, Hala Michalak Chief Operating Officer and me.

Today, the government announced that the restrictions and limits on audience numbers at concerts, theatres and shows will be lifted on September 29! You've guessed it, we're super happy! And we're super happy to welcome all our guests back to the theatre!  And what an opening act we have for you on October 7 – Bo Kaspers Orkester!  

And not only will limits on audience size be lifted, guests will once again be able to stand at the bar and socialize (and we have three bars where you can hang out!) What's more, 8 people plus can sit together at the same table – perhaps a dinner or brunch with us might "come in a little handy"? ( I may be a bit biased here...). And we can finally host conferences for real - big and small.

Our Maria conference room and adjacent comfortable lounge. Up to 22 people can sit in our 22 Eames chairs and just be wonderfully creative! Rarely does one long for autumn, but now I want September 29th to come in leaps and bounds! Until then, of course, all our procedures for reducing the spread of Covid-19 apply.
Welcome to a crazy happy Jesper.


Jag is waiting for another 734 people!
September 6, 2021

Yes, here I am, hoping that there soon will be another 734 people here to join me at a concert or performance in the very near future! It would be really nice to see you here at Rival shortly – preferably as early as tomorrow! We are waiting to hear when we can welcome you back to our beautiful theatre and all the fantastic performances, concerts and shows that are scheduled. We long to feel the pulse of production companies, technicians, project managers and artists at the load intake, all charged up and excited. The sound/noise(!) of a soundcheck, testing the lighting, making adjustments, last walkthrough – and then complete silence. Everyone goes to their dressing rooms and recharges. The technicians sit on the mixer site, the project managers adjust the last details, a dress must be fixed, scales to be sung, the buzz when the audience enters the theatre. Then lights are dimmed. Folks, the lights have been off now for 18 months, meaning no music, no voices and no laughs.

The theatre at Rival was inaugurated in 1937 by Karl-Gerhard himself, who made the inaugural speech and entertainment. Then 1 200 seats, today 735 comfy ones. The building, which today is called The Rival,  became an entertainment establishment early on, including a cinema, hotel, restaurant, pastry shop and apartments. The property was designed by architect Rolf Hagstrand, and Markus Madrid Lorentzon, a Dane, provided the art deco-inspired interior design that makes quite a statement, particularily in the theatre. Read more about this story and other Rival stories here.



Basse,Arne and scrambled eggs
September 2, 2021

Thank you for all the feedback I received yesterday when we went live with the Rival blog.
Today is not yesterday and a lot has happened. When I returned from a meeting, Basse, a comfortable mixed breed of six years old, sat comfortably in my chair. Ready to deal with the rest of the day. Basse's math is Karin Johnson, the Rival's stage manager, and Basse is housed under her desk for much of the day. Basse goes by a stable schedule: 7am arrival at Rival, 10.30am prommis, followed by a long nap, some glee, 2.30pm afternoon walk, 4pm home run on maths vespa.

Arne makes the house spin
The exception for Basse's "quiet street" will be when our real estate general Arne Lyman shows up with craftsmen and suppliers who rattle with tools and kind of disturb Basse. However, every day starts well for this charming dog. There will be ham right on arrival around 7am, the night staff have, like, every morning of the week nice ham pieces on standby when Basse clocks in. Speaking of Arne, it is undoubtedly the case that no one can rattle and control pipes, suppliers, broken doors, check alarms and at least a thousand other things. We have something called "Arne's office" and there we can reasonably find treasures from the early 1980s. And ultra-modern stuff from this morning. Arne is of the unique kind that none of us can be, but although we can sometimes disagree on the order in which things should be done. Systematically, says Arne. Quickly. Now. I say and my co-workers. It'll be like Arne says. And always with good results.

By the way, why do we call the hotel "the house"? yes, I'll tell you sometime. There are still a few tables left to book for this weekend's brunch if you happen to like sushi, oysters, creamy scrambled eggs and American pancakes, that is..! We'll talk to Jesper


Premiär for Rivalbloggen – today Rival turns 18
September 1, 2021


Hello all Rival friends!
Today is a very special day that I want to draw attention to by starting the Rival blog.
For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jesper Henryson, I listen to "Jeppe" and next to me is Tobias, who doesn't hear very well, but who is usually called Tobbe. We're part of the team at Rival, me and Tobbe. He's mostly slowing down because I work as ceo! And that job is a bit of a challenge in these times, but somehow pandemic times also become "a weekday" albeit with too many boring side effects.

We long and wait!
Me and the employees at Rival are constantly in longing and waiting times. We are waiting for positive news about the downward spread of infection, high volumes of vaccinated, released restrictions – anything only one of the leaders communicates with us about what we have to deal with from September! Right now, we spend a lot of time on "guessing games" and concrete planning. We want to openour Wonderful theatre with room for 735 in the audience. We long for our artists, entertainers, technicians and production companies who have been forced to postpone their performances up to six times in 18 months. We want guests laughing and hanging out at the bar. We want to see big parties that don't have to keep their distance. We also want our employees to feel safe when they meet their guests. the Rival's during these 18 months, employees have really shown what patience, perseverance and flexibility mean. Now we all long for a normal situation!

Show must go on
But even in non-normal times, we must of course have fun and feel confident about the future. And this means, among other things, that we are working on the planning for the reopening of partially changed operations in Café the Rival's premises. We closed the café on 1 May last year and have spent the last six months using the space as a 'back of house' for Watson's Out. Follow my blog where the news comes first! We also consider boring renovations to be fun! So in April until now we have renovated all our balconies that belong to the luxe rooms facing Mariatorget. Already in March we changed all brown awnings to red – our façade became like new and exudes a nice warmth! Another fun activity is that we hire new staff – both new and former Rivals who come back. We are looking for a few more stars so please look at our job advertisements,

Why is 9/1 so special?
On 1 September 2003, the The Rival – Sweden's first boutique hotel. It was a Monday and still late summer warm. And I've been told that the doors opened at 12:00 after 15 months of closure and construction –read the full story About Rival here. Two years later, in 2005, I started working as a the Rival's Food & Beverage manager and since 2010 moved on to my first job as hotel manager. It was seven exciting years in hotels, restaurants and theatre establishments. Spring 2017 called the Rival's CEO Caroline Eriksson and the Rival's owner Benny Andersson and wanted to meet me. On September 1, 2017, I started as CEO of The Rival . Read the press release here if you want! What a journey it has become along with the Rival's employees, customers and suppliers.

This premiere blog was, of course, long – but it provides some background. The next time we talk, it's a little more behind the scenes. Now I'm going to take a walk with Tobbe around his favorite bushes and tree trunks in Mariatorget. Talk to some of the other dog owners/guests and then meet our e-commerce and booking general Jesper Sandberg. We're going to talk about a launch that's going to happen in 48 hours... And if you have a bit of a hard time this weekend, Mariatorget offers sunshine and Watson's The outdoor serves fresh drinks with and without alcohol.

I'll talk to you soon!

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