EspressoBar Gast

A Charming Hub in the Changing Leidsebuurt Neighborhood

EspressoBar Gast

Haarlem's Leidsebuurt neighbourhood has undergone significant transformations over the past decade, and at its heart lies the unique EspressoBar Gast. Located in the former spot of a longstanding snack bar that served the community for over 25 years, Gast has become a symbol of the neighbourhood's evolution.

Gast offers a warm and inviting atmosphere where locals gather for a good cup of coffee, delectable treats, a satisfying lunch, or a delightful evening get-together. It has become a beloved spot for residents to unwind, whether they need a moment of relaxation amidst their work or a place to catch up with neighbours, friends, and family.

The journey of Gast began with its young owner, who started his career in the hospitality industry at the age of 12, working at a beachside establishment. From washing dishes to serving drinks, he gradually climbed the ranks to become a skilled host. Recognizing his passion for hands-on work, he made the decision to leave his high school studies and pursue a hospitality education at Nova College in Haarlem. This provided him with a foundation in entrepreneurship and the skills needed to become an excellent host.

EspressoBar Gast

After gaining experience at a local establishment for four years, including two years as a dedicated leader overseeing a team, he felt the urge for something new. When the opportunity to take over Gast arose, he saw it as the perfect chance to embark on his journey as a young entrepreneur. The compact and manageable nature of Gast, coupled with the freedom it offered, appealed to him. The transition into entrepreneurship brought a sense of freedom and responsibility that he occasionally missed while working for someone else. Embracing this newfound freedom, he dedicated himself to continual growth and development as an entrepreneur.

Taking over an already successful business presented its own challenges. The greatest hurdle was ensuring that the positive ambience and hospitality that Gast exuded were seamlessly maintained. The previous owners, with their wealth of entrepreneurial experience, had excelled in their craft. As a young individual of 22, the new owner had to exert tremendous effort to carry on the legacy, especially as a budding entrepreneur. Nevertheless, the first three months have been relatively smooth, with no significant setbacks encountered.

One notable aspect of becoming an entrepreneur was the freedom to experiment with new ideas alongside the existing concept. For instance, the owner organized a Saté evening where customers could order satay to take home and enjoy. Although the promotion was initiated a week in advance, it proved to be a learning experience as only six orders were placed. Undeterred, the owner devised a monthly neighbourhood gathering, effectively advertised in advance, resulting in an overwhelming response and promising success. This highlights the role of effective marketing and social media in transforming ideas into triumphs.


In the Leidsebuurt and its surroundings, Gast stands alone as an espresso bar, setting itself apart from other businesses in the industry through enticing offers, competitive pricing, and a strong commitment to hospitality. The personal touch is paramount, with the owner striving to create an environment where visitors feel at home. By remembering customers' preferences and fostering a warm atmosphere, Gast has become a place where patrons can sit back with a newspaper while their perfectly brewed cup of coffee arrives without needing to place an order. This personalized experience differentiates Gast from larger espresso bars and restaurants in the city centre.