What’s new: Wasbar opens seventh location with new look

Summary

As Wasbar opens a toned-down new look in Hasselt, a new brasserie pops up in Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe, and a new discovery trail for kids launches in Bruges

Wasbar

Everyone’s favourite combo launderette and eatery, Wasbar, has opened a new location in Hasselt. With a completely new design, this seventh location is located smack dab on the city’s Grote Markt.

Gentenaars Dries Henau and Yuri Vandeenbogaerde opened the first Wasbar in Ghent’s university district in 2012. The concept – wash your clothes while drinking beer caught on like wildfire, and two more locations soon followed, in Antwerp and Kortrijk.

The vintage feel, solid menu and general concept caught the eye of Antwerp-based franchise holder Top Brands, who bought out the Henau and Vandeenbogaerde in 2015. The pair remain on board, handline marketing for the brand.

Wasbar then closed the outlet in Kortrijk but opened a second one in Ghent, two more in Antwerp and one in Leuven. And now Hasselt. “Hasselt is a young, trendy city in full evolution,” says Top Brands CEO Stef Meulemans. “With the resurfacing of the Grote Markt, we’re got a beautiful and central location.”

The Hasselt location, though, has a different look than all of the others, with more of an emphasis on the restaurant than the laundry aspect. “Wasbar is no longer the little start-up it used to be,” says Meulemans. “The idea of a laundrette where you can also order something to eat has grown into a complete food concept. The interior needed to evolve as well.”

Bistro de la Woluwe

A much-needed bright spot just off Sint-Lambertusplein in Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe is the new Bistro de la Woluwe. Having taken over the former L’Alliance pub, it has smartened the whole street right up with its streetside terrace and extensive wine list.

Open seven days a week, the gastropub serves snacks, salads, meals and desserts. Main courses start at €16 for a scampi and tempura salad and run to €39 for sole meunière. There’s a terrace out back, too, by the way.

Stap in de stad

Bruges has rolled out an experience trail for families that introduces kids to cool projects that mix architecture and contemporary art. Stap in de stad comes with a booklet of exercises that challenge them to explore the works in a variety of ways, whether mimicking their stance, considering other colour options or imagining what might have been behind the artist or architect’s thinking.

The walk starts at the In&UitBrugge visitor’s centre, where kids aged six to 12 can pick up their free materials and a map of the sights. Adults will enjoy this journey as well, which takes them to places in Bruges they might never have been.