Among the Middle Eastern grocers and halal butchers that have long made Javastraat one of the liveliest strips in Amsterdam East, a steady influx of bar and restaurant openings has seen it transform into an even livelier centre of social activity by night.
The latest venue to open its doors, Bar Basquiat comes from a team of operators behind some of the city’s most popular bars including Bukowski, Lux and Café Weber. Taking over a prominent 290sqm corner site of a former supermarket, Basquiat was brought to life by Amsterdam based Studio Modijefsky and naturally, the poetry and paintings of its namesake are interpreted throughout.
Retained raw concrete beams, extensive use of metal mesh and polished red concrete flooring give the venue a raw, semi-industrial feel. Irregular material overlays and collages are a subtle nod to Basquiat’s artistic style, while select words and versus of the artist’s poetry dot the room and serve as more tangible references. Rows of bar stools, banquettes and mismatched table and chair arrangements break up the large space and ensure that Basquiat is an establishment with many faces –just as well, as the place is open from 7.30am on weekdays and until 3am on weekends.