The Butcher the Most Exclusive Bar in Amsterdam

Over the years the shallow man has been fortunate enough to spend time at some of the best bars in the world. Bar Gabyani in Munich, The bars of the Paramount Hotel in London and New York,  the VIP Room,  L’arc and my personal favorite in Paris, the Hotel Costes. While Amsterdam has plenty to offer, with some fine establishments having opened in recent years, I had yet to find a bar with the exclusivity of L’ARC or the Hotel Costes, even if a couple of places I’ve been to in Amsterdam have come very close and are indeed outstanding, that was until last Friday.

In my never ending quest to answer the questions of my readers,  I received a message that peaked my interest. “Shallow man, as you appear to be well informed on the bar scene in Amsterdam, can you tell me about a place which apparently sells burgers but allegedly has a bar hidden away behind it. Do you know it? What’s it like?”

The shallow man has to admit that while having heard about such a bar, that he’d never actually got round to visiting it. Following some research amongst the shallow man network, I found the place in question and purely in the name of research put myself through a night of cocktail drinking and socializing in the best bar I’ve ever been to in Amsterdam, no actually the Netherlands in all of my nine years here. The things I do for my readers!

The return of the speakeasy

For those of you who watch the outstanding Boardwalk Empire, or are keen students of history, you’ll know that during the prohibition era in the United States that many secret bars which were called speakeasies, opened up hidden in drugstores, dancing academies, delicatessens, and even butchers. These were often decadent places of extreme opulence and luxury, which brings me to the subject of today’s post, the Butcher.

Hidden behind a burger bar, Amsterdam's most exclusive bar, The Butcher

Hidden behind a burger bar…

What’s the password?

A feature of the speakeasy was that to prevent undercover agents from the treasury department entering such establishments, a password was required to gain entry. The butcher, also known as TBA, conveniently located within walking distance of the shallow man Batcave in the Pijp area of Amsterdam, is hidden behind an outstanding burger bar. Walk through the burger joint and you’ll find a discreetly placed buzzer.  A steel door opens and a beautiful woman will ask you for one of Amsterdam’s best-kept secrets, the password of the night. If you have this or are fortunate enough to be on the guest list you can enter.

The entrance to the Butcher, Amsterdam's most exclusive bar

Do you have the password?

Bar heaven

Like most former practicing Catholics, I have a habit of returning to my faith in times of stress or extreme joy. In the butcher, I have found bar heaven. The first thing that hits you upon entering is the atmosphere, a combination of good music, elegant design and a packed bar full of unusually for Amsterdam beautifully dressed hot antelopes and lions. Doe maar normaal is definitely not practiced here. It was nice to be in a bar where the shallow man was not the best-dressed person. One of best, but certainly not the only one.

The design of this exclusive bar makes the social interaction as inevitable as Lady Gaga not wearing enough clothes. The main room has a long rectangular bar around which most of the patrons sit. The bar staff are superb, a list of cocktails are served, which is a combination of some classics and many butcher originals. They are also happy to mix the cocktail of your choice on request. I sat next to three beautiful ladies who in between cocktails, spent the entire evening with their smartphones taking photos of themselves individually, as a group and then individually again. Indeed the shallow man did wonder if any conversation took place at all, so busy were they taking photos, but as readers of my book will know, I can forgive beautiful women just about anything.

How were the Lions and Antelope?

A smattering of Dutch BNers (Bekende Nederlanders) business, sports people, models and fashion types made up the crowd. The Lions and Antelope gathered at the watering hole and no one was eaten (at least not in the bar) and the crowd was friendly and in good spirits. The bar has eye candy so sweet they could rot your teeth in an instant.

Any other comments?

If the shallow man eats a bad bitterballen and dies in Amsterdam, I’ve left instructions to have my ashes scattered on the floor of the Butcher. Enough said.


No self-photographing beautiful people were hurt during the writing of this article.


Sun – Tue 12 PM till 11 PM
Wed – Thu 12 PM till 1 AM
Fri – Sat 12 PM till 3 AM

Albert Cuypstraat 129
1072 CS Amsterdam
+31 (0) 204 707 875