Outdoor cafe Esplanade will remain closed for a while despite relaxation of the measures

Outdoor cafe Esplanade will remain closed for a while despite relaxation of the measures

Have a drink outdoors on campus? Even if the sun finally starts shining again, a Friday afternoon drink on the outdoor café of the Esplanade restaurant is out of the question for the time being. The restaurant will remain closed for a while. The interior is being refurbished.

Esplanade’s outdoor cafe, last year.

You cannot have missed it: all over the country, the outdoor cafes are open again, from Wednesday until eight o’clock in the evening. For many, it is a welcome relaxation of the measures, after the long months in which the catering industry was closed. But on the Tilburg campus, the tables, which in better times form the outdoor cafe in front of Building E, will remain indoors for the time being. “An unpleasant coincidence,” is what director Tim Wijdemans of operator Bonheur Horeca Group calls it.

That Esplanade’s outdoor cafe will not open at the same time as other catering establishments is partly bad luck, he says. “We had wanted to do something with the interior for a long time; the restyling of Esplanade had been on the agenda for quite some time. Something like that never comes at a good time, and we would have preferred to have done it last winter. But you depend on the availability of people to carry out something like that.”

Still, it is not the end of the bitterbal for Wijdemans, who sees that the demand for outdoor seating is not that great yet. “On campus, a lot of coronavirus measures are still in place though, and the university has to follow government guidelines. As a result, there are hardly any students and staff, and it just doesn’t make sense to open all the dining options on campus.” 

Wijdemans expects to reopen, at least partially, in June, depending on the measures in place then. What will the restaurant look like after the makeover? “Very cool. There is a completely new outdoor cafe waiting to be put into use. Come and have a look soon.”

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