Gert de Mangeleer and Joachim Boudens, the co-owners of three Michelin star restaurant Hertog Jan in Zedelgem, Bruges, Belgium have told Flemish newspaper Het Niewsblad they plan to open a second bistro L.E.S.S. in Ghent either next year or the following.
At the beginning of this year they announced that they would be closing their 3 Michelin star restaurant Hertog Jan on 22 December 2018. Originally, they had planned to sell the property when they announced that they would close the restaurant.
They no longer have plans to sell the building. They told the newspaper that soon after the announcement a serious candidate emerged but a month and a half ago that ended. “Finding a buyer is not easy. We thought about it and suddenly we saw the benefits of keeping it. It is a beautiful building with large spaces, a beautiful garden, a well equipped kitchen.”
The venue will be used for seminars, product presentations, baby showers, weddings and also to cook for themselves. They intend to keep using the offices and the kitchen will serve as a test and preparation kitchen for their other projects which include a very exclusive small and intimate table serving just eight people for lunch or dinner.
Gert and Joachim said when they had announced the decision to close Hertog Jan that they would move L.E.S.S. (Love. Eat. Share. Smile.), their bistro concept which can currently be found in their old Hertog Jan building in Sint-Michiels in the suburbs of Bruges to the centre of Bruges.
Gert told the Flemish newspaper that they want to move there by 1 March of next year but negotiations so far are difficult and they have no time to lose. “We have set a deadline. If there is no decision at the end of next week we will move on to Ghent. If it does come around, we will travel to Ghent for the second branch of L.E.S.S. a year later.”
The concept will evolve from what it is today with a bakery, a pastry shop, a coffee corner and wine bar. Gert and Joachim believe that in a city environment, they can open it from early in the morning until late at night.
In their first Hertog Jan, the location of the current L.E.S.S., they will be opening a bistro serving traditional Flemish cuisine. One of their chefs and maître d’hotel will be in charge of the bistro which will serve dishes that are served in many restaurants but taking them to the highest level. Gert promised that there will be tomato with shrimps like people have never ate before using the best shrimps and the best possible tomatoes, french fries like they’ve never had before or Bresse chicken with a creamy morel sauce.
Gert and Joachim said they are living at 200 per cent this year working 100 per cent of their new concepts and 100 per cent for Hertog Jan.
Bookings at Hertog Jan nearly sold out within a matter of days for the whole year. But there are still a few tables available here and there and the best way to know of availability is to follow their social media accounts.