Outside it’s freezing cold, and so blustery that cyclists nearly end up in the Westersingel. Fortunately, on the very same canal you find a bar that offers a cure for the winter chill: Amehoela.

All women crew

You start warming up as soon as you step into Amehoela’s tropical-themed interior. And the alcohol doesn’t hurt either. We’re given a friendly welcome by bartender Alina. She’ll be shaking our cocktails this evening. From a Tomahawk to a Heidi Montag (the reality star from The Hills). The latter is so mind-numbingly pink that your teeth hurt just by looking at it; but it has a surprisingly fresh sweetness. And another thing: the bar crew are all women. This isn’t a conscious policy, says Alina, but she likes it nonetheless. “And it’s good for turnover,” she winks.

Why even go to the trouble of putting up art if you can use a projector? The entire wall is full from one end to the other with framed pictures of animal heads on human torsos. It’s too late for a bite to eat, by the way: the kitchen is closed. But from 5 p.m. you can order Mexican dishes and snacks, in keeping with the Latin American background music. The bar’s name seems less appropriate, though. As far as we know, Amehoela means ‘get lost!’ – in a bad way – and we aren’t really feeling that vibe. Everyone seems to be chatting away and having a good time.

White line on a mirror

“Are you drinking vodka with your cocktail? That’s bad-ass!” a young guy asks me in amazement. He’s part of a group of three, and we strike up a conversation. “No, it’s just a shot of champagne” – because the bartender told me it would neutralise the flavour. And because it tastes nice too, of course. I find myself learning something new every day. One of the guys is celebrating his birthday, and they’ve been served a cocktail called Pablo Escobar, which has a special side order. Don’t worry: that white line on the mirror isn’t cocaine, it’s confectioner’s sugar. But together with fireworks later on, it does put the icing on the cake as far as the cartel theme is concerned. We ask our neighbours whether they’ll be dancing later on, but no such luck: “Another lecture in the morning.” Very sensible gents.

EM_Kroeg Amehoela EN

The salsa’s blasting from the speakers, we order another round (and another after that) and it’s midnight before we know it. We pass on the ‘last call’ because we have to get back to work in the morning too. Which is a shame, because we wouldn’t have minded adding a few more hours to this fun evening.

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