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.
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.
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.
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: https://lunchcafedespiegel.nl/
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