The Restaurant

Series | Swedish with English subtitles | 3 Seasons (28 episodes). Each episode is approximately 60 minutes | Original Release: October 2, 2017


In May 1945, World War II ends and peace is proclaimed. The tightly-knit Lowander family, consisting of the tyrannical mother Helga, her two sons Peter and Gustaf and daughter Nina, must now find a way to rescue their financially distressed restaurant. Helga appoints older son Gustaf to be the manager. Facing imminent foreclosure, Gustaf reluctantly agrees to work with a local crime boss and sell food ration coupons in the black market. When law student Peter gets wind of what Gustaf has done, he puts aside his studies, and to the chagrin of Gustav, gets involved with running the restaurant. Meanwhile, Nina feels that the restaurant needs to go more modern and convinces the family to run a nightclub in the banquet area upstairs. Gustaf is opposed to Peter’s involvement and Nina’s ideas to modernize.  He feels the restaurant should maintain its traditional ambience or it will lose its remaining faithful patrons. As the family starts to tear apart, Helga also must grapple with Nina’s affair with Calle, a chef’s helper, her unwanted pregnancy, and Peter’s unfortunate infatuation with a damaged holocaust survivor. In the kitchen, Maggan, a waitress, is struggling to get custody of her three-year-old son while hiding her forbidden (by Swedish law) relationship with another woman. Meanwhile, the women working in the restaurant are furious about their working conditions. Their biggest complaint is sharing the changing room with the men. The women are threatened if they join the union they will be fired. Maggan attends the meeting and speaks out. She is disparaged by the union board, all male. The shy but determined Maggan decides to run for Board chairperson. And, in what is considered a huge upset, she wins. Could Sweden be changing?   

Hedda Stiernstedt (Nina) / Charlie Gustafsson (Calle) / Adam Lundgren (Peter) / Mattias Nordkvist (Gustaf) / Suzanne Reuter (Helga) / Josefin Nelden (Maggan)
Why Stream This Film?
Neutral Sweden may have enjoyed a peaceful, calm period during World War II but the years after the war  were not easy for everyone. The series painfully depicts how one family struggled to adapt during the two decades after the war. What’s especially noteworthy is that the series doesn’t shy away from such highly-charged topics as Swedish collaboration with the Nazis, black market selling of food ration coupons, abortion, labor unrest, and LGBT issues.  
  • IMDb Score: 8.2
  • Kristallen Awards: Winner, Best Television Drama; Best Actress (Hedda Stiernstedt)
  • The series broke records in Sweden. The producers announced a fourth season to be shown in 2020.
The next DOWNTON ABBEY? The Swedish postwar drama has drawn comparisons with DOWNTON as both follow the upstairs-downstairs motif and  the changing lives of the upper and lower classes in postwar Sweden.

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