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News from the city

It's quiet in downtown Dordrecht. Yet all sorts of things are still happening. New and existing Dordrecht entrepreneurs continue to buzz with great initiatives and developments as a result.

With the lockdown and the forced closure of non-essential stores, there are far fewer people on the streets. Of course, like every business owner, they suffer from the restrictive measures, but confidence in the future prevails. From now on it will only get better!

Stronger together on the water!

Last year in May, Jacob van Poppel started JAAPevents. With his sloop Mevrouw De Wit he offers cruises and arrangements through the historic city center or the Biesbosch, suitable for all kinds of occasions ranging from team outing to bachelor party. Coincidentally, Pim Baan found the same gap in the market and started Sloep Dordrecht at about the same time with his Hanneken: a similar boat to that of Mevrouw De Wit. Long story short: the two young enthusiastic entrepreneurs, both in their early thirties, joined forces and continued together under a new name; DRIJF Dordrecht.

"We are starting with three boats, our old sloops supplemented by the much larger former lifeboat 't Zwarte Schaap which we have refurbished," Jacob says of future plans. "This boat is ideally suited for the somewhat larger groups. We are making arrangements with the Dordrecht hospitality industry for new arrangements such as wine tastings, lunches, or drinks on board. Corona permitting, we will start in April to make the most beautiful trips again in May."

Read more about DRIJF Dordrecht

Jaap events and sloop dordrecht

Fier moved and proud of new location

After eight years on Vriesestraat, Fier, the skate shop with a wide assortment of well-known brands such as OBEY, Nike and Carhartt, recently moved to Voorstraat 222 next to the former Berckepoort. Like the previous location, it has been beautifully remodeled with minimal resources by Zev van Sluysdam, one of the two associates, also a carpenter. Arjan van Biemen is the other partner. Together with his girlfriend and newborn son, he lives above the business. It is a purchase property so he is also his own landlord. The reason for the move has to do with this; it was about the future-proofing of Fier.

"A friend asked us some time ago if we could promise that Fier will always exist. If we could, he would get a tattoo of Fier. Good question we thought. We certainly want that, but how do we do it? Buying premises ourselves instead of renting was our conclusion. The new location is a little smaller, but still beautiful and ready for the future. In recent years we have built up a large loyal clientele who fortunately also continue to buy online. Still, we hope to organize a big grand opening soon where the whole world can see what we are so proud of."

Read more about Fier Skateshop
Fier Dordrecht

Syrian cuisine on the Dordrecht map

Alaa Aldeen is a famous character in the East, known in Holland as the main character in the 1001 night fairy tale Aladdin and the Wonderlamp. With the spirit from this lamp, Aladdin makes wishes come true. For Mohamad Ammar and his wife, in the Netherlands since 2015, it symbolizes their brand-new restaurant at 441 Voorstraat: conjuring up the most delicious Syrian dishes on the table. They are succeeding particularly well at this so far judging from the reactions of their customers and friends they often cook for. All of them are enthusiastic about the Syrian cuisine with many vegetarian dishes, the fresh products, homemade cookies, pizzas and much more. Indeed, partly on the advice of Dutch friends, they came up with the idea to start Alaa Aldeen, the first Syrian restaurant in Dordrecht.

"Besides ordering and picking up yourself, you can also place an order through Thuisbezorgd. We look forward to the period after corona with confidence and full of plans. We will be open all day for breakfast, coffee with some goodies, lunch and dinner. Moreover, we are going to try a lot of new dishes. We will put Syria on the Dordrecht map with love."

Read more about Alaa Aldaan Grillroom

Alaa Aldeen Grill Room

Eye for eyes | Optiek Dordrecht

Shirwan Kadir missed the customers and the customers missed him. For that reason, the experienced optician opened his brand new and thoroughly renovated store Optiek Dordrecht on Voorstraat 271 in December. In 2017, he quit his branch of Specsavers in downtown Dordrecht after thirteen years. Part-time teaching, already since 2004, at the optics school of Da Vinci Dordrecht he has always continued to do so. By the way, he still does, but now together with optics. A perfect combination, according to Kadir. "It's great to impart knowledge about the profession I love while also practicing it myself.

Many of my former clients have been asking over the past few years when I would start again, and now the time has come. They also already know how to find me again. To reach new clients, this is a difficult time. Many things are at a standstill while word of mouth is the most important thing in my business. Eyes are such important organs. I find it a challenge to find a solution for special situations, for example when it comes to difficult eyes or special (hard) lenses. It's great when it works out in the end. Even though it is difficult now, I consider it an ordeal. From now on, it will only get better."

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optics dordrecht

Bubble tea is back | Happy Lin

Since Jan. 21, bubble tea has been back on the scene. Surinamese-Chinese restaurant Happy Lin, at Voorstraat 282, sells no less than 18 flavors ranging from strawberry, mango to chocolate. The drink, which came over from Taiwan, is characterized by the small tough balls at the bottom of the sweet drink and the foam layer on top created by shaking.

Bubble tea is especially popular with young people, and so are the three children of one of Happy Lin's employees. She says that her children aged 18, 20 and 21 and their friends even went to Rotterdam to buy what they thought was super tasty bubble tea. This for the simple reason that it was not available in Dordrecht. So why not offer it at Happy Lin? It is a trendy addition to the other Surinamese-Chinese dishes like sandwiches and soups that Happy Lin sells. Due to corona, it is currently only available for takeout. The same goes for the bubble tea, of course. For €3.50 you will enjoy a bubble tea completely customized and to your own taste.

Read more about Happy Lin

bubble tea - Happy Lin