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‘Everybody likes Café Café!’ TEXT: XANDRA BOERSMA | PHOTOS: CAFÉ CAFÉ
It is a daring quote: “everybody likes Café Café”. But owner Maxim Willems is confident enough to use it. And we get that, because it truly is a place where everybody is welcome and everybody enjoys themselves. “Underground, with a high amount of partying, that’s what it is.” Café Café has been a well-known venue in the city centre of Hasselt for more than 20 years now. Though it used to be just a bar, when Willems took charge about four years ago he decided to do things differently. Not entirely differently, but just a little - so that not only the regular bar visitors would enjoy themselves, but the younger ones could come and have a little dance. “I added a club in the back,” he explains. “Every Thursday we have a band coming down here to play and every weekend there’s a DJ. Great names as well, not just your regular neighbourhood band. We try to appeal to both a younger and older audience with this change. I noticed the bar attracted more of the older generation, so 62 | Issue 48 | December 2017
the club is a great way to create a mixed audience.” A welcome change, so it seems. “It’s one of the few clubs in Hasselt now, so we see the younger crowd coming to visit indeed. And even though it’s an underground atmosphere, there’s always a huge party mood.” The friendly atmosphere is something that really appeals to visitors and is what made Café Café a well-known place to hang out. Not only at weekends, but during the week as well.
Being a drummer himself, Willems knows his music. He wants to give bands a place to play. “I know how hard it is to find places like this, that’s why the club has a collaboration with the rock school in town. Practically every Tuesday music students come to play here. It’s an evening the business students organise themselves. That way Café Café contributes to their education.” Web: www.cafecafe.be
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