Tingstedet A dingy, nasty, and smoky pub in a basement — a true hole-in-the-wall

Drinking | Vestergade 50, Odense C | Written by: Anders Skovgaard | Photo: Hannibal-Bach

Sandpaper; cigarette butts at the foot of the bar stool; those merciful hours from 2 am to 5 am… the hole-in-the-wall in the basement is a house of peace. An oasis for the thirsty, a kingdom of pints, a cave for humanity.

I grew up in the provinces, where pubs like these are not the exception, but the rule. This is where people meet; either in skipper’s cabin or in one of these temples of hideousness, where you chew the fat of the griefs and joys of everyday life, while quenching your thirst. There’s freedom in pubs despite – or because – predictability is king.

When I arrived in Odense, it turned out there were no pubs worth visiting. Too many places were either too try-hard or too disgusting. It is possible to become too smoky, too ugly, too grimy. Finding that balance and being a modest, pleasant hole-in-the-wall is an art of sorts. This is how I’d describe Tingestedet on weeknights. During weekends, almost everywhere turns into a nightmare if all you’re interested in is a place to talk and drink a beer, but for those everyday benders, Tingstedet is the place for me.

Tingstedet has its own mood, chain-smoke fog,s and cheap pints. This is where the gang meets when everywhere else is closed. This is where the vagabond brings his dog when their feet are tired. And where artists turn, when their muse has them in a chokehold.

It isn’t pretty. Not nice-hole-in-the-wall with old furniture and a decorative-if-shabby pool table. The walls are nicotine white-yellow and both furniture and art is nowhere near hip. Everything is ugly in a satisfying way. Ugly meaning un-designed, un-arranged. No fancy gestures. Honest functionality. The charm of the place lies in the people in front of and behind the bar.

Tingstedet is good for your spirit. Its unadorned space is somehow peaceful. It offers a breather from the otherwise polished and overly designed world, and I mean that both physically and mentally. It is my guess that the comfort of the pubs has saved more people over the years than it has destroyed through alcoholism. They offer refuge. And in the increasingly gentrified streets of Odense, Tingstedet is one of the last ones standing and it does so without any digital trace.

  • Mon - Thu: 10.00 - 00.00
  • Fri - Sat: 10.00 - 03.00
  • Sun: 10.00 - 18.00
Link to place Directions

This Is Odense