De Knijnspiep is located in the center of Maastricht and is one of the oldest pubs this historic city has to offer. Here you are at the right place for a perfectly poured beer. Music also plays a major role in De Knijnspiep. Come on in and enjoy a traditional dark and cosy pub as it was intended.
It’s with these words (but then in the typical dialect of Maastricht) that De Knijnspiep (or 'rabbit hole') presents itself on its website. Melanie, along with her father Theo the driving forces behind the pub De Knijnspiep, reminds us of the ever-shrinking number of authentic pubs in Maastricht. “The idea was that Maastricht had to have a pub for every day of the year. At one point there were 408, but today you can count them on two hands…"
De Knijnspiep however still attracts a lot of visitors. And there’s a good reason for that. “The reason why De Knijnspiep still exists today, is that we are constantly working hard for it and that our focus is on our guests… We actually sell hospitality and not just booze. I’ve always asked myself ‘How would I like to be treated in a pub?’ And from that idea, we started.
Because of their background in music (they sold records in an earlier life), Melanie and Theo pay a lot of attention to the music in De Knijnspiep. Melanie gives us an example of how they guard their concept with music. “We use music to organise our clients, without them even knowing it,” Melanie starts off. “So we like our customers to be of a certain age. No youth, but a clientele, let’s say, of 35 years old and older. We play both old and new songs, but always within a well defined atmosphere. If some young people know how to appreciate this kind of music, then they are absolutely also welcome of course."
Melanie is one of the Tunify customers that, next to the ready-to-use music channels in Tunify Blue, prefers to work with her own playlists in Tunify Orange. “I always write my own music lists. These lists all have 3 distinct moments in a day: morning, afternoon and evening. The style of music stays the same throughout the day, but the pace goes up. And then there are themes such as Christmas, carnival, summer, etc. that are categories on their own. These are used when the time comes, but the general atmosphere will always stay the same. Sometimes I work for 3 years on a playlist. We do a test run of every new playlist at least 3 times. We then observe what the music does to our visitors. Sometimes they get nervous. Sometimes they start tapping on the bar, which obviously is a good sign. This way we constantly make small adjustments to the playlist and only after these test runs the playlist is fully ready to be used."
If you visit Maastricht in the month of February, you can not miss it: carnival is omnipresent in the city. There's also a rich musical tradition connected to the festivities. Carnival is also celebrated in De Knijnspiep. “As it should be, as it was before,” says Melanie. “We start early in the morning with all the old carnival songs and move on from there. There’s also a chance you might hear Verdi’s Slaves Chorus, a pure classic, played out loud, as it is considered to be the origin of carnival songs. The first time we did this, people looked rather confused, but didn’t have the nerve to say something about it,” laughs Melanie. “But in the end, everyone joins in, they all cary a musical instrument with them… That really gives me goosebumps!"
Would you also like to experience the traditional carnival? Then hurry, because carnival is already underway in Maastricht. But of course you can enjoy a beer and the excellent music all year long in the typical and cosy pub De Knijnspiep in Maastricht. Or like it would sound in their own dialect: "Kòmp 'ns genete in hertsje Mestreech en maak unne broune kaffee mèt zoewie h'r bedoeld is."