Jul212017

Amsterdam beer, bud and burger joints

Amsterdam forced coffeeshops to choose between selling cannabis or alcohol back in April 2007. At that time most coffeeshops in Amsterdam did not sell alcohol, but there were many coffeeshops around Amsterdam where both cannabis and alcohol were available for purchase.

What I had not noticed over the past decade, until last week in Amsterdam, is there are several bars around the city where marijuana can be smoked, but tobacco is prohibited.

How is this still a thing in Amsterdam?

The only reason I even became aware of these ‘smoker bars’ was due to stopping at Las Marias for a beer and Hawaiian pizza on Haarlemmerstraat, one of the streets with a high concentration of coffeeshops. Sitting outside at a table drinking and eating, I noticed the shop window sign ‘Coffeeshop La Grotte’ across the alley.

While there is nothing revelatory about seeing a coffeeshop on Haarlemmerstraat, what surprised me was seeing a full bar through the open doorway.

How can this be that a coffeeshop has a full bar when coffeeshops were banned from selling both cannabis and alcohol 10 years ago?

This inquiring mind wanted to know. So, I went inside and asked the woman working behind the bar.

She explained that Coffeeshop La Grotte is not actually a coffeeshop, in that they do not sell marijuana or hash, however, she quickly pointed out Haarlemmerstraat has several coffeeshops close by for cannabis purchases. She said smoking marijuana is permitted in the restaurant bar, but no tobacco smoking is allowed.

I had not even realized over the past decade that this was still an allowable business model in the city of Amsterdam.

AMS Haarlemmerstraat

Haarlemmerstraat, Amsterdam is about a 10 minutes walk from Centraal Station.

Barney’s Coffeeshop has been around for decades, since 1986.

Walking a little farther along Haarlemmerstraat, I noticed Barney’s Coffeeshop, Barney’s Farm and Barney’s Uptown all on the same block.

AMS Barney's

Barney’s Coffeeshop and Barney’s Farm signs circled in yellow on left side of Haarlemmerstraat and Barney’s Uptown on right side.

Barney’s Coffeeshop sells cannabis and Barney’s Farm and Barney’s Uptown are restaurant bars, which allow cannabis smoking, but prohibit tobacco.

In a way, coffeeshop-bars are still a thing in Amsterdam with restaurant food availability too.

Of course, whether you want to sit down and drink a beer, smoke a bud and munch a burger in a cannabis smoke-filled bar is entirely another matter of preference.

Where you can smoke weed in Amsterdam

5) Is it permitted to smoke cannabis outside (in public places)?

Yes. However, smoking cannabis at children’s playgrounds and on the grounds of secondary schools is an offence.

6) Is it permitted to smoke cannabis in locations other than coffeeshops?

The most common and accepted place to smoke cannabis is in a coffeeshop. Although it is uncommon, the owner of a pub, bar or café may permit the use of cannabis in their establishment. Those aged 18 and above are permitted to smoke cannabis outside and at home. Smoking cannabis outside (in public places) is only permitted as long as doing so does not create nuisance to others.

http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/our-network/media-centre/city-hall/dossier-coffeeshops/faq

Apparently, some 25% to 30% of Amsterdam tourists visit coffeeshops.

Amsterdam has reduced the number of coffeeshops with regulations and closures for hard drugs offenses and other crimes. In 2017, there are fewer than half the number of coffeeshops compared to 20 years ago, when some 350+ coffeeshops operated in Amsterdam. Still, there are around 150 or so coffeeshops in the city today.

The business model of Smoker Bar-Restaurants appears to be a growing business. Or perhaps it is a business model that has been around for years and I only noticed it for the first time on this trip.

Even though several USA states have legalized marijuana in recent years, they are still grappling with the rules regarding smoking marijuana, aside from private residences.

 

July 2017

San Francisco SFO – Copenhagen, Denmark – Stockholm, Sweden – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Prague, Czechia – Bratislava, Slovakia – London, England – San Francisco SFO (22 days-6 flights-20 hotel nights-6 bus trips)

My July in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Czechia and Slovakia July 5, 2017

SAS flying over San Francisco

Copenhagen, Denmark: Skt. Petri Copenhagen Choice Hotels Ascend Collection

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Loyalty Traveler Lost and Found in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre hotel review

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam design for social living

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam beer, bud and burger joints

Amsterdam and Prague Hotels: 2 stays earned 1 Free Friday Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam and Park Inn Prague

Prague, Czechia: Pickpocket stole my wallet on Prague Airport Bus

Prague, Czechia: Park Inn Prague hotel review

Prague, Czechia: Best Western Hotel Kinsky Garden Prague truly boutique

Prague, Czechia: Hotel review Clarion Prague City reward stay

Prague, Czechia: Vyšehrad, Prague far from the madding crowd

Pilsen, Czechia: Marriott Courtyard Pilsen CZ category 1 reward stay

Pilsen, Czechia: Pilsen Czechia photoessay

Brno, Czechia: Holiday Inn Brno, CZ PointBreaks stay

Brno, Czechia: Brno by beer

Brno, Czechia: Brno Bones in Europe’s Second Largest Ossuary

Czechia: Impressions after 9 days in Czech Republic

Bratislava, Slovakia: Review Radisson Blu Bratislava Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia: Walk to Bratislava Castle Slovakia photo essay

Bratislava, Slovakia: Bratislava Slovakia photo essay part 2

Bratislava, Slovakia: Category 1 Park Inn Danube Bratislava Slovakia opens Oct 1, 2017

Bratislava, Slovakia: Trip Report Regiojet Bus Bratislava to Brno Airport

London, UK: Buyer Beware National Express bus London Stansted to London Heathrow

London, UK: Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow hotel review

Hotel Loyalty: Loyalty? Yes! Loyal? Not so much for my hotel travel

Hotel Loyalty: My two Club Carlson Free Friday Nights posted today

Airline Loyalty: Aegean Silver elite and 17,000 miles to Star Alliance Gold

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Thank you for your blogging and your frequent visits and reviews of my favorite European city.

    To my knowledge this business model existed for years. Certainly, since 2010, every time I had s brunch at Barney’s restaurants and someone was always lighting up. Another great bar that allows smoking marijuana is Kandinsky Cafe, same block as Kandinsky Coffeeshop on Zoutsteeg down the alley from Cafe Belgique on Gravenstraat. If you haven’t stopped by Cafe Belgique before, it’s worth a visit.

    Also, Down the block on Gravenstraat used to be the most undisclosed and under reported Best Western Dsm Sq Inn with frequent $129/night rates. I don’t think it’s that well priced anymore.

    Cheers,

    PedroNY

  2. @PedroNY – Guess I never paid attention before to bars in Amsterdam allowing cannabis.

    Best Western Premier Hotel Couture rebranded. That was one of my favorite hotels in Amsterdam for low off-season room rates.

    I have a feeling Ramada Apollo Amsterdam may increase its GoFast rate from 62 EUR copay before too long. Think I might book another stay for later this year to lock in the current rates. Great use of 3000 Wyndham Rewards points per night.

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