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Time for a pop quiz, my dear readers! What do Café Belga, Le Bar du Matin, Potemkine, La Belle Equipe and Flamingo have in common? I know, easy one: Frédéric Nicolay. These are just a few of the venues created by the local entrepreneur who’s said to be partly responsible for the transformation of certain Brussels neighbourhoods that used to be dodgy in the past.

Flamingo is located in a spacious listed building at the end of Rue de Laeken in Yser. Until a couple of years ago the area didn’t exactly have the best reputation but since the renovation of the Royal Flemish Theatre it’s booming. These days Flamingo and its neighbour, Balls and Glory, have given locals and visitors another reason to frequent this part of Brussels. The interior has the familiar industrial touch of Nicolay – a long counter, interesting choice of beers and cocktails (including Pimm’s which is perfect for summer) and some snacks and soups to go with. Truth is I have mixed feelings about the service, which is at times inefficient not to mention unfriendly but let’s face it, this is not uncommon in cafes with a similar vibe in Brussels. On the upside, it offers breakfast as well as an affordable brunch menu – always a plus for a brunch lover like yours truly! 

Flamingo is a great spot if you are in a large group as there’s plenty of room or need a quiet place with free wi-fi to work or study. On a sunny day make sure to sit outside and enjoy its terrace. You’ll notice it’s always sunny (not to be taken for granted in Brussels!) and there’s a reason for that: an enormous mirror construction has been installed on a building bit further away to reflect the sun on all sides of the bar. Cool, right?

Address: Rue de Laeken 171-177, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 2188870
Facebook page

*UPDATE March 16: Unfortunately, Flamingo is now closed.*

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Sandy (@smarksthespots)