MAASTRICHT. Student pub The Highlander is open again, temporarily at least. At the beginning of December, the pub was closed down for six months by order of mayor Hoes, because soft and hard drugs had been found on the premises, both in the pub itself and in the apartment above it. The owner lodged an appeal and asked the court for a temporary arrangement, allowing his pub to remain open during the appeal procedure. The judge granted the request.
“Normally, a pub remains closed until the appeal procedure has been completed, unless one applies for a temporary arrangement,” says spokesperson Gertjan Bos from the Maastricht City Council. That procedure will be completed within three to four weeks. If the appeal committee rules in favour of the city council, The Highlander will be shut down after all.
The regular customers were delighted when the pub reopened. “Never been happier,” says one of them on the pub’s Facebook page and “Yes, there is still some justice in our lovely city”.
Less delighted were the local residents, says Kitty Nuyts, council member for the Maastricht Liberal Party, who has protested against the disturbance that she reckons is caused by the pub, for a long time. “From the first day, we were back to square one; drunken students standing outside the local residents’ windows shouting ‘we are the winners’. The neighbourhood noticed it immediately when The Highlander was closed. Not only was there no disturbance in front of the pub, students also took a different route when they went out and they took their bicycles, so they tended not to linger on the street so long.”