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Taverne du Passage reopens after bankruptcy and takeover

13:43 23/01/2022

Some 94 years young, the Taverne du Passage in central Brussels has reopened its doors after two years of uncertainty.

Close to the Grand-Place, in the Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries, the Taverne is an institution.

Since 1928, a mainly local clientele has gathered there, in an unchanged Art Deco decor, to taste sole meunières, waterzooi and prawn croquettes among many other traditional dishes.

Following a bankruptcy last May, the place has been taken over by Raphaël Nataf who also owns the Chaloupe d’Or on the Grand-Place and he has reopened with new management, a new team and a new chef.

Now running the kitchen is 25-year-old Antoine Mariscal, who took the time to have in-depth conversations with the previous chef who had held the position for over 40 years. He then put together his menu based on the old and the new.

"The veal kidneys have disappeared, as we are starting with a shorter menu," he said. "Which does not mean that they will not come back. We will listen to our customers and see what they ask for."

The decoration has also been refreshed. But as Nataf explains: "We changed everything to change nothing. In a little over a month, the room was stripped bare, the floor tiles and ceiling mouldings cleaned (both landmarked elements of the interior), the walls covered with discreet wallpaper, the electricity redone and the banquettes replaced.

"The result is that the visitor has the impression that, apart from the large mobile hanging from the ceiling, everything is as before but on second glance all refreshed."

Written by Richard Harris