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“One of the coolest bars in Brussels”
Review of Archiduc

Ranked #463 of 3,715 Restaurants in Brussels
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Description: The coolest bar in all of Belgium, this classic near the Bourse has to be seen to be believed. Ring a bell on the street and you enter a steel bubble swing door like entering a bank. This spins you out into an art deco room with high ceilings, half-moon balcony, pillars to the roof, a piano in the middle and tiny corner bar. Your fellow drinkers are architects, intellectuals and artistic beauties and the bar-staff know their music as well as their martinis. Anything from trip-hop to country plays until late and you only get your bill when you leave. Famous for jazz sessions too, the owner might tell you about the times Miles Davis, Barbara, Charlie Parker, Jacques Brel, Nat King Cole, Tori Amos, Mal Waldron, Lew Tabackin, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga used to come in and jam.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Some bars have such presence that it transcends some of their small flaws and L'Archiduc exemplifies this perfectly. You just have to "get" this quintessential bar that's been hosting the good folk of Brussels since 1937 and you can still sense the ghosts of its jazz past in the ether. Both Miles Davis and Nat King Cole spent some quality time here and live jazz is still on the menu and the grand piano that resides in the bar is testament to that.

Delightfully on my last visit a bohemian guy had a record (yes vinyl) deck on top of it playing crackly Ella Fitzgerald. Tell me where you last saw that in the UK? More annoyingly I missed the time Roger Hodgson from Supertramp played all their greatest hits on the grand piano when he chanced by.

The whole experience begins at the door - an ornate wrought iron affair with a bell that you ring to gain entry - it then revolves as you enter !!That's when you "get it" - a perfectly preserved Art Deco bar with pillars to the roof, a half moon balcony with more seating and a diminutive bar in the left corner. It's "well loved" and the complete antithesis of the spotless, manufactured new bars you tend to find now but the decor and superb atmosphere just carry you away.

There's a complete cross section of society here from intellectuals, professionals, musicians thro' to students and tourists. The bar serves draught genuine Carlsberg - not the UK brewed effluent that most people are used to. The local Lambic beers that come in corked bottles are particularly tasty as well. The cocktails are the big attraction though, with an assured range that are mixed expertly and all this convivial palaver continues until 5am, yes that's right - 5am...

I walked straight out and next door into Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast and sat around a single huge wooden table with other locals, eating freshly baked bread and freshly brewed sublime
strong coffee.

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1  Thank QXZWS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (106)
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49 - 53 of 106 reviews

Reviewed March 5, 2013

Used to be a very pleasant and enjoyable jazz bar. Now music is too loud, you can not understand eachother and it is not jazz they are playing.
The place has lost its soul.

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Thank Mich B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

A great quirky bar that you must visit if you like a bit of live music.
Ring the bell to enter and it feels like you are transferred back in time.
Small, friendly and a great place to listen to some jazz

Thank BecTaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

A small cafe just opposite the bourse where you have to sound the bell to get in. Beautiful thirties interior on two levels, dominated by a large piano. Quick and friendly service, good choice of beers. An you can have the Belgian champagne by glass. Nice place to visit...

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2  Thank jippu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Went here on a Saturday afternoon for some "after shopping jazz". The jazz musicians that were playing were very good. We came in at around 16.45 and 45 minutes later the place was packed. We had found excellent seats and really enjoyed the music and our drinks. The atmosphere was very good. People with small children, older people, tourist and locals, a really good mix! Service was a bit chaotic, but charming. I can imagine it really depends on the musicians what the music and atmosphere will be like. I don't know what the usual level of the artists is, but we had absolutely nothing to complain about.

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Thank Regina1055
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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