“We want people from all different ages, cultures and clusters in the city to come here and, in one way or another, enrich themselves culturally”

Photos by: Timo Steenvoorden Photography

This week we went over to Amsterdam’s newest venue to have popped up in the city: De Marktkantine. In the Western area, right next to the Food Center, there lies a multifaceted building that carries a lot of history with it. Built in the early the 20th century, as a canteen for the market salesmen that were working right nextdoor, De Marktkantine (formerly known as Marcanti) went through  countless destinations starting from the 90s onwards. Sadly the different owners came and went since nobody seemed to be able to make a real impact in the Amsterdam nightlife with the place.

Last year, however, Eelko Anceaux took over the spot with the idea to give the place the turn-around and position that it deserves in the city’s cultural realm. Gradually he started to incorporate different parties to his endeavor, all local professionals from various backgrounds in the entertainment/event industry, like Cartel and Apenkooi (Straf_Werk, DGTL). The goal of this collaboration? To create a proper cultural contribution to the city and its inhabitants by focusing on different aspects of leisure. De Marktkantine’s managing director Wytze Dijk (Cartel) explains: “First and foremost, De Marktkantine will be more than a club, it will house a restaurant, radio station and the main rooms can also be used for markets, theater & award shows and even a cinema”.

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As we walked through the entrance into the main lobby, the building’s mural artist Narouz was meticulously putting the final touches to the impressive wall paintings that bejewel the surrounding, immediately creating a certain artistic vibe to the setting. When I asked Wytze what the target audience would be, he replied that “We want people from all different ages, cultures and clusters in the city to come here and, in one way or another, enrich themselves culturally; be it through dancing, theater, eating and more”.

Even though the first event has already taken place (Voltt Festival’s afterparty), De Marktkantine’s club will be properly baptized during its three-day ADE program, hosted by Pleinvrees, Next Monday’s Hangover with Pampa and thirdly Berlin imprint Suol, who will have a label showcase in cooperation with Amsterdam’s Prisma. Do you guys have a particular musical objective you want to purvey? “Well we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves to one typical style of dance music that can be heard here. Different sounds and genres are welcome. What we do want, is to always reach a certain standard during a club night, regarding the line-up for instance. If the quality is all agreed upon by our team, than it doesn’t matter whether that will be a techno, house or deep house night. For example in November we will have a Cartel X ZeeZout night here, which of course is miles away from the melodic, deep sound of Pleinvrees or Suol. So the approach is accessible and broad and hopefully people will get this. In no way are we trying to create an elitist atmosphere here”.

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Studio K is a venue that also tries to combine different aspects in one setting: movie theater, restaurant, pub, club. They could barely make ends meet at one point. How can you ensure that you will do it differently? 
“That’s a pitfall, and it’s something that I think about on a daily basis. We’re going to make sure that the total span of De Marktkantine won’t be too stretched, like you say, for this will surely play out badly for the venue’s overall quality. But then again, Studio K is run by students, and with all due respect, we’re a team of people from the industry with years and years of experience under our belt. That goes a long way as well I think”.

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What about a 24-hour license? Looking at the location here it would go hand in glove right? “
There is not an official prospect for that yet. But mayor Van Der Laan did announce during the nightmayor elections last week that there will be new 24-hour licenses granted to other venues. It is definitely something that we can think about in the future, but for now we need to keep our eyes and attention peeled to the here and now without overplaying our hand”. Even so, you’re the talk of the town right now. “So I notice, and those are really motivating signals for us to push it and really make something out of this. You know Trouw is closing soon so people are already on the look-out for a new place that could perhaps take it over”. Will you be next Trouw? “No, we’ll be the first Marktkantine”.