The new KHL: combination of culture and catering is crucial

Koninklijke Hollandse Lloyd was saved from demolition in 1997. In the characteristic building on Oostelijke Handelskade you can enjoy culture, parties and good food. All this in an atmosphere of Dutch coziness, combined with the exotic influences that the worldwide shipping industry brought with it.

Lennie Haarsma † photos Dennis Sewberath and The new KHL


In 1997, the Friends of the KHL Association were founded by local residents, says Jan Krabben. “They wanted the building to be preserved. The municipality sold the property for one guilder to the housing association Zomers Buiten with the express purpose of converting it into a communal building with a podium function. ‘ Jan and his brother Gerard have owned the building since May 1, 2016. They expanded the old coffee house into a new neighborhood-oriented meeting place, the New KHL.

The history of the KHL (Royal Dutch Lloyd) is associated with the rise and fall of shipping in the eastern port area. In 1915, office buildings, staff housing, the Lloyd Hotel and a coffee house were built on Oostelijke Handelskade. In the crisis of the 1930s, the shipping company came to an end. The coffee house parted in the malaise and slowly languished. A shop, a wholesaler of delft blue souvenirs, was opened, but after many years of vacancy, the building was saved from demolition.

“We both started in the Shaffy Theater, it was our family background,” Jan continues. Gerard adds: ‘I had experience in the hospitality industry and services combined with scenes like Bruine Paard, Weltschmerz, Mazzo, P3. We worked together in cafes, where we arranged talk shows. ‘

Jan: ‘I have experience in organizing events on site, including Cirque du Soleil, Sensation and Sail Amsterdam. This special place with both cultural and catering function appealed to us. The New KHL is based on three pillars: the restaurant, cultural activities and rental. We rent out to companies and schools for, for example, graduation musicals, but here also parties, memorial ceremonies and weddings take place. ‘

Cultural entrepreneurs

“The combination of catering and culture is crucial. Going out in combination with food and drink is a great way to pass the time. This certainly applies to our activities on Sunday afternoon and Friday evening. The atmosphere is very important; we can make the room very intimate and in summer you can eat on the terrace. People can buy tickets without and with a theater menu, “says Jan.

The restaurant is known for its accessible, classic French cuisine. In addition to the fixed menu, you can select a changing menu every week, the Skipper’s menu.

‘Of course, it is important to implement the exploitation,’ Gerard continues. ‘In fact, it is a form of cross-pollination: the catering industry is important in making culture possible. We call ourselves cultural entrepreneurs. ‘

Programming with local residents

“There are a lot of people living who are interested in culture or who work in that sector. Neighborhood cooperative de Eester organized a neighborhood summit in Pakhuis de Zwijger in 2019. There we met a group of neighbors who wanted to organize something cultural. Spicy Mustard is the result. ‘

Spicy Musterd arranges evenings where a famous neighbor is invited to talk about what inspires him / her and what it takes to make that inspiration a reality. The evening with author and photographer Hans Aarsman was well attended. Eric van Eerdenburg, the director of Lowlands, was an interesting guest. Visitors can ask questions.

‘We have a long list of fifty names for after the summer, which we will make a short list of shortly. Ivo de Wijs is coming in September. ‘ Spicy Mustard is thinking about the possibility of making a podcast. ‘A platform like oost-online is gold for the neighborhood. All attention to our program is welcome! ‘

Open house in September

Recently, there has been a monthly meeting between the cultural organizations active in the eastern port area. In addition to the KHL, these are Kompaszaal, Ramses Shaffyhuis, Eester and Mezrab. The organizations are holding an open house on Sunday, September 11: all local residents can visit the sites for free and enjoy music, theater and other performances. Then the cultural program for the coming season is also presented.

The following artists will be performing soon.
Check the agenda for more information.

Sunday, May 22nd KHL Chantant Spring! the most beautiful spring songs.
Thursday, May 26th Vanzettis vinylpop quiz
Sunday, May 29th Christoph Chapletchansons de Paris
Sunday, June 5th Rolinha KrossJewish music
Wednesday, June 8 Paul Bond and Eric Devries, JOKE double performance
Thursday, June 9th Black cat boneblues
Friday, July 1st Abels Americanaroots music

De Nieuwe KHL, Oostelijke Handelskade 44. The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday from The hall is an official wedding venue. Call 020 7791575 or email [email protected]

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