A fish shop in central Amsterdam has been told it must shut by the start of June for being too tourist-oriented, reports the Parool on Friday.
The Seafood Bar on the busy Leidestraat has apparently breached rules banning new tourist shops in the city centre, which were announced to deal with local concerns about nuisance and crowding.
But the business has launched a Facebook appeal – in English – protesting that it is really ‘trying to add something unique and different’ as ‘an authentic seafood shop with more than 70 different high-quality fish products.’
The appeal from the owners, Family de Visscher, has had more than 2,300 shares and 3,000 comments on Facebook, with people who do not want it to close entering their home post codes.
One commentator, Sander van der Loos, added that the shop was ‘at last a different type of shop from the sausage factory of the centre’, slamming the ban as ‘incomprehensible bureaucracy and first class incompetence’.
Fons de Visscher, the shop owner, told the Parool that he thought the decision was quite simply cod: ‘If this is a tourist shop, then I have spent my whole life in the tourist trade instead of in fish,’ he reportedly said.
An Amsterdam inspector’s report, however, said the shop had flouted various rules including – according to the Parool – using a plank as a table where people eat food, as in a restaurant. It apparently noted that the shop sells fried fish and has panini sandwiches in its window.
The city authorities sent the business a two-week warning to close unless it stops preparing food for immediate consumption and removes cooking apparatus – although the owner claims he has signed a rental contract for 10 years.
Last week the new coalition government announced a raft of stringent measures to stop the ‘Disneyfication’ of the city, including banning Airbnb-type rental in certain areas.
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