Bokaal is an especially good choice on a summer evening. The square fills up and you have to use your elbows to create a bit of space for yourself. This is fine because it makes for good company – add to that their menu with its hearty offering of meats and cheeses – and wild horses couldn’t drag you away.
But it’s not summer yet on this weekday so your reviewer is sitting inside. It’s a place that wants to appear raw and industrial, made apparent by the décor of wood, steel, and those types of materials. Behind the bar is a hulking bartender with arms covered in ink.
Albert Heijn kitchen gardens
First impression of Bokaal’s interior: gritty. But then you start to notice the types of customers sitting in the pub. Instead of lively young people, you see ladies in Gaastra jackets. To the left, in the corner, sits a dull-looking man eating a cheese dish while reading an eBook. And just a little further on, are they really talking about Albert Heijn kitchen gardens? By now, there are fresh flowers on every table.
Gritty. Bokaal wishes it was, but it isn’t. So what is it? It’s a place where everyone feels welcome. In addition to the eBook-reading dad, there’s also a suntan parlour-brown couple drinking beer, flaunting two massive watches. Not far from them is a greying man – with his top shirt buttons apparently malfunctioning – having some success with a young blonde.
It’s easy to strike up a conversation here, something a single would appreciate. Looking for an intelligent companion? You have a good chance of finding one at Bokaal with the University College just across the street.
But for God’s sake, leave the Gaastra jackets and the kitchen gardens at home. Bokaal has to put up with enough as it is.