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Almost two years after the catastrophic fire, Nieuw Schaijk is running at full speed again – Advertisement Schaijk |  Arena room

Almost two years after the catastrophic fire, Nieuw Schaijk is running at full speed again – Advertisement Schaijk | Arena room

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SCHAIJK – May 14th to 15th, 2022 after the catering facility of the Tielemans family, A big fire Almost completely reduced to ashes, the completely renovated Nieuw Schaijk restaurant has been operating at full speed since the beginning of February. Arena visited the beautiful new catering temple on Rijksweg 46 and spoke with owner Johan Tielemans (photo) about the events he and his family have experienced. “The responses have been overwhelming.”

The night of May 14th to 15th, 2022 is one Johann Dielemans will always remember. After he locks the building for the night, disaster strikes. A clothes dryer catches fire in the early hours of the night and a devastating fire breaks out in the catering building. Johann: “The world stopped for a moment that night. My first thought was: luckily no one was inside and no one was hurt. The shock is great. “It's a difficult time of great uncertainty,” Johan says. “I was deeply depressed and awake for weeks. Suddenly you can't do anything anymore, you don't have to do anything anymore. In the end, we put our shoulders to the wheel with family – my wife Claudia and my parents Wim and Nettie. Fortunately we were well insured.

I never dreamed it would get so busy so soon

New Zealand
Less than four weeks after the fire, Johan is already sitting down with an architect to draw up plans for the reconstruction of Nieuw Schijk. “I wasn't mentally ready for it at the time.” Johann, Claudie and their three children decided to go to New Zealand for two months. “It was actually one of the best things we did. In the bubble of your family for two months. Then I had a feeling: whatever happens, the most important thing is your family. I had the feeling that everything was going to be okay somehow during our stay in New Zealand.

It turned out well. Nieuw Schaijk Restaurant and Dining Center has risen impressively from the ashes. Johann proudly looks around the beautiful new building. “We have 300 square meters more space than the old building, and the high ceilings make the whole thing look more spacious.” The restaurant is divided into four areas and has 220 seats. There are several party rooms and an ice cream parlor. The large central bar in the building catches the eye, but especially the covered patio in the center of the complex. It has a sliding glass roof measuring no less than 10 by 22 meters and can accommodate more than 100 guests. Although the new building has become somewhat larger, the interior spaces retain the cozy and comfortable atmosphere that has always characterized Nieuw Schijk.

After two 'test days' on February 1 and 2, when family members of staff will be guests, the restaurant will open its doors to the public on February 3. From that day the storm blew. Johan: “Things are going well. I never dreamed it would get so busy so soon. We have less than 150 guests and there is not a single weekday when we have 300 guests a day on weekends. The answers are overwhelming. People are literally 'stunned' at how beautiful it turned out. You really feel a sense of pride among the people in the village. The whole Shaik thinks what we've created here is unique.

Nieuw Schaijk is currently only open for dinner as construction crews are busy preparing the hall during the day. Johan: “We aim to serve lunch again from the end of March to the beginning of April. The banquet hall, bar, staff room and private dining room all require extra attention to finish down to the last detail. Also, the gardeners are busy beautifying everything outside and expanding the parking facilities further. “By the end of March, the hall will be ready and the first parties will be held again,” he said.

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The new building is nearing completion and although many guests find their way to Nieuw Schaijk as usual, according to Johan Tielemans, it is not yet time to sit back and relax. No definitely not. I feel like I'm in a marathon when the final sprint hasn't even begun.