While Amsterdam worries about rowdy visitors and the fate of its Red Light district, another local tradition appears to be dying out: the 'bruine kroeg,' or 'brown bars' that were an after-work refuge for factory workers and others.
A Dutch commentator told broadcaster NOS that the small place, serving mainly local beer and spirits and bar food are giving way to higher rents, an elderly clientele and changing lifestyles.
Wouter Verkerk told NOS that ‘In the old days men went to a bar after work at the factory. That is no longer the case. People perhaps have a coffee during the day and are not interested in spending a whole evening in a bar, only to nurse a hangover the next day.’
The bars got their name from their decor, largely dark woods that were the style a long time ago, added to generations of tobacco smoke affecting walls and everything else. Many were originally the front rooms of private houses.
Local statistics officials believe about a quarter of the bars have disappeared over the past 12 years.