In the middle of Jyväskylä’s centre lies a unique neon colored cocktail bar. Entering DeLorean feels like jumping back in time to the eighties. The idea is fitting, as the name of the cocktail bar refers to the DeLorean Motor Company’s iconic car DMC-12, which served as the time machine for the Back to the Future movies. Eighties and retro are currently in a boom, but when DeLorean’s other owner, Sampsa Tukia, tells the bar’s background history, the owners were not aware of the growing trend, but rather the idea was to have their own interests and approachability to the bar. Even if you don’t know the origin of the DeLorean name, it’s still a so-called soft, easy-to-approach name. Many legendary European nightclub names end up with an-ending and that was also one of the reasons why the owners ended up with that name.
The bar’s interior design has used a lot of eighties aesthetics and is reflected in a variety of games, movies and cartoons. Also with sounds – because when you step into the bathroom, the theme song of the 8-bit Nintendo game, Mega Man plays as toilet music. The bar is a real time jump to the past. At the bar counter, customers see a restored NES (Nintendo Entertaiment System), dating back to 1985, and of course, spiced with old CCTV and Duck Hunt light gun game. There is even a list of hi-scores on the console, showing the score and name of the most skilled player in Super Mario and Duck Hunt. In the other corner you will find a pinball machine and the bar also has a free arcade cabinet. DeLorean is in itself, a product that you can come to see and admire. You could even say that the bar is a small museum of popular culture. Aesthetics itself also lowers the threshold for people to come to the cocktail bar. Going to the bar for myself is like returning to the couch of the childhood home living room with Nintendo flickering in the background and the Transformers animation running on the TV.
The soul of a cocktail bar can be found on its drink list. It also takes advantage of the old, as the products on the list are integrated onto the pages of the eighties cartoons, while telling each drink a unique background story. The list is compact but offers something for everyone. The Toxic Avenger drink, the only permanent product on the list, has remained a favorite since the beginning, with the other changing every 4 months. Outside the list, there are also orders from customers, which is also reflected in the fact that alcohol consumption and the world becoming smaller have increased their product awareness. The bar’s growing popularity of mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails) has also been reflected in the wishes of the customers. Mocktails are the best way to feel and enjoy, not to consume.
DeLorean also uses the benefits of the circular economy. The bar takes advantage of the citrus peel left over from food loss by extracting citrus cordial syrup. The bar collects lemon wastage from downtown’s neighboring restaurants. The bar also has a coffee liqueur made from used coffee grounds. The taste of coffee is extracted from the crumbs in the brine. After extraction, the coffee grounds are screened into bio-waste and alcohol is added to the extract. You can also the power of communality with the coffee grounds as they are obtained in cooperation with the neighbor’s café.
The bar also hosts events tailored to its theme. The bar has organized, for example, the Tetris SM competitions. On Sundays, there are also event called Rankka Päivä (Heavy Day) where customers can pre-vote on the winner of a themed eighties-themed movie, which then will be viewed together through VHS and there will also be pizza which is delivered to a bar from a neighboring restaurant. In addition, the DJs entertain the customers on weekends
The Cocktail Bar is already a unique destination in Jyväskylä, but when you add a strong and popular theme with rich details to a special drink, you can agree the message of the bars slogan, a pretty awesome cocktail bar!
Text and photos: Juho Niemelä (Course Food Culture)