After years of litigation, the fish shop The Seafood Shop in the Leidsestraat has been proved right: eating a herring sandwich or kibbeling on the spot is allowed. That is the opinion of the Council of State. Yet there is no reason for a party: the owners are forced to close the shop.
In recent years, the fish shop has become the symbol of the city’s new rules to keep tourist shops out of the city center. About two and a half years ago, the owners of the municipality were told that they had to stop selling all food for direct consumption, because the building has no catering destination. Under penalty of closure.
What followed was a legal joust, in which the fish shop went to court with the municipality several times to be right. The owners even considered closing the store last year. “Our father had previously owned a fish shop for 28 years, so it was normal for us to sell a herring sandwich that can be eaten on the spot,” says owner Pepijn de Visscher.
The highest court ruled yesterday that prohibiting the sale of all food for direct consumption is going too far, because the municipality also states that a portion of kibbeling or herring sandwich should be consumed on the spot in a fish shop.
“The victory is bittersweet,” says De Visscher. ‘It is justice for the entire fish industry, but the shop is in bad shape financially. We are forced to close the store. The corona crisis, but also the many years of lawsuit, has played tricks on us. It was really a dream to add a high-quality fish shop to the city center, that dream will no longer work. ‘
He hopes that another fishmonger will take over the shop.
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