Photo / Kaspars Bekeris

Let’s Keep Having a Kiki!

Reykjavík’s famous queer bar is under new ownership. So what will that mean for this local hotspot?

Iceland’s only dedicated queer bar, “Kiki” has been a consistent attraction for queer locals and travellers alike since it officially opened under the name in 2014. The bar, situated upstairs at Laugavegur 22 has recently changed ownership which begs the question, what will that mean for the beloved venue? Well, GayIceland was lucky enough to sit down with one of the club’s new partners, Margrét Erla Maack to find out all the important information.

“My name is Margrét Erla Maack. I’m a DJ, dancer, and burlesque performer. My background is in nightlife and entertainment. I was brought up in the New York Queer Nightlife scene. I’m like a mix between a New York Club Kid and a 101 Rat,“ says Margrét Erla, when asked to tell us a bit about herself. [For those outside of Iceland Margrét usually goes by Magga Maack, and she has been heavily involved in both the nightlife and queer scenes for quite some time. She has also worked as an events host, journalist and television presenter.] Photo / Lilja Draumland
Margrét: “My official role is ‘partner.’ This basically means that I’m on board to look at the big picture of Kiki. The new ownership is led by Finni Karlsson, one of the people who kickstarted Kiki in the days of yore. He is a well known restauranteur and bar owner. Even back then the original owners understood the importance of having a queer bar and eventually handed it over to actual queer people when it was sold.

When they recently bought the business back they understood that they needed someone who knows the community and is also known within the community to strategically oversee the operations to make sure the business is meeting the needs of its patrons. So to put it simply, I’m responsible for making Kiki the best club it can possibly be.“

GayIceland: People who don’t know you might be wondering why a Cis Hetero woman would be interested in a partnership with a queer bar. Could you enlighten us?

We’re also going to expand our variety of events. The needs of people are changing and we would like to provide for them.

Margrét: “That’s a very valid question. To anyone who doesn’t know me, I would say, “ask two queer people in Reykjavík about me and one of them will definitely know me [laughs].” I’ve been involved with all things queer for a long time. In the past I’ve worked a lot with Samtökin 78 (Iceland’s national queer organisation). I’ve been working with the drag community, and loads of other things. I may not be gay myself, but know the community and am very passionate about creating great and safe nightlife and entertainment spaces. These kinds of spaces are what I know.“

GayIceland: So Kiki is still going to be a queer space?

Margarét: “Absolutely. Kiki is an incredibly special space and it’s very important to so many people. Kiki has already provided so much through the previous ownership and we want to keep it as a queer space and just continue to make it better. Think of it as the passing of a baton.“

GayIceland: So what kind of changes will we see in the future?

Margrét: “I know Reykjavík nightlife really well and I also know Kiki really well. I actually have been DJing here since it first opened and have performed and partied here loads over the years. One thing we really want to implement straight away are some policies to make a night out at Kiki even safer for the community.

I come from the world of burlesque and there are a lot of similarities between the burlesque nightlife world and the queer nightlife world. There is a lot of crossover. Both of these worlds have loads of sexual anarchy but they also require spaces to be safe. You can’t get up on stage and take your clothes off if you don’t feel safe, the same thing if you’re out clubbing as a queer person; if you don’t feel safe, it’s hard to do.

Kiki is undergoing a slight facelift but is back to business from Thursday to Sunday this week. Photo / Courtesy of Kiki

Safety is so important. So one change people will see straight away is that we are going to start closing at 3am. This is to eliminate the possibility of the 4am ‘zombies’ making the environment unsafe for people.

[when Magga says ZOMBIES, she’s referring to people who have been kicked out of other clubs or parties who come to Kiki because it’s open, not necessarily because they want to be in a queer safe space]

We’re also going to expand our variety of events. The needs of people are changing and we would like to provide for them. Of course Kiki will always be a great place to dance but we would also like to offer events in the earlier parts of the evening when people might not be ready for dancing.

I don’t know about you but so many of my queer friends are neurodivergent and would love a night every now and then where they can come out for a couple of hours and be social but not necessarily scream over the thump of music.

We would also like to be engaged with other venues to make sure there’s something for everyone. For example, another bar, Gaukurinn also hosts a lot of queer events. If they are doing a ‘men’s tops off’ dance party, I don’t see why we couldn’t do something for the female identifying patrons on the same night.

The main point is that I would like to make sure Kiki is as much a part of the community as the people are; because most queer people in Iceland have some sort of connection to this place. It’s a great resource and I want to help make this a place that has something for everyone.“

To put it simply, I’m responsible for making Kiki the best club it can possibly be.

GayIceland: And is the name staying the same?

Margrét: “Yes. Some people have had mixed feelings about it but it will stay the same.“

GayIceland: Really? Why?

Margrét: “Some people feel that with new owners, it should have a new name. Like a clean start. But I like that it’s not changing the name, because it’s not really a clean start, it’s just a change of hands. Maybe you could call it just a small facelift.“

GayIceland: Is there anything else people should know?

Margrét: “Yes! Regular customers will be happy to know that Magnea is coming back as a bar manager. Also if you want to get in touch about events or ideas or even feedback, contact us through our social media on Facebook or Instagram.

Apart from that, we closed last weekend to fix some locks, clean the ventilation system, and shake up the bar menu… but we are back to business from Thursday to Saturday this week with our regular events, Kikioke (karaoke) on Thursday, Drag with Faye Knús on Friday and House of Heart on Saturday, so this week is packed.“

Á. Óskarsson
Á. Óskarsson

Á. Óskarsson offers a variety of products and services to sports centers, swimming pools, schools, kindergartens, and the general public. The company specializes in sport-related products, activity-focused games, and a wide range of solutions for sports facilities.

Á. Óskarsson has been involved in numerous big projects related to building sports facilities and has made it their benchmark to offer good quality products and equipment since the company was founded.

See links to social media in the upper left-hand corner

—————-

Á. Óskarsson selur fjölbreytt vöruúrval fyrir íþróttahús, sundlaugar, skóla og leikskóla og einnig ýmsar vörur til einkaafnota. Fyrirtækið selur vörur til íþróttaiðkunnar og leikja ásamt því að bjóða upp á ýmsar lausnir fyrir íþróttamannvirki.

Á. Óskarsson hefur komið að fjölda stórra verkefna við byggingu íþróttamannvirkja og hefur frá stofnun kappkostað að bjóða vandaðar og endingargóðar vörur.

Tenglar á samfélagsmiðla eru í efra horninu vinstra megin.

Webpage/vefsetur

Blush

    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website: https://blush.is/

    Omnom Chocolate
    - award-winning chocolate maker

      Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

      Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

      Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

      At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

       

      Nasdaq

         

        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at www.nasdaq.com.

        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater
        comes from 2.000 meters within the earth where seawater and freshwater converge in a tectonic realm of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals—the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        The Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        Landsbankinn
        - leading financial institution
        Landsbankinn

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

        The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        Dohop
        - get inspired
        Dohop

        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

        Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

        More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

        VSÓ Ráðgjöf

           

          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          Macland
          - for all your Apple needs
          Macland

          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

          Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
          For all your Apple needs. We are here.

          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Contact Us


          PGlmcmFtZSBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lmdvb2dsZS5jb20vbWFwcy9lbWJlZD9wYj0hMW0xNCExbTEyITFtMyExZDI3ODQyLjM0NzA2NDA3OTU4ITJkLTIxLjkwMDg1MDg1NzkxODQyITNkNjQuMTQxNzA3ODE2NzAyMDEhMm0zITFmMCEyZjAhM2YwITNtMiExaTEwMjQhMmk3NjghNGYxMy4xITVlMCEzbTIhMXNlbiEycyE0djE0MzMzMzc5MTUyMjYiIHdpZHRoPSIxMDAlIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjEwMCUiIGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyPSIwIiBzdHlsZT0iYm9yZGVyOjAiPjwvaWZyYW1lPg==
          Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.