review

Le Wappers: picturesque delights

© Saskia Vanderstichele
Onze score

In Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek, Le Wappers is restoring glory to a disappearing genre: the tavern. A place that's convivial and much needed.

Where have all the taverns gone? Encased in solid furniture, these places, once filled with smoke, are no longer at the top of their game. It's a pity because, at a time when social ties are crumbling due to our highly individualized culture, such convivial spaces are needed all the more. Fortunately, a few pockets of resistance remain, and others are being created. That's what's happening in Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek where Le Wappers is being brought back to life by Bernard Leboucq, one of the owners of Brasserie de la Senne who is particularly active within his neighbourhood.

The laminated drinks menu with a neo-propagandist design by the excellent graphic artist Jean Goovaerts, informed us that Gustave Wappers (1803-1874) was the official painter of king Leopold I, which is appropriate because this establishment is as picturesque as can be. It's all there: the entranceway covered in stickers, solid wooden chairs, wood cladding, light fixtures with chains and fake candles, ceiling beams, and white plaster. The light fixture made from a painter's pallet is a delightful detail. The authenticity of the place is confirmed by features like the massive counter with various beers on tap, such as the excellent Zenne Pils for €2 and Jambe-de-bois (€3.50), for people who like strong sensations, and the obligatory TV. In other words, a genuine proper tavern that's guaranteed to make you feel at home.

The drinks selection includes a selection of Trappist beers, classics (for example, Rodenbach for €3), and, above all, an aperitif of their own that's worth checking out, made with Campari and Jambe-de-bois (€4.50). Good news, the place also offers a range of unpretentious snacks. There's an unmissable “bolo” for €10, a carbonara for €11 (in which the lardons are replaced by guanciale, the fashionable Italian pork cheek), and a generous croque-monsieur (€9.50) that combines smoked spiering and three types of cheese. We also like the “omelette of the day” option, which varies in price depending on the ingredients (€7 for the plain version). We wish this place a long life.

LE WAPPERS
place Wappersplein 7, Schaarbeek/Schaerbeek, 02-732.32.07, Facebook: LeWappers
di/ma/Tu & wo/me/We 11 > 22.00, do/je/Thu > za/sa/Sa 11 > 23.00,
zo/di/Su 10.30 > 17.00

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