Representative image
Representative image

New coronavirus restrictions put a spotlight on two Belgian classics this week: Beer and surrealism.

Since bars in Brussels were forced to close as of Thursday for at least a month to deal with a massive surge in cases but restaurants were allowed to remain open, the big question on the streets is: when is a bar a bar and when is a bar a restaurant? And more importantly, does the distinction really help contain the pandemic?

Aurore Phanariotis of Le Paon d'Or, which advertises itself as a "Bar Lounge" was working on it as soon as the Brussels ban went into effect. Serving coffee, beers, wines, but also pastries and nibbles, she thinks she can lean both ways and stay open.

"Bars indeed have to close, but bars are not places where food is served," she said.

"So I interpret it in a way that benefits me and as I have a cafe serving small food, I kind of have two hats. So I take off my cafe owner hat to wear my restaurant owner hat."

Across Brussels, similar issues could be found, with some places known for their beers suddenly highlighting their kitchen magic.

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Free Press Journal