Haarlem pubs, bars and cafés open again for social engagement

A pint of Stolen Bicycle Brewery's Sticky Fingers stout on the bar at Tierney's Irish Pub, Haarlem.
Stolen Bicycle Brewery’s Sticky Fingers at Tierney’s Irish Pub, Haarlem

It feels like being home again, now the doors are finally unlocked. Haarlem’s bars and cafés can breathe again. The throttling grip on hospitality’s beating heart has been released. The overcautious restrictions that made hospitality a scapegoat for society’s challenges — and sometimes unwillingness — in curbing a virulent threat are no more. For now.

Peering out from prolonged hibernation, my ‘local’ is awake. Officialdom may have closed the doors, but brighter days lay ahead.

The welcoming embrace of our favourite bars is a much-needed shot of warmth, companionship and social engagement. Please, powers-that-be, no more ill-considered scapegoating; society’s mental health needs focus, not a sledgehammer failing to crack a walnut!