By Shreeya Khanna and Lukas Stock
Storm Eunice is predicted to hit the Netherlands with gusts of up to 130 km/h on the night of the 18th of February 2022. Cafes in Groningen struggle with low attendance but nevertheless plan to remain open.
9to5 Groningen talked with Prof. dr. Wouter Peters, professor of Geosciences at the University of Groningen. He said that the storm would be “pretty severe” and these kinds of winds can only be seen every 5 to 8 years.
Annika Klinkenberg co-owns the café Revista, a coffee truck parked on Herenbrug. She told 9to5: “Most of the cafes are still open or people are sitting inside. As Revista is a truck under a tree and we have no seating area, it was not an option to open”. She further added, “It was not that bad of a day as people passed by in the morning hours. It was not a terrible day as a cafe owner.”
While there was a slight drizzle and occasional gusts, Chris* from De Drie Gezusters was still wrapping their large umbrellas in the outside area.
“We just don’t want to get them blown away”, he said. He however still estimated that some students might be coming out to their cafe tonight. “Sometimes students are just crazy, and they want to party”, he noted.
He believes that they would not care much for the wind, but expects that most guests would stay away if it would also rain.
Jan Hoeve from the Bar Negendecirkel also does not believe that the storm would affect his business: “We have a roof, we have walls, it is no problem”.
As it is the first night in months that bars are allowed to open until 1am, he just can’t believe customers wouldn’t go out tonight. “After staying at home for two years, they now just want to go for a beer”, he stated.
Unlike on sunnier days, however, the streets in the city center of Groningen were very empty and only a few people could be seen in the local bars this afternoon.
A staff member of the Bar Concerthuis, Ester*, already noticed that fewer people were attending their bar. “It’s super quiet”, she said. Nevertheless, they plan to stay open “as always”, especially “as today is the first night that they are allowed to open until 1am”.
She is therefore afraid that the low attendance would affect their business negatively. This was also reaffirmed by a waiter at Huis de Beurs, who noted that there were surprisingly few reservations for a Friday night.
*These sources prefered to be only mentioned by their first name.