There are a lot of old cafes in Belgium’s Payottenland and Zenne Valley that should be better known. Many have closed their doors in recent years, as older owners retire, and their cafes are sold or continue to be used as residences.
One of them that may also close for good at some point is Cafe In de Welkom, in the village of Dworp. Yes, the same one as the superb Hanssens Lambic blendery. 88 year old Lisa Wauters has been running the one room cafe for 63 years, and I was fortunate enough to pay a first visit last November 10 during a day touring the Payottenland. My companions were Johan “Wanne” Madalijns and Wim de Kelver of De Lambiekstoempers, a great lambic beer appreciation and promotion club based in Halle, south of Brussels.
In de Welkom is the oldest cafe in Dworp, dating to 1906 or even earlier. As to how long it will remain open, Lisa was quoted in a local newspaper article in 2011: “When I have to stop there, the cafe is closed.”
See here for more info (in Dutch. But you can you Google translate.)
In de Welkom doesn’t blow you away with beer selection, but if you are in lambic country to drink lambics, and in Dworp, then the local Hanssens Oude Gueuze and Oude Kriek should be plenty sufficient for a nice visit! Throw in Orval, Westmalle Dubbel and Tripel, Rodenbach and a few others, and it’s a good list.
We savored 75 cl bottles of both the Gueuze and Kriek, from old antique glasses. I suspect that doesn’t happen for every visitor, as Johan and Wim are well known in the area and to Lisa. A 75 cl of the Gueuze nearly fit into an old Winderickx glass that must have dated from the 1950’s, and we savored the Oude Kriek from old De Koninck of Dworp glasses. (Not to be confused with De Koninck of Antwerp. The Dworp lambic brewery is long gone.)
This is one of those classic old gems, with bench seating, a beautiful interior, and sedate ambiance that will not last forever. So, if you are in the area, get there for a true lambic experience, now!
In the photo of the menu, above, there is a yellow paper attached below the menu. It says “The Ten Commandments of Leza.” Bar rules, they are. As far as the opening hours, they are from 10am to 1 pm and 3 to 6 pm on Sundays, and from 10am to 6pm other days. The address is Molenveld 79. Telephone: 02 380 11 17.
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