An abandoned tropical swimming paradise

An abandoned tropical swimming paradise

Anybody that turns a neglected swimming pool into a trendy bar grabs my attention. A café/restaurant, city park, mushroom nursery, and a coffee-roaster shop…? I couldn’t resist taking a look at the Aloha Bar, based in the former Tropicana water park. That Sunday afternoon I hit the jackpot. The sun was shining, the ‘Aloha party weekend’ was happening and Bill and his Hawaiians (including Hula dancers) had taken to the stage. Outside, in the former paddling pool, there was even a hula-hoop workshop. Really, it doesn’t get more tropical than that. Meanwhile Rotterdam had been won over on the spot.

When it was first opened in 1988, this complex was undoubtedly state-of-the-art. This we believe. But in the meantime Tropicana had become dated and battered by the sands of time. But with just a few small changes, the new operators have turned the swimming pool into an extraordinary tropical oasis on the river Maas.

A quick glance still tricks you into thinking it’s an abandoned swimming paradise: knee-high weeds, a mix & match of furniture here and there, a dried-up outside pool with a little bridge and so on. Close your eyes and you can still imagine the pool sounds. But it’s this haggardness that makes the Aloha Bar so special. Dozing off in the sun, on a recliner along the water’s edge, I fancied myself on holiday.

To claim the Aloha Bar is just a bar is an understatement. There’s a lot to do. You can sample cuisine made by the chefs who have a predisposition for pure and honest food. The menu changes regularly and is dependent on the day’s available produce. There’s a mini market with vintage bicycles, clothing, hats, glasses, art and vinyl. The basement and the former changing rooms house the sustainable mushroom nursery ‘RotterZwam’, which recycles the coffee grounds of Rotterdam’s food service industry. They also do workshops and give tours.

 That Sunday afternoon I hit the jackpot. The sun was shining, the ‘Aloha party weekend’ was happening and Bill and his Hawaiians (including Hula dancers) had taken to the stage.

 

 

Maasboulevard 100, Rotterdam

 

www.alohabar.nl

www.rotterzwam.nl

 

Credits: Images: Meanwhile-in-Rotterdam

An abandoned tropical swimming paradise