Bartje put brown beans on the menu, third generation Westerbork restaurant owners keep it on the menu

Piggybacking on Bartje’s success. That was Bert Klomp’s plan when he started selling plates of brown beans in his museum farm in Westerbork in the 1970s. Fifty years later, the third generation still has beans and bacon on the menu.

Tournedos, quiche with spinach, crispy ice cream. Perhaps Bartje would have folded his hands for this. But the one dish he didn’t want to pray for is still on the menu in Westerbork: brown beans. “I don’t think it is even ten percent of the annual turnover,” says John Lubbinge, who recently owned the restaurant together with his partner Gerda Lubbinge-Schokker. “But it is certainly still on the menu,” his wife adds.

In 1970, Bert Klomp and Gerritje Hogeweg bought the farm on Hoofdstraat in Westerbork. They are turning it into a museum farm with an antiques business. Not exactly a fatty. Klomp sees that the TV series about the Drenthe boy Bartje is unprecedentedly popular. With a farm in the middle of the Drenthe countryside, he decides to try to benefit from the success. He transforms the front of the house into a brown bean restaurant.

In 2005, Lubbinge’s parents-in-law took over the business, the restaurant modernized, but the brown beans did not disappear. And even now that the third generation is at the helm, the bean is still being sold. But it is not poor people’s food like in Bartje’s time, you pay more than 20 euros for a bean dish.

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