Tears of joy rolled down Romy-Lisa Verhofstadt's cheeks.

The owner of lunchroom Bij Jan was so happy with the opening of the terraces last week.

Tears came again on Tuesday.

Now with grief: Verhofstadt had to demolish her terrace from the municipality after less than a week.

'I'm being destroyed.

Where is this going? '

This article comes from the Gelderlander.

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Suddenly, on Tuesday afternoon, municipal supervisors were at the door of her business in the Dukenburg shopping center.

If she could close her terrace and turn the guests away.

'We were packed'

The young hospitality entrepreneur was perplexed.

"I didn't know what happened to me. We were packed, the guests were chatting and everyone suddenly had to leave. I said:" I'll let them drink everything first. "

Then I collapsed. I finally said, yelling, that the guests couldn't order anything anymore, "she says emotionally.

Reason for the closure: Bij Jan's terrace was in the shopping arcade and therefore not in the open air.

According to government regulations, only outdoor terraces may be opened.


She thinks absurd.

"I'm furious. The terrace was outside my own business, under another ceiling and in a passage where a lot of fresh air is blowing. We had everything in order. The tables were even two meters apart instead of 1.5. meters. That is much safer than all those queues for Action and Albert Heijn, where people don't keep their distance? "

The staff has to clean up Bij Jan's terrace.

The staff has to clean up Bij Jan's terrace.

Photo: Bert Beelen

The terrace closure is extra sour for the catering woman, because she does not receive any government support.

Verhofstadt took over the lunchroom last year after the death of father Jan and promised to honor the case on his deathbed.

She founded a sole proprietorship to continue the business.

She did this after the start of the corona crisis, so she does not receive support.

Bright spot

The opening of the terraces was just right.

After months of closure, there was finally a ray of hope.

"I was so happy. Just to see all the regular guests again. I saw only happy, smiling people. The tables and chairs have not been free for a second, there was so much visitors. And now this. Purchased a month in advance: sandwiches, coffee, soft drinks. That will soon all be out of date. Very sad. "

Yet the businesswoman cannot do anything about the closure.

A municipal spokesperson points to the national rules that apply.

It is emphasized once again that terraces in covered shopping centers are really not allowed to open.

Verhofstadt does not blame the boas of the municipality.

"They just do their job. But that this rule exists is too crazy for words?"

Statements of support

The guests of Bij Jan seem to think so too.

Verhofstadt is inundated with support on Facebook.

People call the closure 'scandalous', 'incomprehensible' and 'too bad for words'.

The entrepreneur is grateful for all the support.

"I don't earn a euro with it, but it's great that everyone is so compassionate."