Bonnefooi is not yet a Brussels institution, but it is likely to be one day. Along the lines of L’Archiduc and Goupil le Fol, this bar has the look, feel and sounds of a legend.
The beers are good, the cocktails not too expensive. If you are a student, you can even drink for €1 before 21.00. But what one really goes to Bonnefooi for is the music.
Situated right across from the side entrance to Ancienne Belgique on Brussels’ self-proclaimed “music street”, the bar features four to five acts a week – enough funk, soul, electro and jazz to sooth almost any soul. The acts are varied and consistently high quality, so if you can squeeze in a space for yourself, you can groove the night away beneath its gaudy chandeliers and a sparkling, teal sky.
But Bonnefooi is a bar of many faces. At 19.00 a younger, studenty crowd drops in for a cheap beer. Around 20.00, it gets more mixed as others stop by for a pre-concert cocktail and some tapas. By 23.00, it’s standing room only as the music starts going and people straggle in, post-concert, from across the street.
But it is in the latest hours of the night that this bar really finds its groove. With curtains drawn and the DJ still going, you can talk, dance and drink into the wee hours, and then walk out into the morning sunshine.
One of the best parts about Bonnefooi is that it is truly Brussels. From its name, which means “by chance” in the city’s dialect, to the clientele, it is neither here nor there when it comes to the Flemish-French-English nexus of party-going in the city centre. It also manages to mix Brussels’ wilder, louder side and active music scene with its inherent cosiness. Whether it is lounging around on the sofas upstairs, shouting at the bar or dancing on the tables, Bonnefooi says: “Come in, I am here to be used.”
Rue des Pierres 8, Brussels
photo: mkhalili on flickr
This review was originally published in Flanders Today