Feel like a Heineken or Coca Cola? If so, avoid the Fenix Food Factory, even though the fantastic terrace is very tempting. Summer evenings are well spent here with a wonderful view over the Maas.
During the day, the Fenix Food Factory is a market selling fresh products. Here, you can buy spelt bread as well as ‘sustainably’ brewed beer and of course the inevitable home-roasted coffee. Hipster heaven. Also an illustration of the revival of the once so neglected Katendrecht.
'The best Rotterdam beer in the world'
In the evening, most of the stalls are closed, but the terrace and café De Kaapse Brouwers stay open. Here, you can get beers like Jaapie, Gozer and Karel. These are brewed in house and are supposed to represent ‘the best Rotterdam beer in the world’. The brewery achieves this through wide experimentation, particularly with fruity flavours.
A cola to mask the taste of a less loved beer? Forget it. “We’re not fans of big corporates. We prefer to support small businesses,” the tattooed bar tender explains. So you get a pink lemonade, which is apparently supposed to be the flavour of a blood orange.
‘Please return your glass’
What you do remember is its sweetness. That’s not just in the support for those poor, small businesses. It’s all around you. Take the sign on the bar saying ‘Please return your glass’, backed by a huge red heart. And all the smileys and the signed comment from a lady at the bar: “It’s a free world!” Or the staff who don’t use trays to collect up the empties, but Little Red Riding Hood type baskets.
Your reviewer finds it all rather cloying. That all-encompassing sweetness feels so forced. Isn’t a pub a place where you share both laughter and tears? You laugh because you can, not because it’s etched into every splinter in the place.
Anyway. Who wants to sit scowling on a terrace by the water with a view over Hotel New York?