Prinsengracht 478
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tel: 020 422 1935

Amsterdam, Netherlands: The world's first self-serve bar


Count on Amsterdam to make improvements in hedonism; streamlining the access to vice, if you will. Like at MiNiBAR, where they've done away with bartenders altogether—so you can get to the booze faster.

Here, at the world's first self-serve bar, you check in with the concierge (or reserve online) and are given a key to one of 45 fridges stocked with premium everything, from booze to snacks. (There's also a small menu of Asian dishes supplied by local purveyors Soho Sushi and Taste of Culture.) High counters or low couches provide surfaces for drink-mixing and mingling.

For those with specific tastes, some fridges are specialty-stocked: The beer cases include an international selection of every major (bottled) brew you can think of-from Weihenstaphaner to Vedett to Corona-while the champagne fridge is all Gossett, all the time. Not that we'd complain to have to drink anything churned out by one of the oldest champagne houses in France. (Though if pressed, we'd go for the Grand Millésime.)

At the end of the night, just like with a hotel minibar, they do a quick stock check and hand you your tab.

Only hitch: No bartenders means no-one to discreetly suggest that you might have had enough—you're on your own recognizance for that.

Photo: Menno Kok/MiNiBAR

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