Bar Mokum – An Ode to Amsterdam
“Discover cities by their bars and countries by their spirits” is my personal credo. This time I revisited the Amsterdam bar scene after five years. Bar Mokum celebrated its opening a couple of weeks ago. A bar that is an ode to the city and its citizens. A bar that serves excellent drinks and puts a smile on your face. What else could you ask for? I liked it so much that I went there twice in a row. Join me on a sip.
There is always a special relationship between a city and its bars. Bar Mokum serenades the city, its citizenry and visitors from afar, its rebellious yet inclusive nature. The name Mokum, meaning “safe haven”, derives from Yiddish and is a nickname for Amsterdam. The brain behind it is Leroy Soumokil. He is well known in the bar scene, has proven his skills in many competitions and now it was time to open his own bar. The cherry on the cake is his open and funny manner, not taking himself too seriously but being a perfect host at the same time. The rest of his team is great and we had so much fun that I am still smiling while writing this article.
Follow me downstairs, next to Moak Pancakes, and open the wooden door (my stickers will guide the way). As soon as I stepped in I was in a totally new world. “I have just entered a house but now I am outside again?” I asked myself. Was there a courtyard in the basement? I hesitated to take off my jacket and looked at my wonderful company Attadrink who seemed just as confused as me. We both felt like we were outside.
Bar Mokum draws inspiration from a characteristic street of Amsterdam to create a bar that offers escapism from the daily routine paired with a unique guest experience.
There is a little red light area in the bar, some booths for cosy togetherness, a shining Heineken advertisement, a communal table in front of a wall covered in wooden panelling decorated with vintage posters from the 80s, and even plastic moss in the gaps between the panels. There are so many details to discover here. Each one is extremely accurate and we especially liked the fake dirt and cracks in the paving stones. Others make the bar clean, here, street dirt is desired deco.
The design of the bar counter is based on a pagoda at Vondelpark. Another ode to the city of Amsterdam. Dutch spirits and liquors are lined up on the back bar. Kopstootje, a centuries-old Dutch drinking ritual cannot be missing, of course. For those who don’t know it: The ritual begins with a nearly overflowing, tulip-shaped glass of Genever and a glass of beer, which works as a chaser. You have to bend over, and, without using your hands, slurp the top off the Genever. This “little head-butt” is the so-called kopstootje.
I love stroopwafels, the archetypical Dutch cookies, and I like Espresso Martinis. From the “opening month cocktail list” my concoction of choice was the Gleuvenrijder. An extremely delicious drink with Bols Corenwyn Genever infused with stroopwafel, espresso, coffee liqueur and salted caramel syrup. The menu is in progress and the spirit selection is still growing as the bar opened its doors only a few weeks ago. I’m already in love. Trust your bartender and tell them your preferences. I cannot get enough of bars with heart and soul and a caring barteam.
Bar Mokum puts hospitality first with a friendly welcoming vibe extended by a well thought-out concept and a holistic guest experience.
Your ears are treated to laidback music and when that little hunger comes order a meat or cheese platter. Congratulations to Leroy and Team on their successful start.
Visit Bar Mokum