Loyal customers save historic Amsterdam bar
Owner of the Café de Druif, Ron van Drecht, was going through financial difficulties when one of his regular customers started a crowdfunding campaign to help him out, In De Buurt writes. Soon many other regulars, employees and even people who had never been to the cafe, which dates back to the 17th century, caught wind of the story and donated money to save the Rapenburgerplein favorite.
Ron´s colleagues knew that their boss would not want to ask for donations himself. “I don’t know if Ron thinks it’s a good plan, but go ahead”, one employee said to the initiator of the campaign, Lieuwe van Albada.
By the time Ron found out that people were making donations to his café, 500 euros had already been collected. “My jaw dropped”, Ron said to In De Buurt “I thought to myself: What should I do with the money? How can I, when I am open again charge a regular for a drink, if they just donated 100 euros?”
Within a week after the campaign began, over 12 thousand euros had streamed in from all across the country. “I was busy for two days thanking everyone”, Ron said. He even received ten euros from a girl who had never visited de Druif but liked the pictures of it so much that she still wanted to help out. “When you’re open again, I’ll drop by”, she wrote.
According to Ron, it might take a while before the café is allowed to reopen. “I think terraces will remain closed past March 31”, he predicted. “They’re probably not going to be open till the end of April.”
Not only social restrictions but also construction work in front of his café is putting a damper on Ron’ s hopes of reopening. “When we finally are allowed to open again, I hope that the street is clear. Otherwise, I’m not going to put tables and chairs outside.”
The cafe first received its liquor license in 1631, but it has been around for longer. Naval officerPiet Hein wrote that it was his favorite bar, and he died two years earlier. The building itself dates back to 1566 and is still a favorite among locals and tourists today.