Tuesday 21 November 2023
Today, I tried to find somewhere to meet up at lunchtime in Utrecht. Using as a guide my, er, old guide to pubs in the city. Suitable candidated were pinging around like crazy. I was spoilt for choice. Then I checked the opening times on the internet. And watched all my choices evaporate.
Ledig Erf used to open at 11:00 every day.Now its 15:00 in the week and 12:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Florin, once a Firkin outlet, also used to open at 11:00. Now it's 16:30 in the week, 10:00 on Saturday, but with a two-hour break from 14:00-16:00. (They claim to be the most authentic British on the Contimnent. What could be more British than afternoon closing?)
Thankfully, Kafé Belgie still opens at at midday. Just two hours later than before at 13:00.
I've noticed later opening times at some places in Amsterdam, too. What's the root cause? COVID? Lack of demand (hard to imagine the the centre of toursit-packed Amsterdam.) Or is it just shortage of staff.
That's certainly the same in lots of retail in Amsterdam. Either there are appeals for staff in the window, Or they randomly don't open, presumably because there's no-one to unlock the doors and man the till.
Whatever the cause, it's dead annoying for afternoon drinkers like me.