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Chez Richard

Chez Richard may look old-fashioned, but it’s not a museum where time stands still. In the evenings, from Thursday to Saturday, you can order tapas at the stand on the terrace. On weekends, a DJ livens up the laid-back atmosphere. Yves tells me they also plan to organise concerts and theme parties in the near future.

There are several bars with a history in Brussels, but not many that carry their age as gracefully as Chez Richard. One of the oldest bars in the centre of the capital, it has withstood the test of time among the art galleries, antique stores and chocolatiers at the Grand Sablon. When you enter, the wooden interior and movie posters in the small room bring to mind the sort of beloved black-and-white classics like Laurel and Hardy.

The previous owner – called Richard – changed the name of the bar after it had existed for decades under the banner of Au Grand Pot. Yves, the owner now for almost 20 years, decided to retain the name and the authenticity for which the bar is now well-known and loved.

After the summer, the tapas will be replaced by oysters, available from October until the end of April. All year long, the bar serves breakfast and traditional Brussels dishes like stoemp and carbonnade at reasonable prices. Apart from beers and wines, you can also find refreshing cocktails on the menu.

But like any proper bar, Chez Richard also offers a lot of stories through its customers. People from all social backgrounds are talking in different languages about their adventures in life – perhaps a little exaggerated. The openness of the place attracts many artists on a visit for an exhibition in the area.

For more info, visit the Facebook page, which is kept very up to date. Or just drop by, like in the old days; it’s open every day from morning to evening.

www.tinyurl.com/ChezRichard

2 Rue des Minimes, Brussels

This review was originally published in Flanders Today