These past few days have been absolutely glorious. Blue skies. Ice skating. Beautiful snow. And while we've enjoyed it immensely, we are starting to get that summer itch, starting to long for longer days, warmer weather & lots of sun. One of the places we're most excited to go once summer rolls around is Paaseiland. This dreamy little beach shack is always buzzing with good vibes, and we can hardly think of a better place to spend a sweet, sultry night. We chatted with Paaseiland's Paul Fluks to find out more about this summer staple.
gloobles: Hi Paul! Thanks for sitting down with us. We must admit that Paaseiland became one of our go-to spots in Amsterdam. What was the idea behind it?
Paul: Hi there, thanks for inviting us!! The idea of Paaseiland was to create an open space in the middle of Amsterdam and capture the free-spiritedness our city is (unfortunately less & less) known for. A little island escape for all Amsterdammers. We started the concept by winning a competition run by the city council to repurpose the space. We pitched our idea to a jury of council members & policymakers in De School (R.I.P.). We decided to dump 1000 kg of sand into the presentation room, brought a couple of beach chairs & fresh fruit smoothies & convinced them to give us a 3-year license to run a pop-up beach shack!
gloobles: Amazing! And so creative. How would you describe Paaseiland to someone who’d never been before?
Paul: A little beach shack (ahem* an old shipping container) in the centre of the city with the best view of the main river running through Amsterdam. A place you can go any time of the week and feel like you are on holiday — toes in the sand, cold drink in hand & even a dip!
gloobles: Music to our ears. Paaseiland is super relaxed. Have you always been interested in creating chill spaces?
Paul: You should visit our homes… nothing but zen!
gloobles: Somehow we're not surprised. What do you think sets Paaseiland apart from other places in Amsterdam?
Paul: A lot of places in Amsterdam claim to be open & accessible to everyone but in reality, they often only attract a certain type of (in)crowd. We take pride in being a truly diverse spot — & it’s a huge part of our vibe! Paaseiland is for the people.
gloobles: And the people are for Paaseiland! What do you think of the food scene in Amsterdam in general?
Paul: Both of us (Paul Fluks, 29 & Dylan Keppy, 29), were born & raised in Amsterdam. We actually grew up in de Jordaan and have been neighbours since 1991. We both love our city, and for us, the food scene here has always been popping. The scene is tight & relatively small, so a lot of our friends & colleagues in the business inspire us, & visa versa. It’s a great place to run a bar or restaurant.
gloobles: Oh, definitely. The horeca here is filled with the coolest people we know. If you’re not enjoying a beer & some comfort food at Paaseiland, where do you like to eat in Amsterdam?
Paul: Many places & for different reasons! But here are some of our favourites:
Coulisse for fancy dining.
Cannibale Royale, if you’re craving ribs & hip-hop.
Binnenvisser, for the vibes & hot girls.
De Vrouw met de Baard, for friendly faces & Amsterdam’s take on soul food.
Otto Volante, for bar bites, small plates & natural wine.
gloobles: Hahaha we had no idea Binnenvisser was the mecca for attractive women. Too funny! Where do you see Paaseiland in 10 years?
Paul: Officially, 2021 is our last summer on our 3-year licence to run the bar. We’re working on a long-term plan to present to the council. Hopefully, we can stick around! If not we’ll be continuing with other projects. Last October, we opened up a new bar & event space in de Houthavens: Yellowhouse. Something totally different for us but with our same laid-back approach & philosophy.
gloobles: Oh, we can't wait to check it out. Ok, last one. If you could share a drink & a nibble with anyone in the world at Paaseiland, who would it be & why? What would you be drinking & eating?
Paul: Definitely a nibble & drink with the whole 95/96 team of Ajax. They embody the resilience, diversity & spirit of Amsterdam to this day. Of course, we'd be eating our Beefless Bulgogi — Korean marinated beef, but vegan. It’s been an instant hit since we opened and will be for the coming years. We serve it on a Bahn-mi sandwich or loaded on a portion of French fries. Drink-wise, we’ve created our own alcohol-free beer! We called it TO-GO Land, inspired by the changing bar & restaurant landscape because of COVID (namely, takeaway only). And we've got our homemade CBD kombucha & Apple Sour coming up! All alcohol-free, refreshing & perfectly thirst-quenching on a hot summer day.