A distinct British accent shouts “Grab them by the balls!” in the microphone, “Didi Trump is making Spijker Bar great again!” Ms. Didi Licious is spinning the bingo wheel under screens showing porn and slapstick. Tonight, Ms. Licious is Didi Trump, and the audience loves it.
Ms. Trump puts the tumultuous conclusion of the presidential elections in the United States into perspective. It is a full house, and bingo tickets can even be found on the billiards table. The bar sells buckets with beer and ice - six Heineken or Jupiler for the price of five. Didi Licious, the famous Drag Queen who earned her stripes in Manchester and Benidorm, is one of the many faces of Spijker Bar. Ms. Licious often wears FLASH WIg’Z wigs by her partner Ashley Emmanuel Henn. The fire crackles quietly in the background, while Didi turns the bingo wheel under loud cheering.
Spijker Bar is the oldest gay bar in Amsterdam, with an appearance that has changed little over the years. The darkroom is now the smoker’s room, but there’s still room for play. Each day, it is happy hour from 17:00-19:00. On Sunday, happy hour – with snacks - starts at 16:00. The Beer Bust on Tuesday offers draft beer for happy hour prices. On Saturday, the Big Jackpot Bingo starts at 18:00 and is hosted by Didi Licious or Dora Royale. But it does not stop there.
The owner of the bar, Paul Tarrant, tells us the Spijker Bar has been sponsoring the gay rugby team ARC Amsterdam Lowlanders for the past five years. Twice a year, the rugby club holds a fund-raising event in Spijker Bar. The bar recently started sponsoring Rainbow Squash Amsterdam as well. They will also have their meet and greet in Spijker Bar as of 2017. A bar for tough and sporty men! Spijker Bar hosted an event for Mr. Leather Amsterdam 2016, and the upcoming Amsterdam Bear Weekend 2017 is also scheduled.
On Thursday, Dora Royale hosts Pre Blue prior to Blue in Club Church in the same street. In 2017, DJ Doornroosje will host Lesbique, a spin-off of FLIKKER, for a mixed crowd of gays and lesbians.
If that is not enough, or if you prefer things quieter, you can also join the Spijker Bar Killer Pool Competition. You do need nerves of steel, as the competition is cut-throat. You will be up against the experienced pool players from the bar. Of course it is also possible to just sit at the bar and chat with the very friendly and service-minded bartenders.
It is a blessing that Amsterdam still has a diverse and innovative range of entertainment venues for gays, although locals tend to complain about it. The fact that the oldest gay bar or in any case the longest running gay bar in Amsterdam is still really active truly makes the Spijker Bar a place you must have visited at least once.
Spijkerbar, Kerkstraat 4
Open daily from 16:00