Yet another hotspot has popped up in the achingly cool, ever up-and-coming, Amsterdam Oost. Named in honour of the great American artist, Bar Basquiat effortlessly embodies the bold and frenetic work of its namesake. And coming from the brains behind Bar Bukowski, De Biertuin, and Smokin’ Barrels – it’s safe to say it was going to be a hit.
The spirit of neo-expressionist painter, Jean-Michel Basquiat, is effortlessly captured in the distressed metal and paint-splattered concrete of the space which was cleverly designed by Studio Modijefsky using different materials to reflect the building’s previous life as a supermarket. The menu hangs in the form of a huge receipt in the former position of the cash register, whilst cork furniture in the window sills refer to the nut and dried fruits section of the shop. Meanwhile, graffiti-style scribbling, for which Basquiat was renowned, tastefully adorns the walls and menus. Whilst contrasting wire mesh encloses the clean yet bold bar area, where the pastel reds and neon lighting appear to pay homage to the classic American diner.
Not only is this aesthetic collage of Basquiat’s quotes, sketches and works an example of yet another painfully cool bar in Amsterdam, but Bar Basquiat also maintains the standard when it comes to drinks and bites. With an enviably extensive list of both local and imported beers and unconventional collection of street-style dishes from Lebanese Pizzas to Peking Duck, this hotspot perfectly reflects the diverse neighbourhood of the surrounding Javastraat.
All photos by Maarten Willemstein.