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Antwerp Bob Hendrickx (and other) cafes

Posted by Jeremy Gray on 11/10/2003 02:51:05 PM

So, the challenge was to hit all 11 Bob H cafes between 1800 Friday and 1300 Sunday, plus of course have some quality time in a few other old favourites.

Well, in the end we got to all 11 Bob H bars, plus had three sessions at the Kulminator and one at the Oud Arsenaal (neither of these last two are Bob listed).

Unfortunately, and pretty inevitably, one Bob H bar, the Konincklijke Snor, has changed its opening hours since Bob's book came out, and as it now closes completely on Saturday we were left with only 10 of the targeted 11 'stempels'. But anyway, not bad for a weekend's work, and it leaves us one more to check out when next in Antwerp in March.

A few comments on the bars:

Quinten Matsijs - fantastic interior; poor beer list (a common theme, unfortunately, but I pretty much expected that) but I had a couple of good De Konincks.

Highlander - sitting in a cafe in Belgium surrounded by tartan is not the most appealing to me, but the owner was friendly and the bar itself is pretty good.

Pakhius - got there Friday evening, but clearly missed Gunter. Didn't rate the beer very highly at all; stoofvlees was pretty ordinary; didn't really 'get' this place (is there anything to 'get'? - nice brickwork and brewing equipment perhaps?)

Cafe Beveren - best of the Bob H bars for atmosphere. Huge juke box, lots of communal signing - like a juke box version of Aux Olivettes in Liege. Great place, pity about the beer list.

De Vagant - excellent as usual.

't Waagstuk - fab; hasn't appeared to suffer at all with the depature of Hans. Enjoyed it very much.

Trein de Traagheid - ??? - bizarre to be sitting in an old wooden railway carriage within a bar. Great place but lacking atmosphere due to the fact we probably went too early (9pm-ish) - I get the feeling it probably livens up later.

Paters Vaetje - as usual went there in the middle of the night after about 11 beers elsewhere so memories are pretty fuzzy. Spotted a lunar eclipse on the way, which I put down to too much beer, only to find out today it really did happen. Fab place, what can you say about a bar which is still kicking away furiously at 3am, and beyond, no doubt.

Het Zand - great, lively atmosphere and friendly locals. Not a great list, but when they sell Westmalle Tripel who cares?

Oud Arsenaal - fantastic - surely this is the best bar in Antwerp? Superb, focussed list and an atmosphere to die for. We completely love this place and I want my front room to look like it.

Kulminator - excellent. Had several super beers, especially those on draught (two from Het Anker in superb condition) and a few interesting aged beers. Delighted that they have finally updated and renewed their beer list. Great atmosphere and we met a load of new friends on Saturday night. Smoke factor = very very high. Was it always like this or are we just more sensitive coming shortly after a smoke free week in New York??

Den Bengel - staggered in for coffee and to collect my stempel on Sunday morning - lovely locals bar, average beer list, but after a weekend like we had, I really didn't care!! - decent coffee it was too, by the way......



Antwerp Bob Hendrickx (and other) cafes - Jeremy Gray, 11/10/03 02:51:05 PM
        Great report but...... - Phil W, 11/11/03 09:42:22 AM
                Get your Spurs on to the Old Arsenal - John White, 11/11/03 11:05:16 AM
                        Re: Get your Spurs on to the Old Arsenal - Jeremy Gray, 11/11/03 05:39:45 PM
        Forgive my ignorance. What's a stemple? NFM - Rich Link, 11/10/03 07:48:38 PM
                Re: Forgive my ignorance. What's a stemple? - Jeremy Gray, 11/11/03 02:21:13 AM
                        It's "stempel", as Jeremy wrote first time. nfm - Joris P., 11/11/03 03:59:42 AM
                                Should have paid more attention I guess. NMF, er, NFM - Rich Link, 11/11/03 09:00:00 PM

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