Seen from the upper floors of MAAN it’s unmistakable: the tall, brown-brick chimney of the Caballero Factory, the former manufacturer of the old Dutch cigarette brand. Caballero was a success, just like the restaurant that’s now in the factory: MaMa Kelly!
The future residents of MAAN and the MaMa Kelly restaurant have something in common: they’re pioneers. They dare and win. MaMa Kelly was the first restaurant to move into the Binckhorst. ‘When people heard that, they called us crazy,’ says Sander, Manager of MaMa Kelly. The Binckhorst didn’t really have a good name. It was rough. It was industrial. But MaMa Kelly saw the potential of the area and soon others saw it too. ‘There’s such a good vibe here, and there are an increasing number of nice restaurants and creative companies. And, of course, the Binckhorst is an area in development. It’s the up-and-coming neighbourhood in The Hague.’
LOBSTER AND CHICKEN
Anyone who’s eaten at MaMa Kelly knows how good this restaurant is. Dining in a former factory, that’s not your typical location. It’s industrial and classic at the same time. ‘We don’t call ourselves an urban bistro for nothing.’ The menu is also very clear: you can choose between lobster, chicken and some vegetarian dishes. ‘It's a global trend that guests want clarity in a restaurant,’ says Sander as he explains the menu. ‘We give it to them this way.’ So, not too much choice, but what MaMa Kelly serves is always pure and honest.
But MaMa Kelly is not just about the food. It’s about a total experience. ‘It's always nice to see the guests’ surprised looks when they come in.’ It may be an old factory, yet it's warm and atmospheric, and the tables with white linen give MaMa Kelly something, well, classic. MaMa Kelly is in the old boiler house, an impressive space with high ceilings. The staff also contribute to the experience. ‘They’re all personalities. Nice, young, enthusiastic people who radiate their passion.’
MaMa Kelly is pleased with the arrival of MAAN. ‘It makes the Binckhorst even more fun and lively.’ Sander even looked at MAAN when he was thinking about a new place. ‘When I heard about it, I was very excited. The apartments, the location, it’s near all the motorways and the Binckhorst is just a super beautiful place. Why don’t I live there? Ha-ha, because I live in Scheveningen and nobody thinks I'll ever get away from the seaside.’