The last supper: Dutch bars and restaurants closed for 4 weeks
Wednesday evening saw bars and restaurants (horeca) across the Netherlands celebrate their last night before being closed for (at least) four weeks as a result of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s new coronavirus measures.
Police shut down party in The Hague
A stone’s throw away from Dutch government at the Binnenhof, tonnes of people turned out to party on the Plein in the centre of The Hague. A spokesperson for the police confirmed the party had to be broken up by officers from the local municipality and police force.
Mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, said in a statement: “This is completely irresponsible... Of course people want to party again, but because of this kind of selfish behaviour the measures only last but longer. That way you hit yourself, others and entrepreneurs even harder.”
The municipality of The Hague has said they will investigate exactly what happened and look into what disciplinary action can be taken against those who were involved. At this point, it is not known whether any fines were handed out by police when the party was broken up.
The last supper in Dutch restaurants
Restaurants also enjoyed a final hurrah, with an investigation from NU.nl revealing that the number of reservations on Wednesday night were 22 percent higher than the average Wednesday. The public turned out en-masse to make the most of the last opportunity to eat out.
A number of bars and restaurants opened their doors earlier, and encouraged customers via posts on social media to stop by and make the most of the last day. In a Facebook post Claire, owner of Cafe De Donder in Utrecht, asked: “Can you help us empty the kegs?” Restaurant Milu in The Hague appealed to followers on Instagram to come and enjoy one last night of cocktails.
Leander Willemstein, owner of the RAW restaurant in Tilburg, said: “This is so beautiful. So many people who ask on this last evening if they can come and eat with us, and want to support us in this way... We're packed, it's a kind of Last Supper.”