150 years Die Port van Cleve The 'Garden of Cleve' Because of the forward thinking of our founders the Hulscher brothers, ‘Die Port van Cleve’ was at the forefront in many cases. ‘De Poort’, for example, played a small role in the emancipation. At the time, it was not at all common for women to go to coffeehouses. In the early years of ‘De Poort’, something that is taken for granted today, was considered indecent by many people. The brothers wouldn’t be the brothers if they wouldn’t play this card effectively. A small courtyard was hidden behind the beer house, surrounded by the adjoined tall buildings. Although women were not welcome everywhere in the restaurant, this courtyard, which soon affectionately started to bear the name ‘Het Tuintje’ (The little garden), turned out to be the perfect opportunity to respond to this new target group for the brothers. ‘Het Tuintje’ could be reached via both the main entrance of the restaurant and the back entrance on the ‘Spuistraat’ and in the summer months it was always busy with the women and children of the regular restaurant visitors. Extra seats were even created by placing a veranda. Traditionally, the opening of ‘Het Tuintje’ took place annually on the longest day of the year and this was often reason enough for the newspapers to announce this in a grand way. The fact that women could join their men too, in this case the beer house, could be seen as a true novelty in these times. ‘De Poort’ led the way at the time and made a case for women. ‘Het Tuintje’ developed into a true attraction and a bulky doorman stood outside to ensure that only decent people were allowed. Even the most fashionable women from the city found their way to ‘Het Tuintje’ and during the summer months there was often no place left to sit. If 'Het Tuintje' got closed again, according to custom on the first of September, women were again cast off from the joys of 'Die Port van Cleve' for a long time and they were therefore 'displeased', to say the least, that they so could no longer control their men during their stay at 'de Poort'. Already in 1871, the men's exclusive rights were brought into question, when no fewer than 100 emancipated women had a protest recorded in the magazine ‘Asmodée’ of October 19. In wonderful old Dutch they expressed their dissatisfaction with the temporary winter closure of ‘Het tuintje’ and they called on both brothers to ‘... immediately start covering the garden...’ However, it did not get that far, and it was on August 24, 1885 that ‘Het tuintje’ was opened to the public for the very last time. Commercial considerations ensured that the garden would be closed, so that more seats became available for the restaurant after the renovation. Many women had opened their eyes with the help that the Hulscher brothers had given them through the garden. After all, even after the closure of ‘Het Tuintje’, women continued to visit the beer house. Although this is not confirmed by everyone, a letter from the Dutch writer and literary critic Arnold Ising provides a definitive answer on this. In February 1888 he wrote to his good friend Lodewijk van Deyssel (also a professional writer) how he and his partner Mina had dinner somewhere in Amsterdam, after which he took her to the beer house: ‘...Then I brought her to the ‘Cercle Artistique et Littéraire’ in ‘Die Port van Cleve’. Many members of the 'circle' were present. Breitner was also there with Marie...’ The Dutch painter Breitner, who was known to be frequently in ‘Die Port van Cleve’, like Ising, brought his wife to the beer house as well. It can therefore rightly be stated that ‘Die Port van Cleve’ played a special role in this development and thus the emancipation of women in public places such as restaurants, coffee houses and beer houses.