Lunchcafé De Spiegel, Amsterdam

De Spiegel at Lijnbaansgracht 277

Lunchcafé De Spiegel at Lijn­baans­gracht 277 is a nice and friendly traditional Amsterdam bar which dates back to 1907. It has a lovely sunny outdoor terrace on the small square, (unofficially) called Spiegel­pleintje. Five gene­rations of the Haage­doorn family have subsequently run the café, which in 1947 was expanded towards the back of the building. In 2008 they celebrated their 100-year anniversary. This is a great spot for a relaxing lunch break or a beer in the sun.

Interior of Lunchcafé De Spiegel, Amsterdam

Interior of Lunchcafé De Spiegel (June 2021).

Worker’s Coffee House

The café started in 1907 as a “volks­koffie­huis” (people’s coffee house), catering to the workers of the city’s sanitation department (Stads­reiniging) — their garbage collecting ships used to moor right in front (back then there was still a direct water connection along what is now a covered Kleine-Gartman­plantsoen and Leidse­plein). Horse and carriage transported the garbage here and barges transported it further.

Lunchcafé De Spiegel, Amsterdam, with old photograph of when it was a Volkskoffiehuis

Lunchcafé De Spiegel, with an old photograph behind the bar of when it was a Volks­koffie­huis (June 2021).

By the 1930s the sanitation department was moved else­where — the café then catered mostly to the neigh­bor­hood’s window cleaners, to the porters from the Kerk­straat and to the coach­men of the ARM (Amsterdam Coach Company), who parked their coaches in front of the café.

Lijnbaansgracht (Ropewalk Canal)

Lijnbanen were the long rope­walks needed by the rope­makers, of which there were many in Amsterdam. The Lijnbaans­gracht is named after the rope­walks of private enterprises — the rope­walks of the East India Company (VOC) were located on the islands east of the center. Rope­makers needed ample space and were therefore always located on the former edges of the city.

Lijnbaansgracht, Amsterdam, in 1894, photographed by Jacob Olie

Lijnbaansgracht in 1894, photographed by Jacob Olie. The canal still ran through what is now the Kleine-Gartman­plantsoen (the canal was covered) to Leidse­plein. Bottom right the Spiegel­pleintje, where in 1907 the café started (Stads­archief Amsterdam).

Construction of the Lijnbaans­gracht (Ropewalk Canal) started in 1612 when the construction of the canal belt was initiated. On the other side of the canal (across from Lijnbaans­gracht 245 to 284) is the Ziesenis­kade, the southern quay between the Kleine-Gartman­plantsoen and the Spiegel­gracht.

The Lijnbaans­gracht used to continue as an under­ground canal, covered in 1914, under the Kleine Gart­man­plantsoen to exit at the Melkweg, continuing above ground from there. A wall was placed in the middle of the canal before covering it, to provide additional support. Until recently this was the situation, but now the construction of the under­ground bike parking has replaced the canal there. But near and under the Stads­schouw­burg towards De Melkweg the canal continues like before.

Lunchcafé De Spiegel (June 2021 & April 2022)

Website Lunchcafé De Spiegel:

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