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Former Brussels bar Monk to reopen in February under new name Billie

14:52 23/01/2024

Under new name Billie, the Brussels institution that was cafe Monk is due to open in February, its new owners told Bruzz.

They reiterated their promise to preserve the authentic atmosphere of the iconic brown tavern in the Sainte-Catherine quarter.

The trio of Dries Heymans, Leentje Bruynickx and Steven De Visscher took over its management after the cafe was forced to close last May.

Now final renovation work is underway before it opens its doors, although the first few days will be run as a test phase.

"We want to be able to create a clear picture of what is going well and what can be improved. An official opening will follow afterwards," said Heymans.

The famous dark decor has been retained. "Both the inside and outside of the building are classified as heritage," he recounted. "So customers shouldn't worry about suddenly ending up in a different setting."

This philosophy is also true of the extensive beer and cocktail menu that remains in place, albeit with the addition of low- and non-alcoholic drinks. On the food front, Monk’s generous bowls of spaghetti will continue to be served in the back room.

The refurbishment includes renovation of the roof and new sanitary facilities and kitchen. Heymans and his partners are busy with final purchases and details, while new staff are soon to undergo training.

Customers will have to be patient to discover Billie’s future cultural programme, which is likely to be geared towards a younger audience.

"We already have some great ideas in the pipeline. But it's important to get practiced first. Once we are ready, we will certainly unveil our cultural agenda," said Heymans.

Billie’s official opening will be announced via the cafe’s social media.

Photo: Courtesy Monk Facebook page

Written by The Bulletin