The past few years have seen a wave of listening bars opening across Europe. Taking inspiration from Japan’s culture of audiophile venues, these spots put a unique twist on a long-standing tradition, creating an environment for discovering music that appeals to hi-fi obsessives and casual listeners alike.

“Around the world you see a new kind of bar coming up that really focuses on sound quality,” says Axel van der Lugt of Doka. “We felt that Amsterdam is ready for a similar place with these qualities.” The result is Doka, a listening bar located in the basement of Amsterdam’s Volkshotel. The crew behind this intimate venue aim to create a space for people to “unwind or unleash” while DJs play well-chosen records.

Right now, however, the future of Doka—like most music-focused venues the world over—is uncertain.  With the latest round of curfews and restrictions in the Netherlands, Doka’s opening hours have been cut back to just three a day, with a 30-person capacity. Axel and his team remain optimistic. Once it’s safe to do so, they hope to have people once again stopping Doka to “unwind or unleash.”

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