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Café Métropole to close, pandemic is the culprit

Radio 2

Café Métropole to close, pandemic is the culprit

Café Métropole
on the De Brouckère Square in Brussels is closing for good on Saturday 26
February.  The lease is at an end and isn’t
being renewed.  The people who have been
running this iconic venue for a year now are disappointed and so are customers.

Café Métropole and the hotel of the same name used to be “the place to be” in Brussels.  The café closed at the start of the pandemic in April 2020.  A year later Manuel Rodrigues (pictured below) and other former staff decided to open the venue for their own account, but the protracted pandemic posed an unsurmountable problem.

Manuel says: “There are no international meetings or conferences in Brussels any more.  Tourists and commuters are few and far between.  We always welcomed punters but it’s never been choc-a-bloc.  Running costs are high too”.

Manuel adds that after 8PM De Brouckère remains empty.

“I put a DJ on the terrace to encourage a different type of customer in the evenings.  It worked, but we also attracted drunks and addicts”.

Punters too are disappointed: “I’ve been loyal to the Métropole for years.  The people running the café did their utmost to breathe new life into it.  I came here for the interior.  It’s breathtakingly beautiful.  Sadly, it’s not the only Brussels monument to close” says Michelle.

Amanda agrees: “When people visit me, I always come here to show them the interior.  It’s an historic property without it’s like in Brussels.  My hubby and I used to come here every fortnight for a bite to eat.  We also came on our wedding anniversary.  I hope new people will soon open the place again.  It’s such a special place for me!”

Radio 2

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