Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Sweden House Smorgasbord

Written by Christopher Alm • May 27th, 2008
Sweden House Smorgasbord

Sweden House

Anyone fancy a wide range of delicious Swedish cuisine? Do not look further, go and try Sweden House’s Smorgasbord and enjoy the lovely service of their blond and tall waitresses!

I did some research about the restaurant and found out that it was located in Tampa, Florida (at 2720 North Dale Mabry Highway to be precise). The postcards most likely date back from the early 1970s or late 1960s. Does anyone know if it is still around? Please let us know.

Source Flickr   

Above: Sweden House

Christopher Alm

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

Find out more about Christopher Alm

  • Anonymous

    Apparently, there’s a Dodge dealership where this place used to stand. Check out this other blog:


  • David

    There’s a Swedish Smogasbord in Door County Wisconsin. Quite kitschy (if not up to Falured Stuga Carl Larson kitsch) with a goat up on the roof.


  • Chris

    Al Johnson doesn’t sound that Swedish and what’s up with the goats on the roof? I have never seen any goats roaming rooftops here, but then again I have never ever seen a polar bear either ;-)

  • Charles

    In the late 60s I remember a plethora of supposedly Swedish smorgasbords. Every time I go to IKEA, the smell of meatballs transports me back in time. Locally (Bakersfield), we had a Fjords Smorgasbord that was well-divorced from Swedish cuisine (Jello salads anyone?). Of course, one step down in yesterday America was the “smorgy” which was an orgasm of all-you-can-eat high carb, high fat food…not pretty. My grandfather adored them.

  • John

    I was very young but, as I recall, my parents decided to take us kids to Disney World shortly after it opened (Summer of 1972). After visiting Disney (big disaster then because the park was not quite ready for the massive crowds and the surrounding area was not yet up to the needs of all the tourists), we drove to Clearwater, to visit with relatives who lived there, and to hang out with relatives who had driven down from NYC. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Clearwater Beach, and I remember us going to the Sweden House Smorgasboard for dinner one night with the relatives from NYC. I remember it because I ate way too much for my very small size and ended up with a stomach ache.

    Wow…this brings back distant memories.

  • Anonymous

    I remember the smorgesboard in Claremont, California called Griswolds. I was a college student and would pig out on the pickled herring, in sour cream. My dad had loved it too, but wouldn’t let us eat much as it was very expensive in the little jars. Still love that stuff. I guess it is no longer around, but where is a good Swedish restaurant?

  • Chummy

    There were two Sweden House Smorgasbords in the Milwaukee area during the 1960s, -70s: one was located in what today would be referred to as a strip mall along South 27th Street (US Highway 41) near Point Loomis and Southgate shopping centers, and across the way from a Treasure Island, a discount store that was a division of JC Penney. TI’s store architecture was rather unique, marketed as the store with the squiggly roof.

    While the two shopping centers are long since closed, redeveloped to other retail uses, the building in which Sweden House was located remains, only to have served a variety of diverse businesses over the years, including auto parts and hardware stores and others.

    The other Sweden House location in this community could be found in another strip mall south and west of the intersection of Oklahoma Avenue and Highway 100. That building also, as I recall, housed a US Post Office, and remains although I do not know what business occupies it presently.

    I do not recall any waitresses at the Sweden House, but rather dining buffet style: one would retrieve a tray, plate and utensils, then pass sans contemporary sneeze guard along a display of various foods, paying a cashier at the end of the line before finding a table at which to dine. There would often be a fellow dressed as a chef, carving and serving beef or ham in addition to the buffet foods. If there were waitresses perhaps they served beverages and bussed tables.

  • Thank you for all that information Chummy! You should have written this post instead of me seeing you have actually experienced those places in person. I also like the reference to Southgate shoppping center which happens to be featured in a commercial in the last track on my compilation Retro Shopping volume 2. Thank you again for taking the time to post the information Chummy.

  • Steve

    The Sweden House was a traditon on my families yearly vacations to St. Petersburg Beach in the Tampa Bay area in the 70's and 80's. The location I visited was located in a hotel right on the beach. I think the hotel was called The Colonial Inn. I haven't been to Tampa Bay since the 1990's so I am not sure if the hotel is still there. So, there were multiple locations in the Tampa Bay area. I seem to remember going to one in Ft. Lauderdale in the mid '70's. It was great.

  • Danedon1

    I not only frequented the Sweden House on Dale Mabry but also have one of these postcards.

  • Chad

    I recall the Sweden House Smorgasbords in Milwaukee when I was a kid. They later changed to Scanda House Smorgasbord, but seemed to be the same place, even retaining the same sign. They must’ve gone out of business sometime in the mid ’80s or so, if memory serves.

  • There use to be a Sweden House just a couple miles from my house here in Toledo, OH for a number of years.

  • Brian Matthews

    When my family moved here to Bradenton FL from Lakeland there was A Sweden House near US 41 and Cortez Road… remember going ther quite a bit. There used to be a Lums just up the street from there, too!

  • matt

    I had use to work for this company in Grand Rapids Michigan and the way management had treated the employees was terrible. Not to mention 10 hours shifts with no breaks

  • Pingback: Trashy Travel » Fjords Smorg-ette and Sweden House()

  • Bill K

    I worked at the Sweden Houe in Clearwater in 1974 as a busboy…………………..

  • Rick

    I worked at the Sweden House in north Miami beach for several years in the 1970’s. I met my wife there and still have close friends that worked there.

  • Randysayyes

    Great place back in the old days when toledo was great with Southwick mall etc … wasn’t in a good place in Toleeda but loved that roast beef carving station!

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