A Beautiful Mess – Dining in a prison

A Beautiful Mess – Dining in a prison

For most Dutch people this location is iconic. It is located in ‘De Bijlmerbajes’ or the former prison located in the area called ‘De Bijlmer’. There is also an official name, but you can Google that. It is now being torn down for housing purposes. But the building is now being used by several businesses and organizations. One of them is ‘A Beautiful Mess’. It is located in the old sewing, clothing repair area of the prison. This restaurant is something else. The vibe is very different than anything you will ever visit. They serve a mix of different eastern dishes, like baba ghanoush, hummus, bread, vegetable soup. Most of it is vegetarian, but there are some meat dishes as well.

The staff consists of volunteers and the setting is very prison-ish. You can still see the sewing machines in a corner of the room. And all the signs that are a reminder of prison life are still there. As long as this place is not being torn down, you need to go and visit this piece of Amsterdam history. Oh yeah, a plane crashed in this area as well. Sometime in the early ‘ 90s.

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