Dinner and Dice at Stroop
For a few years now, it seems board and card games have been making a serious comeback. And why shouldn’t they? Nerds have known it all along, playing games is cool. Different venues in the city, among which Rotown, have experimented with board game nights, but my favorite location for a competitive night of Secret Hitler has to be Stroop.
A little off the beaten track, but perhaps that’s part of the attraction, Stroop can be found in Rotterdam West at the Mathenesseweg. The boardgame night is organized by Pioniers van het Westen, about every other week. Everyone can join in and if you make sure to register beforehand through their Facebook page, you can even take part in the communal dinner (they experiment with different cuisines, from Italian to Malaysian, but it’s aways good).
The vibe at Stroop is perhaps a little difficult to describe because it combines so many elements in one big open space. It’s not really a café or a bar, they prefer to refer to themselves as a ‘living room’, open to everyone. Stroop invites artists to exhibit and sell their works or people from the neighborhood (or even a little further) to organize their own events there.
Oh, and did I mention the delicious waffles?
The name of the place, Stroop, translates to ‘Syrup’, and as the name suggests they serve delicious ‘stroopwafels’. Caramel waffles, but not just any old kind. They are all made fresh and on top of the regular variety they make specials like waffles with sea salt or lemon zest, and even with bacon bits. They also serve breakfast and lunch, with sandwiches provided by Jordy’s Bakery.
But back to the board games. Because of its mixed vibe Stroop offers the ultimate opportunity to settle down with friends and strangers alike. The crowd is a mixed bag; different ages, regulars and first-time attendees, avid boardgame lovers and people just coming over for the ‘gezelligheid’ and a waffle. The music is present in the background but not too loud, for those of us who like to focus on plotting our victory. Stroop has a game collection of its own to get people started and the people that work there will happily join in for a game of Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride.
All in all, a visit is highly recommended for boardgame lovers and people looking for an accessible way to meet others. So jot it down in your schedule now: board games at Stroop, every other Thursday night.