The popular eatery Dutchies on Grotto beach may have undergone a change in management but will retain its Dutch character as the new team, like the original owners, also hails from Holland. And they have arrived on the scene just in time to celebrate Dutchies’ tenth birthday.
It was Joke Gonggryp’s son Daan who convinced his parents to leave their life in Holland behind and start an exciting new episode in Hermanus.
Recovering from a dreaded illness and major surgery five years ago, Daan was invited by a friend to come and convalesce in Hermanus. It so happens that his friend is the brother of Let, who together with her partner Edith, had opened a restaurant on Grotto beach called Dutchies in 2002.
“The first time I saw it, I fell in love with this beautiful spot,” Daan says. He spent four weeks working at the restaurant and returned to Holland full of enthusiasm. He later returned and also spent time in KwaZulu Natal. “That’s when I knew that South Africa had gotten into his blood,” says mom Joke.
About two years ago Joke and her husband Just accompanied Daan to Hermanus to discuss the future plans for Dutchies with Let and Edith. They were more than happy to entrust their little piece of paradise to their compatriots.
Last year the Gonggryps sold their home in Zeist near Utrecht and moved lock, stock and barrel to Hermanus. They now live in Voëlklip and took over the management of the restaurant just before the start of the summer season. It was a new milestone not only for them but also for the business, as Dutchies celebrated its tenth birthday in December.
“We were lucky enough to get our friend Chris, who managed various restaurants in Holland, to come with us,” says Joke, who has embraced this new challenge with open arms.
“Let and Edith built up this business, for which I am very grateful. We do not plan on making big changes, but have added new items to the menu which will continue to offer memorable food based on our Dutch heritage. We will now be open in the evenings, seven days of the week, and we will not close for the whole winter. We will also be doing functions and have already hosted a very successful wedding reception.”
Joke and her team will be celebrating Dutchies’ tenth birthday next Friday 1 February by offering guests a free cocktail each between 17:00 and 19:00.
Dutchies is open from 08:30 every day for breakfast, lunch, sundowners and tapas, and dinner.
Visit www.dutchies.co.za or call 0283141392.