Occasionally, there’ll be a bar that fosters brilliance – a breeding ground for start-ups. Thoms, which recently set up on Meent, could well become one of those establishments.

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Image credit: Sanne van der Most

Which is a nice thought. Because we all know the success stories. How three students – nursing a few beers – came up with the idea for a multimillion-dollar business in De Dijk, which they named Coolblue. Or how former RSC President Vincent Karremans had a brainwave in café Timmer, and started Magnet.me, the LinkedIn killer from the Maas City.

So it’s encouraging when the first thing we see upon arriving at Thoms is a bunch of bright minds huddled around a laptop. They’re sitting in a circle, discussing some sketches and drawings. Are we witnessing the birth of a million-dollar idea? One half of the company is lolling on a couch; the rest has pulled up the – somewhat impractical – chairs. The gentlemen, all in their late twenties, are fortifying themselves with authentic ‘Olde Rotterdam’ beer.

the view can be admired

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Image credit: Sanne van der Most

Thoms is nothing if not inspiring. Take the location: a great spot on Meent, and thanks to the large windows the view can be admired from every seat in the house. It’s set up in the Timmerhuis, Rotterdam’s hipster hub du jour. And then the deco: you can definitely discern an – as they say – industrial flavour. Lots of steel and wood. The finish is good too: rows of wine bottles along the walls.

We’re less enthusiastic about the service: even full-on eye contact sometimes can’t get one of the ladies to pass by our table. And you can wave like the Queen on her Jubilee, but it’s difficult to even get noticed by the staff.

piercings rather than dimples

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Image credit: Sanne van der Most

Most of the guests look like they’ve already been running that successful start-up for years. The men wear designer scarves; the women sport piercings rather than dimples in their cheeks. They drink beer or wine and nibble from a platter with Mediterranean titbits. Thoms calls it a ‘Generous Bread Platter’; your humble reviewer mainly makes out cheese and sausage.

But we can’t deny it’s delicious. They’re not skimpy with the servings, you get bread for free and it tastes great. Mainly interested in a drink? Then you can check out the bar’s underground section. Underground? Indeed: it’s below ground. Every Saturday, Thoms rolls out a dance floor in the basement. During the week, families with small children are sequestered here so that everyone can eat in peace.

 Incidentally, the prices aren’t very studenty, except when you order a glass of ‘Adam’s ale’. They don’t charge for tap water. Apart from that, things will work out we suppose – provided we get that million-dollar idea, of course.

Eric-Kroegrecensie 1-uitsnede