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Café Metropole back in business as hotel waits for buyer
The landmark Café Metropole in the heart of Brussels has re-opened, thanks to three former employees of the bankrupt business. The historical hotel and café announced last year that it was closing and letting the staff go.
The entire business is up for sale, but now the café is at least operating again, as of last week. “It is an enormous challenge,” Manuel Rodrigues, one of the three managers, told Bruzz, “but on Saturday every table on the terrace was full.”
Before closing, the swanky Metropole on Place de Brouckère was the only 19th-century hotel still operating in the capital. It was also the only five-star hotel that was not part of a chain.
The hotel itself is still for sale, but Rodrigues and two former colleagues have signed a rental agreement for the café and brasserie. Its plush, period interior and rather starched wait staff have made the café a beloved place to have a drink for locals and tourists alike.
‘An extraordinary place’
Passers-by were delighted to see the doors open and the terrace of the café filled again. Regulars did not miss the chance to take a seat and place an order. “When I heard it was open, I came as soon as possible,” one diner told RTBF. “It’s an extraordinary place – the décor, the setting the atmosphere…”
Another customer said she used to come every week and that it had been “shut much too long,” while another reminisced about the French actors he had met dining there over the years.
The agreement with the trio is technically only meant to last until a new buyer for the building is found, but Rodrigues hopes that they can continue beyond that.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia