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Discover Amsterdam’s LGBTQ+ history at Café ‘t Mandje, founded in 1927 by the fearless Bet van Beeren. Known as “Betje Bokkum,” Bet, an openly lesbian pioneer, turned this spot into a symbol of acceptance and freedom.

After a 26-year hiatus, Bet’s niece, Diana van Laar, revived the cafe in 2008, preserving its historical and cultural significance. The reopening, celebrated with an Oranjebal, recaptured Bet’s legendary parties, embodying inclusivity and joy.

‘t Mandje isn’t just a bar; it’s a living museum defying societal norms, where men danced with men and women with women. Bet’s leather-clad charisma enforced unique rules, like the famous “no kissing” policy, adding charm.

Greet van Beeren, Bet’s sister, continued the legacy post-Bet’s 1967 death until its 1982 closure due to drug-related issues on Zeedijk. Greet briefly resurrected the cafe during the 1998 Gay Games, paying homage to her sister’s legacy.

In 2007, on the 80th anniversary of Bet taking over the cafe, Greet, at 84, passed the torch to her niece Diana. Diana honored Greet’s wish to preserve the cafe’s originality, keeping everything as it was during Bet’s time.

The reopening involved meticulous renovations, focusing on preserving the original interior. The refurbished cafe, featuring 360° photos, technical images, and reproductions, ensures the preservation of its unique history. The iconic biljart, approximately 80 years old, underwent restoration, sponsored by Wilhelmina Biljartfabriek.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a gay traveler seeking a glimpse into the city’s past, Café ‘t Mandje is the place to be. Its enduring presence reflects a commitment to inclusivity and acceptance in Amsterdam. A replica of the cafe can be explored at the Amsterdam Museum, underlining its status as a symbol in gay history.

Managed by lesbians Laura Molenkamp and Marinda Filk, the cafe maintains its original look and feel, ensuring its continuity for another 100 years. Stepping inside Café ‘t Mandje is like a journey back in time, a living museum where visitors can enjoy cocktails, karaoke, and socializing.

In July 2022, Laura Molenkamp and Marinda Filk took over the management, maintaining the cultural heritage while modernizing staffing and programming. With a capacity of about 45, Café ‘t Mandje attracts a diverse crowd, with approximately 20% tourists and 80% locals from all around Holland.

Immerse yourself in Amsterdam’s rich LGBTQ+ history at Café ‘t Mandje – a place where every visit feels like a warm welcome home.

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Opening Hours

  • MondayClosed
  • Tuesday 16:00 - 01:00
  • Wednesday 16:00 - 01:00
  • Thursday 16:00 - 01:00
  • Friday 15:00 - 03:00
  • Saturday 15:00 - 03:00
  • Sunday 16:00 - 01:00

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