Visited Berns as part of my company's Christmas do. The setting is absolutely stunning, with a massive chandelier-adorned, italianate ballroom, faithfully held in the original style of the pictoresque building. The logistics of accommodating the large crowd worked great, and food was delivered swift and fast.
The first dissappointment was the entré, which consisted of hours-old salmon with a horrible mayonnaise-ish topping. The main course was a sinewy steak that appeared boiled instead of grilled, and finally desert: an acceptable yet uninspired panna cotta. All delivered by unemotive, glassy-eyed and absolutely uncommunicative waiters and waitresses, totally oblivious to the needs and wishes of their guests.
When the party and dance started, and the bar opened, the service policy was yet again demonstrated - with a vengance. Slow, snooty and arrogant service, without any of the sense of good humor and leniency that separates good bartending from the frustrating and unsatisfying kind. Add to this exorbitant prices. What a combo!
At the same time uniformed bouncers appeared at the entrance. Now, I'm used to the notoriously aggressive and arrogant bouncers of the Stockholm night life, but these guys really take the price. What sat them apart was the openly hostile demeanor, and very physical interaction with the guests. As the night went by we witnessed, with growing disbelief, colleagues being randomly kicked out for no apparent reason. At one point I was stopped on my way in, after having used the restrooms, shoved against a wall and entry stamped on the back of my hand, by a gaunt and apparently mute bouncer. Some half hour later it was my turn to be kicked out, without any word of explanation. Only my insistance on talking to the smug manager made it possible for me to overturn the verdict, and re-enter to say goodnight to my colleagues.
All in all an outrageous end to an in most aspects very disappointing evening on Berns Salonger. I can certainly say that I will never on my own accord revisit the place, nor can I recommend anyone to do so. I have no doubt that most Swedes, used to the incredibly bad service standards of the Stockholm night life (in stark contrast to the cordial service you will meet in almost all stores, hotels and restaurants), will not recognize my experience. But to any traveller or tourist accustomed to normal levels of politeness and civilty in clubs and bars, it would seem an imprudent choice to visit this venue if a good first impression of Stockholm by Night is the goal.