|Smokers, Tokers, and Jokers: Barney’s Lounge|
|Jul 14, 2008 at 10:11 AM|
by Joy Nedved
Amsterdam's relaxed and perfectly legal availability of high quality weed and hash is common knowledge all over the world. Therefore many first time visitors almost always want to hit the infamous coffee shops. Most of the time it’s not very hard to find the perfect place to take the out of towner. For the hippies, you go to Homegrown, for the typical fame-seeking tourist, you go to Dampkring (where Ocean’s 12 was filmed) and for the trendy you go to the Greenhouse Effect. However, where is the perfect place to take your mom, your dad, or even your grandmother for their first coffee shop experience?
It has to be devoid of any college/hostel hopping/backpacking tourist falling on their face type…you don’t want to scare mom and dad off on their first visit. It also has to be a place with some degree of class and respectability. So, after a lot of hazy field research, I think I’ve found the place.
Barneys Lounge downtown (Reguliersgracht 27) has the interior of an elegant teashop minus the fine china; snooty wait staff, and frou frou seating. The whole vibe is hip but not too trendy, modern but not avante gard, upscale but not holier than thou. The seating is mostly bar stools and some long, low slung tables in the back with classy yet comfortable benches. This shop’s style is different from the haphazard pub style décor or student lounge motif of most coffee shops. It also has a vaporizer that’s guaranteed to make your dad feel like he is smoking on the USS Enterprise. Plus, their menu has most of the high quality stuff as well as the more affordable stuff as well. I would suggest asking the bud tender for his/her recommendation of a good toke for the first timer. The staff is generally pretty helpful and charismatic. They will steer you straight and even take a picture of you and the parental units. Be sure to tell your mom that the lights in the bathroom are on motion sensors so that she doesn’t freak out if they go off and on.
Barneys has a nice intimate feel, not more than 15 people can hang here comfortably and it is rarely crowded during weekday afternoons. You may want to skip going in the evening as it does tend to attract an after five crowd. So head out after lunch on a weekday with mom and dad, smoke a few and then head on to the Van Gogh museum. I think your parents will have a newfound admiration for his work after a trip to Barneys Lounge. See you around the pipe.
Photographs by Melinda Kujawa
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