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Come rain or shine, the first 'guinguette' summer bars open this weekend

13:41 19/04/2024

It’s a seasonal tradition in Brussels: each year, summer bars familiarly known as guinguettes grace the city’s parks.

Despite the dismal weather, guinguettes Fabiola in King Baudouin Park, Jette and André in Laeken Park are opening this Saturday. Meanwhile, the capital’s five other summer bars will follow suit later in the season, announced Brussels Environment.

Guinguettes Henri (Georges Henri Park) and Vincent (Parc du Bon Pasteur) in Evere are due to open on 25 April, Maurice (Cinquantenaire Park, pictured) on 5 May and the Vélo-guinguette (La Cambre Abbey) on 17 May.

The summer bars in the city’s green spaces have been around since 2017. "Each name given to the guinguettes has a close link with the park that houses it," said Judith Verbist, spokeswoman for Brussels Environment.

"Fabiola in the King Baudouin Park references the late Queen, André in Laeken Park both the engineer and architect who designed and built the Atomium, respectively André Waterkeyn and André Polak."

In principle, guinguette Émile in the Duden Park will join the other bars this spring; it is currently awaiting a permit.

All the guinguettes are open daily from 11.00 to 22.00, with the majority remaining open until 6 October.

Brussels Environment highlights that each bar prioritises local and organic products. For deliveries, the guinguettes’ operator Barc works together with Urbike to reduce the carbon footprint. Barc also strives to produce as little waste as possible by favouring reusable materials and recycling practices," added Verbist.

In addition to offering alfresco drinks and bites, customers can enjoy other activities at many of the guinguettes, including yoga sessions, mini concerts and repair cafes. "The goal is to bring local residents together for a drink or a meal in a park to forge bonds and create social cohesion, but also to discover or rediscover the park in a different way," said Verbist.


Written by The Bulletin