Brief review: we tested DOT for you
If you recently moved to Groningen, you have probably been wondering what is this spaceship looking building in the Ebbingekwartier. Well long story short, this Groningener architecture master piece – called Infoversum from June 2014 until November 2015 – has recently become DOT, a cozy « gezellig » restaurant, bar and cinema but also a place to enjoy live music and art. I have gone there to test it for you! (for more details about the history of Infoversum and DOT please scroll down to the history section).
DOT Restaurant :
The restaurant offers a variety of dishes from all over the world: Vietnamese, BBQ, Vegetarian, Arabic, Mexican with prices going from 10 to 20 euros (for a main meal). The diversity is not huge but very sufficient with about 15 main meals. Once ordered, you can sit and enjoy your food or drinks in a retro atmosphere with soft yellowish lights, black and white movies projected on the walls, cactuses, wooden chairs, industrial tables and a gentle music to entertain your ears. We chose to go there for the live piano evening and that was a very nice adding to our treat.
DOT live music :
The live music happens 4 times a week. Don’t expect the musician to be on stage. It’s not a concert but more of a nice extra for people to enjoy their food and drinks with a pleasant live music in the background. During the live evenings DOT promotes local artists and the music is very diverse with different themes everyday : jazz, classical, DJs, and music from the 70’s on Saturdays.
DOT Cinema :
In addition to food, drinks and music, DOT also offers entertainment with its brand new cinema. The movies are quite old but they are good ones. In November they are projecting the “Notebook” and “Into the wild”. Entree fee is 5 euros : a reasonable price to sit in the “Groninger spaceship”.
History section : How did this spaceship came to life ?
It all started when Edwin Valentijn – an astronomy teacher from the RUG University of Groningen – went to Hamburg on holidays. Impressed by the stature of the Planetarium and the fulldome 3D-Stereoscopic technology they were using, he started to dream about a Groningen version of it. The seed was planted.
In the following years he setted up a complete project and found private and public investors : the RUG University, the Gemeente (city hall), Rabobank, Rottinghuis, CIG steel, Gas terra and the church. They all took part in the project and financed the 9 million architectural venture (which 2,5 million came from the city hall).
In June 2014 Valentijn’s dream came true. The construction was complete, the spaceship called Infoversum had anchored the city and they were expecting – maybe a little bit too optimistically – 700 visitors a day. It didn’t happen. Among the 250 000 visitors they were expecting per year, only 40 000 visited the 3D theater. In November 2015, Inforversum was declared bankrupt.
Since September 2016 a new contractor, DOT, is trying to bring life again to this beautiful monument.
By Maéva Mouton