COLUMN: Grardie Akkerhuis


TEXT: GRARDIE AKKERHUIS | PHOTOGRAPHY: ANTIM

Forever Magical


RCD has been a magical place for me for a very long time. As a young child, I would stand waiting for tram 5 to Schiebroek. We didn’t have a car at home and traveled once every couple of weeks by public transportation from Noordwijk to Rotterdam to visit my grandparents on the Rutgersstraat. Rotterdam is where I was born, so that was already sacred to me. From the tram stop, I watched the flashing neon signs ‘Rizla’ and ‘Meer Meubelen’ of furniture shop Van der Meer Meubelen on the Groot Handelsgebouw. How beautiful it was!
Years later, sometime in 2006, I passed through this area again, in search of a suitable location for my coffee house: Lebkov & Sons. At this point, I already had two locations in Leiden and The Hague, but Rotterdam was high on my wish list. My hometown! It was no easy task finding the right spot in the crater-filled construction site in front of the old station, with cranes and fences everywhere. It certainly required a heavy dose of imagination. But you could feel the energy and the vibe of the area. I knew for sure: this was going to work.
I was overjoyed when I opened late 2007. From behind the newly installed espresso machine, I gazed outside to the fencing just 3 meters away. Somewhere in the distance, amidst the construction of the new metro station: the stream of people. This place was going to be fantastic. All the signs were there.
Now, it’s 5 years after the official opening of the station, the first milestone anniversary. We should celebrate it, really. I often walk around in RCD. Not looking for a location, no longer waiting for the tram, not staring at neon lights anymore; just walking, observing. People, buildings, new developments. So many things have changed and plenty more will. Except for one thing: RCD will always be a magical place.
Grardie Akkerhuis
Owner Lebkov & Sons