While the first half of the street is paved with fancy boutiques and designer shops, the other half is rather desolate. Opening a bar in the latter area might seem like a risk, but Frédéric Nicolay isn’t afraid of a challenge.
A couple of years ago, for instance, Nicolay opened Potemkine in the shadow of Porte de Hal and had no trouble attracting people all the way down to his bar for a drink, a movie or a gig. Let’s not forget Nicolay is also the man behind some of the great bars on Place St-Géry: Zebra, Le Roi des Belges and Mappa Mundo. He settled in the area years ago, long before it became the number one place to turn to for a drink in the centre.
The new Barbeton got its name from the enormous concrete counter and tap, which is a copy of a design by Le Corbusier. Concrete translates as beton in both Dutch and French, which makes Barbeton a very convenient name for bilingual Brussels.
The rest of the interior is minimal, with little wooden tables, black chairs and benches. As the bar is located on a corner, there’s a very large terrace with the typical Nicolay electric-blue chairs as well.
The drinks menu features a few nice beers on draught, including La Chouffe and Nicolay’s own beer, Volga. Barbeton also serves a great range of fresh juices, and those after a nice apero in the sun can order Pimm’s and lemonade. Hungry bellies can choose sandwiches for lunch or tuck into the nuts served with every drink. Cheers!
114 Rue Dansaert, Brussels
This review was originally published in Flanders Today