In English, the term labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze, but Labyrinth Cocktail Food & Poetry Bar started in 2016 is Amsterdam’s only soul and poetry bar, situated in a district fast becoming known for its cuisine. Located on the outskirts of the Vondelpark on the Amstelveenseweg, this area called Oud-Zuid (old south) is famous for its leafy suburbs, international schools, trendy cafes, concert hall, museum square, and Albert Cuyp Market. It was developed at the end of the 19th century when Amsterdam was experiencing a 2nd golden age.
Labyrinth Cocktail Food and Poetry Bar is a place where poetry provides a jumping off point, getting diverse groups of people to share ideas, thoughts, and emotions. Amsterdam is home to 179 different nationalities and it’s with the idea of connecting these various nationalities that Sam Kingue Ebelle, started his business. Labyrinth was closed just recently, undergoing a sharp revamp. Gone are the bright lights and walls, the bar is now a darker soul and a more African style gives the bar an intimate feel, or as the locals would say it, gezellig.
The Kitchen is inspired by African Caribbean and American ingredients, offering a range of bites to share such as marinated fava beans with sun-dried tomatoes and ginger €7.50, Stewed Okra in tomato sauce with Cajun Spices, Coriander, Lemon and Bread €7,50 and Southern Fried Chicken with hot BBQ sauce €10,50. The special menu of the day (from €14,50) is displayed on a blackboard.
Famed far and wide for our extensive cocktail menu, each drink has a poetic spin. Timeless Mystery - if you decide to drink, chose one of the most delicious gins, then drink slowly and enjoy. As you’re drinking, bear in mind that in each drop, are 300 years of history and 11 generations of craft workers. Sam The Man - €12 onwards. Originally from Cameroon in Central African, Sam was raised in Paris and has been living in Amsterdam for the past 25 years making him a truly local-global figure. He started studying economics, but now working in the hospitality trade he is a qualified mixologist with a wealth of experience. He has managed cocktails bars in the center of Amsterdam including the trendy Pijp and has won several international Bar Tending and Best Bar of Amsterdam Awards. Sam’s passion lies in creating amazing and unusual beverages finding the right balance in each drink. As a true entrepreneur he works full-time and that means 6 days a week!
The job brings new challenges daily and the learning curve is perpendicular but the process of finding creative solutions has given him an agile and strong mind. It’s a labor of love, dedicated to the art of hospitality and business and a tough business too, but they seem to be making all the right moves.
With an impressive list of events ranging from weekly, monthly and every six weeks, Monday evening’s Open Mic nights including poetry, spoken word, and singer-songwriters, all in combination with music. From the last Saturday of the month Labyrinth Cocktail, Food & Poetry Bar to the 6 weekly Sunday evenings Jazz bands and poetry readings, the artists are mostly local-global or trans locals presenting to a live audience of the same kind.
When Labyrinth Cocktail, Food and Poetry Bar is in full swing, full of people sharing, eating and connecting is when the magic sets in – this is what gives them their buzz, what gives them energy and drives them to keep going. If you wish to participate in Amsterdam’s local poetry slam, then please contact them directly they are always open to new and fresh ideas.
Labyrinth Amstelveenseweg 53, 1075 VT Amsterdam