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A night out on the Reguliersdwarsstraat. With the current corona-lockdown of nightlife till April 28 we have to wait for it a bit, but it gives us something to look forward to.

by Wil Groot - 05 April 2020

length: 4 min. Printer Friendly Page  
Soho Mixes the Entire alphabet and Has it all

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
length: 4 minuten

“R ue du Vaseline” is the first thing that comes to mind when I walk into the street with my drinking buddy. I smile, and share my thoughts. The first stop is Blend, followed by Taboo, and around midnight we enter the Soho. The bouncer tells us that we are entering a gay club. It is busy and the first thing that strikes me is that there’s such a mix of people. I hear different languages and see the entire alphabet, with H for hetero included. That is typical of the Reguliers nowadays, bartender/manager Alexander whispers in my ear. He has a sensual voice and very attractive lips. I should add that Jorge in Blend and the bartender at Taboo are also very attractive. In that regard, there is no accounting for taste.

After the first beer comes the second and then a shot is offered. Alexander cheers and smiles. He knows his business. “Now watch this,” he tells me. The music is turned up and Katy Perry sings “Fireworks.” The bar staff is suddenly topless and are holding a fire breather. The audience goes along with it and is singing along. A true party atmosphere. Young and old, the entire GLBT alphabet is going wild. Drag queens are dancing with guests and many cell phones are capturing the moment. Alexander smiles.
When I leave just before closing time, I make an appointment with Alexander to have a chat for an article the next day. He gives me a kiss on the mouth, which lasts a little longer than usual. I grin and it is clear to me that he is good at what he does.

The following afternoon we are in Downtown and here too, memories come to the surface about all-nighters and having breakfast at Downtown, as well as picking up tourists. Those were the days!
Pray tell, Alexander. Soho has changed, but I would like to hear it from you.
“Soho is changing and will continue to change. We grow along with the guests. Last year, Soho celebrated its twentieth anniversary. We partied for a week. Every day something different, from new to old, from young to golden oldies. It was a small street party as well. We have grown over the years, and Soho always has had a success formula. The Regulier has its rainbow back.”

Soho then and now?
“The only thing that hasn’t changed is the interior. When I came to work here eight years ago, my first thought was that it could do with a make-over. Yet I soon realized that it has its charm and that it should stay.”

“Like Silver Foxes?,” I say while looking at him with a big smile on my face. “Of course, those are the best guests,” he answers, laughing. “For example, the entire bar is open during the weekend and as you could see yesterday, the roof will come off. Our customers come from all over the world. That gives Soho a kind of club feeling and then there is dancing upstairs. "

"During the week, it is mainly Dutch, regular guests. Yet it is great that the audience is more mixed nowadays. Gay, lesbian, straight, the entire alphabet. Everyone is welcome, as they should be. Our generation thinks it is wonderful that everyone can be in the same room. Isn’t that freedom?

Throughout the week, we have events. Thursdays are ‘Tasty Thursday.’ It is a night with drag shows. In between shows they mix with the crowd. There are also live music shows, such as percussion, which is a collaboration with the DJ. Because we tend to mix things, many different people from different walks of life get to know our bar. The drag shows are appreciated by a wider audience. Many famous Dutch people also visit, such as Nikkie Tutorials and Gerard Joling.”

“As you saw yesterday, things get wild late at night. We build it up to a climax. Topless behind the bar, but also for the bartenders it sometimes means physical contact. Well, you have to accept that. If it is a hot guest and there is attraction, then what’s stopping you?” He smiles when he says that. “Sometimes, they wait outside.”

My thoughts go back to my time behind the bar on Gran Canaria, where a daily plane of tourists arrived. Yes, the best thing about it was flirting with guests and the bar always served as a buffer. They also waited outside at times.

Soho, it is a true mishmash. Music, dance and drag shows follow each other. Soho changes with its audience. At night, it is vibrant. I ask Alexander if he found a jacket yesterday, because I lost it. He tells me that someone is bringing a jacket over. He took it home accidentally. Moments later, there is stunning young man in front of me. Smiling, I take my coat back. “Can I make it up to you?” he asks. “Let’s meet at the Soho tonight.” I walk out with a date that evening.

Soho Amsterdam, Reguliersdwarsstraat 36, Amsterdam.



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