About Saarein

Café Saarein, a renowned name in the Amsterdam lesbian and queer scene for decades, is preparing for a new phase. After passionately running the café for 25 years, the current owner, Dia Roozemond, is retiring, leaving the future of this brown café in the Jordaan uncertain.

Two young bar women, Talisa Harjono and Sterre Marijn Krot, supported by activist entrepreneur Sebastian Kersten, are determined to preserve the café at all costs. They plan to take over the café – with the help of over thirty volunteers from the queer community – and transform it into a foundation that is run for and by the community.

“We cannot afford to lose another legendary LGBTQIAP+ place”

How it started

1978 – 1999

Saarein is a legendary feminist café. Saarein is cultural heritage. Saarein is a safe haven. A significant part of Dutch women’s and queer history is preserved in the stones of this building. That history begins in 1978 when a collective of women, with the help of crowdfunding, takes over the café from Saar and Rein. Saarein.

There was a strong need for a women-only café, “a self-managed meeting place for all kinds of women, where you can meet undisturbed to talk, drink, play pool, or flirt.” In 1978, when women still lacked the right to sit at a bar alone without a man’s accompaniment, this collective reached their breaking point. Protests followed, and eventually, their own place with their own rules!

This women’s collective is not just any collective; they are pioneers of the gay and women’s movement. The women were part of the Dolle Mina’s, Paarse September, and Lesbian Nation. They are the founders of our freedom. Under the leadership of these women, Saarein evolves into a beloved brown bar for beer, women’s entertainment, and queer parties, while also serving as a feminist stronghold where numerous initiatives are conceived to advance queer and women’s emancipation.

Saarein II

1999 – 2024

In 1999, Dia Roozemond took over the café from the women’s collective, which included members like Marjan Sax (Mama Cash). Dia was born on Damstraat, raised in Amsterdam West, and had extensive experience in hospitality. From the moment of taking over, Dia rebranded Saarein as “Saarein 2”. The café remained a safe space and meeting place for lesbian/bi women, transgender people, gays, and queers. All queer-minded people are welcome with Dia.

The future of Saarein

2024 and beyond!

And now, together, we are entering a new phase. After 25 years, Dia looks forward to her well-deserved retirement, and we are determined to preserve Saarein at all costs. Through this crowdfunding, we aim to raise funds to purchase it. Subsequently, Saarein will be incorporated into a foundation that belongs to all of us. This is our place, and we want to keep it that way!

We also have ambitions to open Saarein more often and for longer hours. We want to organize events more frequently in the evenings, but also during the day. And we want to play a larger role in our community by investing our proceeds in existing and new initiatives that improve the position of women and LGBTQIAP+ individuals.

And we need your help to do this!

If you can, please contribute with a donation. Share this campaign with friends, family, and allies in your network. Help us realise this plan! ✨🏳️‍🌈