The restaurant opened its doors for the first time on 23 October 2010, during the first morning of Design Week. It was unbelievably crowded almost instantly. After that insane week, things started quieting down (fortunately). At times, we worried that perhaps it was too quiet; there were even evenings when it was up to us and our friends and family to liven things up. But week after week, month in month out, it gradually became busier, not to mention more sophisticated, more fun and of better quality. Slowly but surely, we outgrew that charming pioneering phase when small parties of customers discover our restaurant in the ‘middle of nowhere’, and are gradually developing into a team that is really starting to find its groove and is able to transform a crowded, noisy room into a cosy, welcoming retreat in a professional manner.
It is looking more and more like the decision to manage our own restaurant instead of outsourcing management was the right one. Laura (Nob’s wife), who actually would have preferred a lunchroom, has instead been handed a large restaurant - a ‘mission impossible’ - but, after 25 years, knows and understands this company better than anyone, making her the perfect person to truly work in the spirit of Eek & Ruijgrok. After all, our goal is to create a restaurant that is logically linked in some way to our company - a place where ingredients, tradition and professional skill in the kitchen play a key role, a place with an innovative, natural ambiance.
We continue to discover new possibilities and add new ideas. We are continuously changing the interior, menu and everything that can be experienced and seen. We sometimes do this to create a link to other activities in and around the building. For instance, at times you will not find the works of art on display solely in the exhibition rooms, but throughout the entire building, including the restaurant. You may suddenly find yourself eating dinner next to an enormous buffalo created by Tom Claassen or under a Guido Geelen Christmas tree. Classical concerts, performances and guided tours (or, rather, ‘walking narratives) are also organised in combination with a meal in the restaurant.
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