Calico Tijgâh is comfortably curled up on the seventies fauteuil. Picture frames with framed butterflies hang on the wall, next to a deer antler, and above the salon table hang some industrial looking lamps. The Persian rug matches the seventies wallpaper and the bare brick wall with its rough edges. Moms with their babies in strollers are drinking cups of fresh mint tea while a few chairs over, a businessman is working on his laptop. The jazzy background music makes this place perfect for a during-the-day study session. Where this is? At Jozef eten en drinken, or in English; Jozef eating and drinking, the newest arrival at the Mariaplaats.
Jozef replaces Maria, a Tapas bar that was there until last summer. After a big remodelling that lasted about three months, Jozef has been officially opened since September 6th. Waiter Sanne (27) says: “During the remodelling the bar has been moved, and so has the kitchen. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the location, basically.” Tapas bar Maria had been slow on business for some time, so the owners decided to change the place into Jozef, a place where you can come ‘home’. People are welcome here not only for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but also for a beer, maybe even with bitterballen.
From the bare brick walls to the wooden floor, from the cacti to the hanging plants, Jozef gives a cosy feeling all around. Assistant-manager Hidde (26) explains: “We wanted to create a place where everyone could feel at home; parents with young children, students and businessmen.” This mix between different sorts of people is really what makes Jozef such an attractive place to go. Everyone can feel welcome and at home here, whether you’re a student wanting to drink a good pint of beer in the evening, or a student that wants to study in a nice quiet café with good cappuccino’s.
And not only the decoration, also the menu has been adjusted to the ‘living room’ concept. “We have a very varied menu, with hip dishes like granola for breakfast, but also dinner classics like our hotdog. Some people might say you can get a hotdog at FEBO as well, but it will never live up to the hotdog we serve. You don’t believe me? Come try it out!”, says Hidde. Jozef eten en drinken is not simply a café or a bar; it’s a mixture of both. This mixture is also reflected in the prices, which range between the two, making it the ideal place for a quality meal, for which you don’t have to spend the rest of the month eating canned beans.
Lastly, also the music contributes to the comfortable atmosphere, with jazzy sounds during the day, and a real DJ on Friday and Saturday evenings. Sanne says: “Whereas at Maria some people would really go all out and dance, we don’t do that anymore here at Jozef. The DJ really tries to combine music that will accompany a nice beer and a chat with friends.” There is live music to, on every first Sunday of the month it’s Lazy Sunday where musicians from the nearby Conservatorium or other beginning artists perform. During the week there are enough activities as well, since they regularly organise pub quizzes or music bingo.
So, are you either looking for a good place to study, a restaurant to have a good meal without going broke, or a bar to have some nice drinks with friends, then Jozef eten en drinken at the Mariaplaats might be just the spot for you. Check it out and tell us what you think, we would love to hear your opinions!