BRUSSELS: The first Brussels food market opened its doors last weekend inside the headquarters of the former bank ASLK (Algemene Spaar en Lijfrentekas) or CGER (Caisse générale d’épargne et de retraite) as it is known in French.
Inside the food market are 16 restaurants that can handle up to 755 people, a bar, a brewery, a chocolatier. It will soon have a bio market where customers can shop for produce.
Thousands of locals and tourists alike have flocked to the Wolf food market over the past few days with queues forming outside to get a glimpse of the bank turned into food market and to try some of the best of Brussels street food offering all now coming together under one roof.
Wolf, the name of the food market takes its name from the road (Rue Fossé aux Loups. The historic Brussels building is famous for its 7 metre entrance doors made of bronze and enamel. Alfred Chambon started building the bank in 1943.
The food market is more of a space for ‘street’ food outlets than a market for shopping though the promoters of the first Brussels food market have attracted some of the top names in the Brussels street food scene.
Unlike many cities around the world, Brussels has lacked a food market in the city centre even if the concept is more that of a ‘food court’ rather than a ‘live market’ where locals shop for produce.
Among the most prominent is Dierendonck, the famous Flemish butcher who opened his first butcher shop in Brussels a few years ago in the St Catherine area. He was famous for his butcher shop as well as his restaurant Carcasse on the Belgian coast before venturing into the Belgian capital.
There is also La Piola, one of the top pizzerias of the Belgian capital, as well Knees to Chin, Hanoi Station, Idea, Super Filles du Tram, Toukoul, Bollyfood Stories, La Table du Marche, My Tannour, Tapas & Co, Le Comptoir du Crabe, Gaufres & Waffles and Vincent Denis Dessert Bar.
The greyish green doors have inspired the decoration of the central bar. A lot of the elements that were dismantled from the building have been used to build the Wolf Food Market.
These include signs of different counters as well as old desks that have been repurposed into lamps. The designer that has turned the old bank into Wolf is Lionel Jadot.