Central, 'more Commercial' and Currently very Colourful: Café Dépot

Article published on June 18, 2010
Article published on June 18, 2010
Rue Dansaert is probably one of the most famous streets for the Dutch-speaking population in Brussels. Close by, in Rue Auguste Orts and very close to La Bourse, de Beurs (The Stock Exchange) -and close to Café Kafka- you can find the next bar we are taking you to: Dépot. Even though the bar only opened in 2004, it has become a real bastion for Dutch-speaking people in Brussels.
And with a Flemish owner and Flemish staff, it probably does not come as a big surprise that the Flemish feel at home there. After all, it is where their Stella is...

Photo: Dépot cheering for the Dutch soccer team in this year's World Cup

Never alone, always together

That might be the way things started out in 2004, as Kobe's town mates from Black Box Revelation so vividly sing. If ever it has been so, now, that certainly is not the case anymore. In 2004, Kobe Raveschot started Dépot together with a collegue. But after two years, Kobe bought out his partner and the latter started his own restaurant, also in Brussels. Now, Kobe has been running the place on his own for four years already. Festivities for the bar's six year anniversary, will be postponed until after the Worldcup.

A(n) (un)conscious call

At its foundation, Kobe and his collegue "consciously decided" to use Dutch as their contact language. A logical thing to do, as they both are Flemish. "I'm from Dilbeek, I'm Flemish, and my staff is Flemish as well. So the language we use is not surprisingly: Dutch. And that attracts Dutch-speaking people, I guess. And because people know that a lot of Dutch-speaking people come here, that attracts more."

And apparently Flemish people did appreciate the coming of a bar where a lot of Flemish "assemble". "I was surprised to discover that there was such a high demand for a "Flemish" café. But of course, even if we address people in Dutch first, when we notice that customers don't speak Dutch, we immediately switch to French or English. Everyone is welcome here, but most people that come here do speak Dutch," owner Kobe explains. So, a conscious call to use Dutch as the first language, unintentionally turned the bar into a "Flemish" bar.

Dépot2 The neighbourhood around the Stock Exchange and Rue Dansaert, is the area where a lot of Flemish live and go out. "Of all those bars, we are kind of "the commercial one" around here," Kobe says. On weekends, DJ's play there, turning the place into one big party.

Flemish Students and Exuberant Dutchmen

A lot of Flemish students tend to spend a lot of time in Dépot - probably more time spent there than in a library (and time well spent). That is because of Dépot's long-standing sponsorship of Flemish student associations like the ones of former Ehsal (now HUB). Or because of their publicity in student cities such as Leuven or Gent. In short, if you are in search of hordes of Flemish students in Brussels, from Monday to Wednesday, Dépot is your place to be!

But next to Flemish students, a lot of Dutchmen seem to frequent Dépot. "Especially now, with the Worldcup. Belgium is not competing, so we're cheering for our northern neighbours"", Kobe explains. And it's hard not to notice all the bright orange decorations he has hanging at the bar. Also, where there's one Dutchman, the rest will follow. "One time, the police even showed up, because of all the racket," Kobe laughs.

But even if you are not a Flemish student, nor a Dutch(wo)man (let alone an exuberant one), you may still find what you are looking for in Dépot on a night out in Brussels' city centre. A "more commercial" bar, DJ's at weekends, fun guaranteed! The bar does not have its own website, so if you would like to find out more, we can only advise you to pay the bar a visit: Dépot, Rue Auguste Orts 32.