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One for Wim and Nederlanders

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In 1963, the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn obtain a license from Chicago-based Wimpy International to open the first Wimpy restaurant in the Netherlands on Leidsestraat in Amsterdam.[38] A second restaurant opened the following year on Damrak.[39] Although there are no verifiable records showing when the last Wimpy closed in the Netherlands, it appears that Wimpy may have left the Netherlands by 1969 since Albert Heijn ceased to mention Wimpy in their corporate annual reports after 1969.[40] In 1971, Albert Heijn later helped McDonald's to open its first restaurant in Europe by opening a McDonald's franchise in Zaandam


I have two pictures presumably taken at the same time ( same slide mounts). One showing a Wimpy ( supposedly not in Netherlands after 1969), another showing a McDonalds ( supposedly not in Netherlands or Europe until 1971). Or, quite likely, is the Wikipedia entry just plain wrong?


And would this be Leidsestraat or Damrak?  Or neither because it looks more like these are taken from near Rembrandtplein looking towards Munttoren making this Reguliersbreestraat ( Cineac restaurant/club )


No images on Alamy for 'Wimpy Amsterdam'.







Edited by geogphotos
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You know of course that Wimpy is the diminutive for Wim 😉

I know them well. Not far from my birthplace.

And I think you are correct about the Rembrandtplein.

The Mac is opposite of the Cineac in the Reguliersbreestraat and you are looking at the Munt tower with the lights there at the end.

I'll look into the history tonight.



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Thanks Wimpy, 😁


My guess is that the photos are mid to late 1970s, possibly early 1980s, and that Wimpy was still in existence in Netherlands.


Not that it really matters......

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I always assumed Wim was the diminutive for William - good thing I didn't write a Wikipedia article about it. 


The Netherlands was actually the first European country I ever studied in depth. In middle school we would have a week where we chose any topic we wanted and spent a week doing nothing but researching it, then doing a presentation. I was fascinated by how they reclaimed land from the sea and by tulips, and tulip mania and the tulip bubble. Another place to visit on my bucket list in some unknown future. 


Wish we had exported better restaurants than Micky D's . I'm always gobsmacked by Americans abroad who actually eat there rather than sampling the local cuisine, which should be part of the travel experience. I was last abroad in 2011 with a travel group of 14 people, In Stockholm, the breakfast spread our hotel put out was endless, all kinds of Swedish food as well as cereals, breads and eggs for the less adventurous, yet one guy in our group, who has travelled extensively, went to McDonald's every morning for some egg and mystery meat on a bun. 


I guess I learned my lesson at 16. The first McD's had just arrived in Paris so my friends and I thought it would be fun to try it out. It's the only time in my life (I've been to France 6 times) that I had a meal in France that wasn't delicious. We never went back.


I do have some affinity for the chain, however, as, like millions of my fellow Americans, my first job with a regular paycheck (I babysat for years before that) back in high school was at the local McDonald's, which burned down my senior year, was rebuild, and is still there 40+ years later. They do make amazing French fries. 

Edited by Marianne
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The Wimpy in your image was in a building on the corner of the Rembrandtplein, Korte Regulierdwarsstraat and Reguliersbreestraat. It's now a Flying Tiger shop. Before it was a Wimpy, it was the self-service annex (across the street) to an Amsterdam afternoon tea favorite called Ruteck's. I've been there often with my mother. The address is Rembrandtplein 2 btw.


I have never been to this Wimpy however. And that's because just steps away in the Regulierdwarsstraat there was and still is the really good lunch institution Eetsalon Van Dobben.

Just steps away because it's a very short (Korte=short) street. In your image it's to the left.

Traditional lunch here is bun with kroket (croquette) and a glass of milk. They do have cheese and pastrami and even fries, but the humble broodje kroket is their claim to fame. 

Take a note of it, just in case you should pass through this neck of the woods. Better: give me a shout and I'll join you, as it's by far my favorite lunch place. No way Wimpy could ever hold a candle to that one.


Here's an image of the tearing down of Wimpy's predecessor in November 1968.

Here's an image from the city archives. According to the caption it's from the opening on June 13 1969. However all the other info mentions March 1st as the opening date.

In 1969 there were already 53 Wimpy restaurants in Holland. On Wikipedia. No mentioning of Albert Heijn here. But here's the beautiful first Wimpy in Amsterdam on the Leidsestraat 77 on the heritage site of the Albert Heijn company. It opened in 1963 (Albert Heijn history).

Btw I have been an intern next door at the Canon Photo Gallery on Leidsestraat 79. (See Holland is a village.)

This is a shot on Twitter from 1982, when Wimpy was still there on the Rembrandtplein.

This book mentions that the then owner of that Wimpy (it's a franchise) lost money on it or maybe even went bankrupt in 1983.

The last Wimpy in The Netherlands closed in 1985 in Zandvoort.


The McDonalds in the Regulierbreedstraat is actually the back door of the McDonalds on the Muntplein 9. It opened in 1973.

Before that it was a printing business, mainly of securities, Van Mantgem. Surprisingly some of it's work is on Alamy.

Even it's end is on Alamy: it burned down in May 1972. And here's is the source of that image on Alamy. Otherwise it's from Wikimedia here. The image shows the backdoor on the Regulierbreestraat. The front of the building on the Muntplein is on Alamy too (and one more), but as the current McDonalds. (Note the number 9 of Muntplein 9 now on the top of the facade.)


So there you have it: Wimpy is still there until 1983 and McDonalds is there from 1973 onwards.


Right and about my own name: Wimpy - here one would write Wimpie - is the diminutive of Wim.

Wim is short for William -here: Willem. In my case it is Wilhelmus. (Which is also the Dutch national anthem. 😁)

I was named after both my grandmothers who were called Wilhelmina. (I was called after both my grandfathers too: my 2 middle names.)



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