With much publicity the first ever transgender nightclub was announced in summer 2014. Kalinka in Amsterdam positioned itself as THE place for transgender people to meet and have fun. To avoid the opening rush we waited till october to have a first look at this bar. And, to be short: we were not impressed.
We went on a night about town on a Friday night in October and decided tot give Kalinka a try around 11 pm expecting to enter the bar at busy time. First of we were a little bit surprised by the big lettering on the windows of the bar stating that Kalinka is a “Shisha Lounge” or water pipe cafe. On entering we were slightly taken aback by the fact, that the place was practically empty: on a Friday night at the premier spot in town to go out for the night!
The rest of our visit didn’t improve on these first impressions. The bar obviously doesn’t cater anymore to the transgender crowd and is searching for a new clientele by offering water pipe services. We can see why the club didn’t succeed in becoming a successful transgender meeting point: it is small, clinically decorated and it services your average drinks from a tiny bar.
Not visiting the bar
In a recent article in the local newspaper Het Parool, the owner is quoted saying: “They [i.e. transgenders] are more than welcome, but they are not visiting this bar”. That’s why he decided after the grand opening in the summer, to change course and cater to a different group of customers.
Points for the initiative last summer, but unfortunately not a bar we can recommend.