Possibly the freshest fish in the North
Translated by Thomas Ansell
At the most remote point of the municipality of Súdwest-Fryslân, in Europe’s smallest harbour (Laaxum), sits a small grey limestone building, holding against the biting wind and spray. It is a former Salting House, called ‘De Hang’, which dates from 1925 and was used for salting, smoking, and selling fresh eels. After that, fishermen used the building to hang their nets and store other equipment. And now, it is open for business again as a cafe and shop, as reported in the Friesch Dagblad.
The building is a monument, and though it was kept in an awful state for a long while, it has now been entirely refurbished for its new use. Some parts of the walls have been rebuilt, and the criss-crossing ceiling beams replaced, but the weather-beaten limestone remains.
Coby Smits is the owner of the refurbished fishmongers, and should have the experience necessary to run such a venture: she previously owned a fish restaurant and adjoining shop in Stavoren, along with her husband. Though he is now unfortunately deceased, she is running the hut in Laaksum with her children, her son taking charge in the kitchen and her daughter handling front-of-house.
The opening on Saturday was attended by the King’s Commissioner, Arno Brok, and the ’16 Shades of Grey’ choir from Stavoren sang (Smits is a member of the choir herself). When asked about the location of her new restaurant, Smits commented: “The harbour always draws in people, and they want to order a coffee or portion of Kibbeling. We have only been open a few weekends and people will make a detour for us.”
De Hang, Laaxum 5, 8721 EW, Warns, Friesland.