REUSEL – The couple Jos (71) and Evelien (64) Verhagen and Jos’ son Ad (49), owners of restaurant De Wekker in Reusel, were looking for an interesting, cultural addition for the summer months, outside the usual restaurant and banquet hall. The outcome is a series of live garden concerts on five Sunday afternoons.
Jos: ,,My brother-in-law Wim Lavrijsen is the driving force. He thinks we should be well prepared. Structure with a similarly appropriate genre. So not incidentally, but a good summer program.”
It took a while, but they succeeded with musicians from the region and also to attract Belgian artists across the border. Jos: ,,Sitting without obligation and listening to a genre of blues, americana and ballads. The entrance is free. We are thinking of an audience from forty plus.” In case of bad weather, the concert will move from the garden to the banquet hall. Nol Havens kicks off on May 1.
Corona has cut it horribly, but we are looking forward again
Live concerts with quality music had been planned for some time, but like many, corona threw a spanner in the works. “Corona has cut it horribly,” says Jos. “But we are looking forward again.” Verhagen still talks enthusiastically about the future, despite the fact that his son is eager to take over the business. The corona has also wreaked havoc in this and the process has been delayed.
Jos comes from a musical catering family. His crib was on the other side of the village, at café De Klok, his grandparents’ business. His sister took over De Klok and Jos, also looking for a catering building, ended up at café De Linden in 1983, run by the children of his aunt Lena. It was said that it was just an alarm clock compared to De Tijd. That is why it was already popularly called De Wekker.
‘Contact with the people’
Jos loves quality and has turned it into a flourishing, progressive business: ,,I can always be found in the service, in contact with people. When sports canteens were on the rise, the pub alone could no longer earn a living. Soon we had a room and later the restaurant. The kitchen was where the wardrobe is now. You can’t imagine it anymore.”
Son Ad is looking forward to it. He is a wine expert, part of what he learned during his cooking training in Belgium. After his mother’s death, they fell short in the family business. He switched to cook. “I am the only one in the family who is interested in the hospitality industry. My siblings prefer to sit on the other side of the bar.”
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