Reffen | Photo: Martin Kaufmann

Reffen - a new urban area for start-ups, creative minds and street food enthusiasts

Copenhagen’s new up-coming urban neighbourhood, Refshaleøen, will soon get a new playground for creative minds and street food enthusiasts near the waterfront.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The new project has been given the working title "Reffen", which is the nickname of the island. The ambition is to create a melting pot with a food market, creative workshops and start-ups, cultural experiences and innovative projects.

A new area for creative entrepreneurs

Denmark’s first street food market, Copenhagen Street Food - Paper Island, is closing due to a temporary leasing contract. However the founders are still on the mission helping creative minds turning their ideas into business. Thus, the founders have signed a ten year lease with the property company Refshaleøens Ejendomsselskab A/S - where there is a space to create a new wild project in a much larger scale.

The area for the new concept is about three times as large as the halls on Paper Island and consist of: The building called “Maskinværkstedet” (The Engine Repair Shop) of 1040 m², 5000 m² of outdoor space and additional access to 4000 m² of a shared outdoor area by the water. The ambition is to fill the area with booths built in multi-level containers and trucks.

Community and makers area

The idea is to create a community and playground for innovative projects, pop-ups, creative workshops, gastronomy, design and cultural events of all kinds. The aim is to give both up-coming and experienced entrepreneurs a community and access to a platform where you can test and develop your business concept, whether you are experienced, student or novice. “Reffen" will be a launch pad for turning ideas into projects and business.

New melting pot of creativity and cultural experiences

The ambition is to create a new place in Copenhagen that has a sustainable approach and becomes a melting pot of amazing experiences that attract and inspire both locals and tourists. Therefore, cultural organisations and cultural entrepreneurs are invited to become part of the project so that "Reffen" becomes a place that can be seen, tasted, heard and felt both locally and internationally.

"As we are passionate about gastronomy, design and entrepreneurship, we have found a location near the waterfront, where there is space for creative activities. Here we can create a new community for entrepreneurs and street food vendors, where they can design their own concept and stall. We hope that our project will contribute to the urban life that sprouts on the island and cultural producers, associations and educational institutions are invited to participate, since we want "Reffen" to be a venue of exciting experiences and innovative projects,“ - Dan Husted, Creative Director and one of the initiators of "Reffen ".


It can be hard to start up on your own. After running his own company for seventeen years in the restaurant business the initiator, Jesper Møller, wants to share his experience and help new entrepreneurs to start up their own business.

"After 20 years in the hospitality industry and 17 years as being self-employed, I have a long experience in running a business. I would like to share my experience with others, making it easier for them to get started as being self-employed,” - Jesper
Møller, initiator of Copenhagen Street Food - Paper Island, owner of Storms Pakhus - Odense Street Food and Restaurant Toldboden.

From deserted industrial area - to bustling neighbourhood

Refshaleøen is blooming and has already attracted business such as the brewery Mikkeller, Rains Showroom, the restaurants Amass (owned and operated by the former head chef of Noma, Matt Orlando) and Aamanns Kitchen, as well as the festivals Haven, Copenhell, Distortion and Move CPH. Furthermore, there is great news, Strömma/ Canal Tours' canal cruise will sail from the centre of the city to Refshaleøen. In addition, you can go by bike (10 minutes from the centre), car, the public bus 9A (every 5-10 minutes) or the harbour busses 991 or 991.

"The paper island was also an unspoilt area when we opened Copenhagen Street Food there, but the Copenhageners are curious and looking for new places to explore in the city. Thus, we believe that they will visit Refshaleøen too. We hope, that “Reffen" will not only become an area that attracts wild and creative minds such as chefs, designers, artists, social enterprises, etc. But it will also be a new meeting place for locals,”- Ruben Passer, Director of Copenhagen Street Food.

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Maja Tini Jensen
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What: The property is owned by Refshaleøens Ejendomsskelskab A/S

“Reffen" is an area for independent businesses, creative minds and food entrepreneurs.

Stalls: The platform will count 70-80 stalls; food stalls, workshops and pop-ups, furthermore, you can participate in cultural events, etc.

The area for the food market and creative workshops has a total area of 10,000 m2. The hall "Maskinværkstedet" measures 1040 m², An outdoor space of 5000 m² and additional access to 4000 m² of a shared outdoor area.

Opening: "Reffen" is expected to open in early summer 2018.

Neighbours: Restaurant Amass, Mikkellers Baghaven, B & W halls, Restaurant Amass, Aamanns Kitchen, Blocs & Walls (climbing hall), Rains Showroom.

Events: The music festivals “Copenhell”, “Haven” and “Distortion”.

How to get there: Public transportation Bus 9A, harbour bus 992 and 991. From Kongens Nytorv it takes 10 minutes by bike, but you can also arrive by car.

Canal and cruise boat: Strömma / Canal Tours’ canal cruise boat sailing from the centre to Refshaleøen from spring 2018.

Address: Reffen, Refshalevej 167A, 1432 Copenhagen K.


Refshaleøen, photo Anne Leigh Olsen

Guide to Refshaleøen

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