43

H.J. van de Kerkhof

Elandsgracht-HJ Van de Kerkhof

This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shop has a rather contrasting reputation. The specialist bar none in decorative elements ranging from borders and trimmings,  through to ropes and laces has become a bit of a legend since it opened for business in 1938. Among its regulars, van de Kerkhof proudly counts the National Ballet Palace het Loo and the Dutch Opera Foundation. How’s that for some casual name dropping? The grandfather of current owner Manuelle originally established the business on the Wolvenstraat, on the other side of the bridge across the Prinsengracht.  The shop only moved to the Elandsgracht in 2010 and was in time handed down to the son, who in time handed the shop down to Manuella, who continues expanding the shop’s service and reputation. Step inside this place and you do actually feel as if you stepped into a different dimension. Such warmth and lovely colours meet your senses here that you walk around in amazement for a while.

contact

Elandsgracht 43

1016 TN

+3120 6234084

www.kerkhofpassementen.com

HJ van de Kerkhof
8

Gr8acht

Elandsgracht-Gr8cht

You know the kind of store where you wander past, you, stop, walk back feeling unexplicably intrigued and just go in to explore? Right, well, new addition Gr8cht is exactly this kind of shop and that alone makes it a wonderful addition to the Elandsgracht. It opened for business in April 2012, when entrepreneur Jos decided on the location here. The things on display make you happy just by looking at them, so presumably even happier by buying them. Which is precisely how Jos, owner of the place, decides her inventory: she bases her decision on what to sell on what she likes. And it does not take an expensive marketing guru to state that it’s a lot easier -and more fun- to sell things that you are excited about. The products she sells range from clothing, scented candles and soap to sturdy yet elegant dining tables and delicate interior decorations. Another lovely thing about this shop – you can spend a little or a lot, depending on your taste and budget.

contact

Elandsgracht 8

1016 TV

+3120 6257717

www.gr8acht.nl

Gr8acht
70

Koentact

Elandsgracht-Koentact

This language school offers Dutch courses to highly educated internationals (expats) who are here for work, university studies or less formal reasons. The 60 new students that Koentact hosts every 5 weeks, work mostly for international companies such as Air France, Tommy Hilfiger and Nike. They follow the lessons in private or in group form. What sets Koentact apart, is its approach to teaching the language: the Dutch lessons focus predominantly on the combination of language and culture. Therefore, students go out on the streets during which they are encouraged to put into practice their newly learned vocabulary by interacting with Amsterdam locals. Theory alone is fine, but nothing quite helps the memory as practice, when you want to learn Dutch. Koentact also organizes the Amsterdam Language Café for everyone who wants to practice his foreign languages, so also for the ‘real Amsterdammer’. It is this sympathetic, original and personal approach that suits the spirit of the Elandsgracht to a tee.

contact

Elandsgracht 70

1016 TX

+3120 7371616

www.koentact.nl

Koentact groep
105

Baobab

Elandsgracht-Baoab

You have your restaurants, your clothing stores, your dry cleaning businesses, you name it, it is all to be found on the Elandsgracht. And then there is Baobab. A shop that is truly in a league of its own. An oasis in the lively gracht that hasn’t been a “gracht” since about a century. Step inside this place and it’s like you stepped into a Bedouin’s tent in a sandy place that still knows the meaning of summer. Owner Thea started her business in the 1960s, as a hobby. She and Baobab have grown up together on the Elandsgracht, as have her customers who first walked in as twenty somethings and have kept coming back as they became parents or even grandparents. Handmade jewellery, crafted ornaments, decorations, pieces of art, pottery, this store carries it all, from all the different continents. And there’s even more in the basement, which one imagines is what Ali Baba’s treasure cove may have looked like. By all means come in for a visit. Just make sure to take your time to marvel at all the amazing artifacts on offer.

contact

Elandsgracht 105

1016 TT

+3120 6268398

www.baobab-aziatica.nl

Baobab
148

Hair Look Haarmode

Elandsgracht-Hairlook

Hair Look can rightly be labeled one of the cornerstones of the Elandsgracht since it has been part of it, on the far corner, for more then thirty years. Peter, the owner, is so down to earth about it that you’d almost forget how remarkable an achievement it is. Plotting his own course and staying well away from expansion is the explanation he offers for this success. The only service he added is a fish massage whereby dozens of tiny Kangal fish give your feet a peeling treatment. The salon is small – almost too small, one might think- but it fits six seats and the atmosphere is never less than relaxed and fun. Service is key to this business and it shows: literally everyone can walk in here without appointment for a haircut. Plus should you have to wait, there are laptops you can kill time with. An unexpected and fairly unique bit of extra service. You might say this business was cut out for the Elandsgracht.

contact

Elandsgracht 148

1016 VC

+3120 6272954

www.hairlook.nl

Hair Look
51

Lijstenmakerij Bel Ami

Elandsgracht-Lijstenmaker Bel Ami

Bel Ami frame makers and all-round art specialistsis unmistakeable by its sheer appearance. You are, by judging the store by it’s storefront, invited to step in and you won’t be disappointed. With its decorative, elegant wooden front panelling Bel Ami has become a very familiar face on the gracht. If anything, that description is almost more a cliche than a surprise, seeing as how the store celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012. Loved by its regulars, highly spoken of by connaisseurs, its reputation belies the store’s humble interior. Run with a profound love for, and interest in, art, especially art that can be hung on walls. Owner Marieke and her dedicated staff not only frame your prized images, they also restore works of art to their original glory. That takes patience, incredible eye for detail and a custom approach for each painting they work on. It is this specialised, tailored approach that has cemented its reputation.

contact

Elandsgracht 51

1016 TN

+3120 6273432

www.belami.nl

IMG_6032
296k

Woonbootmuseum

Elandsgracht-Woonbootmuseum

If there is one place in Amsterdam that disproves the old Dutch adage that you have to travel a ways for the best things in life, it is the houseboat-museum, situated alongside the Prinsengracht, at the very beginning of the Elandsgracht. The Hendrika Maria, as the boat is called, is situated in this beautiful location since 1997.  Owner Vincent van Loon got the idea for the museum when he used to live in a houseboat himself and dealt with dozens of curious glances at his home on the water every day. His idea was golden, and visitors numbers have exceeded all Vincent’s expectations. The boat that houses the museum dates back to 1914. It even spent some time at the bottom of the canal during World War Two, to keep the occupying forces from getting their hands on it. The museum offers a unique perspective on living on the water as well as, through the small windows, on the Elandsgracht and the Prinsengracht.

contact

Prinsengracht 296k

1016 HW

+3120 4270750

www.houseboatmuseum.nl

Woobootmuseum
142

Vroom & Nobbe

Vroom & Nobbe

Vroom & Nobbe optician is a business that has been handed down to the second generation of the Nobbe family. They are currently starting to prepare the next generation to take over in due course. The shop at number 142 has graced the Elandsgracht since 1947, so a remarkable 65th birthday is celebrated in 2012. All this time, it has never delivered anything less than “five star service”, as current owner, and nephew to the founder, explains. In turn, he has trained his son and daughter in the business, whereby the relevance and importance of true craftsmanship and specialism are accentuated.After all, it’s these aspects that differentiates Vroom & Nobbe from its competitors. But the shop has more aces up its sleeves. It visits people at home to bring its services to their doorstep, and does all the polishing, grinding and measurements by hand. That is not to say it shies away from technological advances: it has a feature on its website whereby you can see what different frames look like on your own face. Whether you need new glasses, lenses or nothing of the sort – this is a shop to treasure.

contact

Elandsgracht 142

1016 VC

+3120 6239783

www.vroomennobbe.nl

Vroom & Nobbe
60

Tenue de Nîmes

ReneEnMennoPortret1

Talk about your not-so standard success story. Ask any economist, businessperson or other so-called expert what the prognosis woud be for a denim boutique that was to open its doors right on the eve of the biggest global economic meltdown since the early 1930s and their smirks and laughter would probably be heard all over town.  Which, Tenue de Nimes have proven, is precisely why one should at all times not be distracted by outside voices and only listen to their own conviction. Nearly four years on, and the place is even more flourishing, original, vibrant and just lovely to spend some time and money in, than it was in November 2008. They have gained massive momentum in real life, but also huge support online, thanks to their passionate blogs, special events, collaborations with the biggest brands in not just denim history but in the clothing industry in general. Eye for detail, for authenticity, knowledge of history and the classics, and service is what started the word of mouth and made so many people fall in love with this treasure on the Elandsgracht.

contact

Elandsgracht 60

1016 TX Amsterdam

+3120 3204012

www.tenuedenimes.com

Tenue_de_Nimes01
12

Galerie Rob Koudijs

Elandsgracht-Rob Koudijs

Owner Rob left one gallery to spread his wings and start his own in 2007. His gallery, named simply and effectively after himself, specialises in modern jewellery. It is partly the result of the experience Rob had built up in his previous gallery and partly the realisation of turning what was already a hobby into a profession. He convinced some of the artists that he already represented to come with him, but had to re-establish himself  by doing the rounds to sign new names to his business. Thanks to his extensive network and his familiarity with the Rietveld Academy, and other such places, this did not take too long. To his surprise and joy, his name and reputation still attracts both the more established artists and the new generation of artists.

contact

Elandsgracht 12

1016 TV

+3120 3318796

www.galerierobkoudijs.nl

Rob Koudijs