March 14, 2018

Sepultura’s bassist opens rock bar in Amsterdam

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:47 am


Bassist Paulo Xisto Pinto Jr of world famous Brazilian metal band Sepultura has opened a bar in Amsterdam called BR020 (BR for Brazil and 020 for Amsterdam’s landline city code).

According to his bar staff, Paulo had always wanted to own a bar in Amsterdam even though he doesn’t live there. The bar staff play vinyl records, so you can ask to hear something and even pick from the wall (see photo below). My party went for some Motörhead, AC/DC and Pink Floyd.

Sepultura is finishing off a tour next week and the entire band is scheduled to attend the private opening of the bar although BR020 has been open for business since January. They serve one type of beer as their regular beer, a lesser known choice in Amsterdam purely because another beer from the same distributor is the beer the band has on their rider: Czech beer Pilsner Urquell.

BR020 also has a small stage that I’m sure will be put to good use soon enough. They also have a very nice collection of signed cymbals on the wall (see photo).



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January 16, 2018

Gross drinks people order in Dutch bars

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:59 am

In an article about gross drinks people order in Dutch bars according to the bartenders who work there, one drink that came up a lot was red wine or white wine with cola. I’m thinking the wine has to be really cheap and used purely to put some alcohol in the cola, but the person ordering it is too cheap or broke to ask for rum, vodka or something else half way decent to go in their cola. Or it’s really great and/or very popular and we’re missing out.

Another questionable combo was alcohol with any kind of dairy: Malibu (coconut flavored liqueur) with chocolate milk or Safari (liqueur flavoured with exotic fruits) with Fristi (Dutch dairy drink with red fruits, usually for kids). Both drinks tell me you’ll still a child, but want alcohol to help you grow up. Unscientifically, since the 1990s more and more young people start drinking alcohol by way of sweet drinks, and as you get older, you move into more normal tasting alcohol.

Last weekend I was in a bar in Amsterdam and a couple from London was trying to ask for a glass of half Amaretto and half brandy. I didn’t mind my own business and asked why they wanted to drink that, if it had a name and what it tasted like. The answer came from the woman: “this is what my grandmother used to drink at Christmas and it reminds me of her”. The drink had no name and she just said, “here, try it” and I did. It’s OK, but the story is much better.

For all the newcomers, if you want to blend into a random Dutch bar, order a ‘kopstoot’ (a head butt): a shot of jenever (aka genever, no, not gin) and a beer (don’t specify any further). If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for ‘zeer oude jenever’ (very old genever) and skip the beer altogether.


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September 30, 2011

Wordfeud outlawed in bar in Zwolle

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gaming by Branko Collin @ 3:23 pm

Owner Elles Hetebrij of the Hete Brij pub in Zwolle has had it with anti-social behaviour from mobile gamers, and has banned the Scrabble like word game Wordfeud from her establishment, De Stentor reports.

Sometimes the bar is filled with people playing Wordfeud. Nobody is talking to each other or to the bartender any more, much to his chagrin. […] We talk to our patrons about their behaviour. If you want to be on an ‘island’, you might as well play at home. This is a brown café where the atmosphere needs to be lively.

Manager Patrick Hugen added:

People even interrupt their game of darts to enter a word. This has to stop.

Wordfeud is a game that’s played on a mobile phone against Internet opponents. Is it really that addictive? I find that hard to believe. What do you think?

(Illustration: Wordfeud screenshot)

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February 24, 2011

Slideshow: brown cafés in Amsterdam

Filed under: Food & Drink,Photography by Branko Collin @ 11:54 am

Reader Jeniece Primus alerted us to this “visual poem dedicated to the traditional Dutch bar” she created called Stolen Moments: Dutch Brown Cafés.

(Video: Stolen Moments: Dutch Brown Cafés by Jeniece Primus at Vimeo)

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January 28, 2011

Strippers banned from Urk

Filed under: Shows by Branko Collin @ 3:20 pm

The local government of Urk has banned all strippers from the fundamentalist Christian ex-island, RTL Nieuws reports. If a bar breaks the new law, it has to close shop temporarily.

Last year a bar hired a female stripper who went the full monty, which apparently prompted this bout of legislation. Urk is the town with the highest concentration of fishermen in the country. Until 1939 it was an island–Urkers still say ‘on Urk’ instead of ‘in Urk’, according to Wikipedia.

(Photo of American burlesque performer Lola Bel Aire by Michael Albov, some rights reserved)

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October 12, 2009

Alcoholics wanted as tour guides

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 11:51 am

A tour company in Amsterdam claims it wants to hire alcoholics as guides, writes Z24 (Dutch).

Amsterdam Excursions believes that habitual drunks know where to find the bars for its tour of Amsterdam watering holes. In order to test suitability the company lets applicants fill out a questionnaire, open a beer bottle without an opener, and do a breathalyser test.

So far it appears only people who drink in the street or quietly at home have shown up, not the ‘kroegtijgers’ (bar flies) the tour company was hoping for.

This is the same company that organized an economic crisis themed tour.

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May 15, 2009

Meteorology site for outdoor cafes

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:16 am

Maastricht beer producer Wieckse, perhaps best known for its white beer, has started a website that will show you how sunny it is at many sidewalk cafes in the Netherlands. Called, the website also tells you where you will find the sunniest sidewalk cafe in the Netherlands of the moment. White beer is especially popular during sunny weather, according to Wikipedia, because it lacks the distinct hoppish flavour that is present in other beers.

Weather woman Helga van de Leur told Bright (Dutch): “The weather in the Netherlands isn’t as bad as people often think. Research shows that two-thirds of the population underestimate the amount of sun hours. You just have to know where it shines.” Not in Moscow, right now.

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March 23, 2009

First bar where smoking is legal?

Filed under: Dutch first by Branko Collin @ 10:29 am

When the smoking ban for bars was introduced last year, it hit Groningen bar De Balk as hard as any other café. Owner Aethne McGhie, originally from Scotland, turned a storage room into a smoking room, but the result was that the bar area itself looked absolutely dead. Her remaining customers came up with an idea: why not turn things around, move the actual bar into the storage room, and the former bar area into the smoking area. And so it was done. The result is that people now have to walk to the former storage room to get their drinks, but, McGhie told Parool (Dutch), even the toughest customers soon learned how to play nice.

The professional busy bodies who have to enforce the ban on fun, the Voedsel en Warenautoriteit (VWA), grudgingly admitted to De Telegraaf (Dutch) that this ploy is actually legal. “But we wouldn’t necessarily call it a legal bar,” a spokesperson said. Turns out that they found a technicality with which they can still cause problems for De Balk. Apparently, the law that says that a room where drinks are served must have a minimal size hasn’t been adapted to take the new circumstances that the smoking ban created into account.

Another entity that won’t call De Balk “the first legal smoking bar” is perhaps not surprisingly (Dutch), the website that keeps track of all the bars in the Netherlands where you can legally smoke. They point out that Café Populair in Amsterdam was the first to come up with the idea of a small bar section and large smoking area, way back in September last year (AT5, Dutch).

Source photo: Google Street View, a Dutch version of which was introduced a couple of days ago.

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December 26, 2008

Coalition mayor smokes in bar, breaks own party’s law

Filed under: General,Health by Branko Collin @ 7:09 pm

Last Tuesday the mayor of Deurne in Noord Brabant was questioned by the city council about his smoking in a public bar. Since July of this year smoking has been banned in bars in the Netherlands. The ban has met with a lot of resistance, and many smokers openly defy the law. As far as I am aware this is the first time that a public official was caught red-handed breaking the anti-smoking law. A salient detail is that mayor Gerard Daandels of Deurne is a member of CDA, the Christian party that is in the vanguard of the Jihad against fun: it was CDA minister Klink that proposed the smoking ban.

Daandels response: “You can hold me responsible for everything in matters of enforcement, but not for this unenforceable measure. […] I went to three bars where people were smoking. If a hundred people are smoking, you no longer give an example by not smoking.”

The Department of Public Health commented: “Even mayors are bound by the law.”

Link: Brabants Dagblad. Via Jong Nieuws. Depiction of the Deurne coat of arms by Wikipedia user Tibor, distributed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

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July 14, 2008

Smokers to get smell of cigarettes back in cafés

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 10:55 am

With the ban on smoking in cafés comes the inevitable stink of us non-smokers. We reek of sweat and of not knowing how to have a good time, just the way our Protestant government wants it. A company in Groningen wants to remedy the former. Rwin Showtechniek rents out a device that will spread any of an array of 150 scents across a room, including the smell of a good Havana, and of cigarettes. Shown here is the Multi-Scent 1, which can disperse one scent through a room, but Rwin Showtechniek claims to be able to spread multiple scents at once, which probably means they also bought a Multi-Scent 3 or 6.

Via Z24 (Dutch).

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