Welcome In de Olofspoort
Tasting house In de Olofspoort, located in the heart of Amsterdam, was not just a ‘brown café’. It was the perfect place to enjoy a delicious drink in an intimate and historical atmosphere where locals and foreigners felt at home.
For 35 years, the little café In de Olofspoort offered around 200 different drinks: high-quality jenevers, liquors and bitters. It had its own ‘bottle club’. There were tastings, cultural walks around it, and it served as a location to get married because of the building's unique history (from 1618 on). It was felt like an oasis of peace in the center, between the Red Light District and Central Station. No gambling, no flashy music, just a piano. A place where friends, colleagues, and ex-colleagues regularly met.
Foreigners visited for a rest. The bartenders helped to satisfy their tastes: Dutch and Belgian jenevers, fruity jenevers and a large selection of spirits, bitters, Old-Dutch traditional liquors, named ‘Bride's tears’, ‘Rose without thorns’ or ‘Kiss me quick’. Home-made liquors: Liquorice, Cherry Chocolate, and Red Berries (the ‘Red Light district walk’ drink), port, wines and for those in favor of beer, a good old glass of Amstel or Affligem (abbey beer), Wieckse Witte white beer, and not to forget the soft drinks.
History in a nutshell
In 1314, the first stone of the main city gate in Amsterdam was built: the Saint Olofspoort at the location of the tasting house. Around 1440, the Olofs chapel was built in front of the entrance. The gate and chapel were named after Saint Olof, the Norwegian saint, protector of cities (Oslo). It was an homage and acknowledgement to the Norwegian seamen who, from the high North, shipped ten thousand trees that were used as the foundation poles for the construction of the city of Amsterdam.
During the Eighty Years War (80-jarige oorlog), the Olofspoort was used for Spanish prisoners. Due to the expansion of the town, in 1425 the gate lost its function, and in 1618 it was decided to tear it down. At the same time, the city architect Hendrick de Keyser, was responsible for the building of the current building at the Nieuwebrugsteeg.
The house was built in 1618 and first used by a hat salesman; a drawing is carved in stone in the facade of the building, with the words Hoede Kramer.
In 1801 it became a Dutch bakery, a pastry shop. The backroom - from 1602 - got extended to the front house, initially named The Hamburger convoy, in honor to the people of Hamburg who transported their beers to Amsterdam (before the ‘golden age’ there were only poor quality beers).
Riny Reiken: ‘I began my ‘Proeflokaal In de Olofspoort’ in this heart of Amsterdam.
The back room and club with private members and bottles got baptized ‘the thirsty heart.’
The historical tasting house In de Olofspoort, Nieuwebrugsteeg 3 in Mokum opened July 27, 1988. Time to party, Cheers! We celebrate 30 years with a lovely drink, called Afzakkertje (Settler).
* Since 1918, the house is the property of the Association Hendrik de Keyser.