A Scandinavian Inspired Haven for Community and Travelers Alike

by Brandi Koloski

Imagine embarking on a journey that takes you through all 50 states on the back of a motorcycle, stopping at charming coffee shops and cafes along the way. This dreamy adventure became a reality for Nate and Terah Roise, a couple with a passion for exploration and a vision for creating a unique community space. In partnership with design firm, Studio Grey, their project, the Getaway Motor Café, is more than just a coffee shop – it's a Scandinavian-inspired haven nestled in the scenic River Valley of historic Carver, Minnesota. getaway_award_sm_2023_0508-12

The Sadie II Chair with Copper Brown base, Cocoa backrest and Designtex - Prime, Hydrangea upholstered seat. The Ferdinand Barstool with High Gloss Clearcoat base, Cocoa backrest and Designtex - Prime, Hydrangea upholstered seat. The Andy Lounge with Cocoa base and Brentano - Ferrum, Storm upholstery. 

A Scandinavian Escape

The Roise's embarked on a unique journey that would lead them to the heart of Carver. With a shared love for motorcycles, they rode through all 50 states, seeking out the warmth of independent coffee shops during their travels. These moments of respite left a lasting impression, inspiring them to create their own welcoming space. Their meticulous notes, combined with Nate's ancestral ties to Norway, fueled their desire to craft a local hangout inspired by the Scandinavian modern aesthetic.

Partnering with Studio Grey, a renowned architecture and interior design firm known for its expertise in tight and challenging spaces, the Roise's tackled the renovation with gusto. The café's compact space posed a unique challenge, requiring creative solutions to accommodate different functions and equipment while maintaining an inviting ambiance. Riverside Getaway, the upstairs Airbnb, presented its own set of challenges with low ceilings and confined spaces, but Studio Grey's design prowess transformed it into a functional, spacious, and character-rich haven.getaway_award_sm_2023_0508-13

The Sadie II Chair with Copper Brown base, Cocoa backrest and Designtex - Prime, Hydrangea upholstered seat. The Rambo Pedestal Table with Graphite base and a solid Maple table top with Cocoa finish. 

A Mood for Morning Brews to Evening Spirits

One of the most remarkable aspects of Getaway Motor Café is its ability to transition from a bustling coffee shop during the day to a sophisticated cocktail bar at night. The magic happened through careful planning, where every detail was accounted for.

Lighting was masterfully orchestrated to set the mood, ensuring that the space emanates the right vibes whether patrons were sipping coffee in the morning or enjoying cocktails in the evening. Acoustic control measures were taken to keep the ambiance pleasant and the noise levels at bay, allowing for conversations and live music to thrive. To make the best use of the small space, careful attention was paid to furniture and appliance layouts. Studio Grey's innovative design ensured that the space could effortlessly adapt to the changing needs of the patrons, creating a versatile environment that caters to various preferences and occasions.getaway_award_sm_2023_0508-15

The Ferdinand Barstool with High Gloss Clearcoat base, Cocoa backrest and Designtex - Prime, Hydrangea upholstered seat.

Supporting a "Stay As Long As You'd Like" Ethos

At the heart of this transformation lies a carefully curated selection of furniture. Crafting an inviting ambiance and ensuring visitor ease took center stage in the Roise's vision, where they aimed to provide a relaxed setting that liberated guests from the demands of swift cafe turnovers. To align with their Scandinavian-inspired design theme, the Roises opted for the Ferdinand Chairs. These dining chairs, designed by the Norwegian duo Gridy, possess a sleek Nordic essence while harnessing the robust industrial craftsmanship of American production, seamlessly harmonizing with the overarching design ethos. For communal interactions and gatherings, the Brady Communal Table took the spotlight, offering a capacious surface conducive to fostering a sense of togetherness. Meanwhile, the Andy Lounge Chair took its place in cozy nooks, setting the scene for intimate conversations or moments of solace.getaway_award_sm_2023_0508-14

The Andy Lounge with Cocoa base and Brentano - Ferrum, Storm upholstery.

In perfect harmony with the café's overall design narrative, the marriage of natural wood elements with vibrant hues, and the strong local mid-west connection that Grand Rapids Chair offers struck a deep chord with the Roise's sensibilities. The choice encompassed more than furnishings; it was about sculpting an inviting milieu where patrons could relish their coffee or cocktails in an atmosphere of comfort and elegance.

RELATED: Learn more about our finishes and options - download the brochure today.

Riverside Getaway — An Airbnb Experience

Part of what makes Getaway Motor Café even more unique is its connection to Riverside Getaway, a charming two-bedroom Airbnb above the cafe that captures the essence of the historic building while providing modern comforts. Studio Grey seamlessly integrated elements that make this Airbnb a true retreat. From spacious living areas to cozy nooks for working or relaxing, every aspect was considered. With Scandinavian design principles echoing throughout, the Airbnb provides a tranquil retreat for travelers looking to immerse themselves in picturesque surroundings.getaway_sm_2023_0517-43

The Andy Lounge with Cocoa base and Brentano - Ferrum, Storm upholstery in the Riverside Getaway hospitality space. 

A Haven for Community

Getaway Motor Café has quickly become more than just a café or a bar; it's a gathering place for the community, a hub of activity where neighbors come together to enjoy live music, interactive events, and delicious food and beverages. The result is an establishment that captivates both the local community and travelers alike. More than a coffee shop and cocktail bar, Getaway Motor Café has become a catalyst for the revitalization of Carver. The Roise's dedication to incorporating local vendors, thoughtful design features, and playful details has breathed new life into the once-forgotten building. As a nod to their personal journey, the Roise's infused the space with nods to their motorcycle adventures and their ancestral ties to Norway, creating a captivating and genuine experience for visitors.

So next time you find yourself on a motorcycle journey or simply seeking a cozy corner to unwind, remember that tucked away in Carver is a little Scandinavian oasis that's waiting to welcome you with open arms and a warm cup of coffee. Did you love learning about this charming transformation? Check out Bellwether Brewing's second taproom located in The United, a historic building from the 1920s!

Photography by Kory Kevin Reckinger

Cafe Hospitality