The Butcher Social Club
Amsterdam North. So near, yet so far away. David Bowie sang ‘is there life on Mars?’. I had similar thoughts about Amsterdam North. In fact, the Shallow Man hadn’t visited that part of the world for some time until on a cold December evening I took a ferry across the IJ to the A’dam Toren, to attend the opening party of the Butcher Social Club.
If you live in Amsterdam and haven’t heard of the Butcher, you really do need to get out more. The original Butcher is a burger bar in Amsterdam in the Pijp. Hidden away in the back of the place, behind what appears to be a large refrigerator door is, in fact, one of the Shallow Man’s favorite bars.
A journey across the river
Having haunted the bar of the Butcher like Marley’s ghost (Jacob not Bob) over the years, I was invited to the opening of the Butcher Social Club in Noord. In order to get there from the center of Amsterdam, the fastest way is to take the Buiksloterweg ferry known as the Pont across the Ij. This service runs 24 hours a day from behind Amsterdam Central Station and is free of charge. Yes, it’s gratis, which is why it’s full of Dutch people going back and forth, even though they don’t really need to be there.
During the four minute journey across the river to Amsterdam North, I realized that many of the passengers were obviously heading to the same destination, as they were by Amsterdam standards incredibly well dressed.
The Butcher Social Club party
The Butcher Social Club is based at the A’dam Toren (Amsterdam Towers). This 22-storey building has amongst other things a restaurant, a nightclub and an observation deck from which you can view Amsterdam in all its glory.
Upon entering, there was a huge queue for the cloakroom, however, our hosts were kind enough to provide complimentary glasses of wine while waiting. A good start to an excellent evening.
No sneakers in sight
Over two thousand people attended the opening party. The event broke Amsterdam social norms in a number of ways:
- There were women wearing (please sit down while reading this) shoes with high heels
- Men wearing shoes that weren’t only brown
- Many of the women there were actually wearing makeup
- I didn’t see a single dress worn with sneakers
As you can imagine the points above, combined with a free bar, good music and delicious hamburgers made for the party of the year! To be fair I also had my most evil hangover of 2016 the following morning but the less said about that the better.
24 hour partying
Another thing worth noting is that on Fridays and Saturdays the Butcher Social Club is open 24/7. So if you fancy a late night cocktail, hamburger, or just fancy a dance, it’s well worth a visit.