Brussels’ Le Grand Café restored to 1947 glory

Brussels’ Le Grand Café restored to 1947 glory
Credit: Pascal Smet/

Le Grand Café, one of the many bars occupying the centre of Brussels, has undergone a significant facelift thanks to a project to return the terrace awnings around the Bourse to their original design.

The grand restoration of the canopy was possible due to discovering the original 1947 structure, which had long lay hidden under wooden boards. By combining this find with archive materials, builders could replicate the design down to using the correct colours and font on the sign.


“Brussels will be Brussels again! The new terrace canopies, based on the original model, are real gems and bear witness to the city’s craftsmanship,” explained State Secretary for Heritage Pascal Smet.

“For me, they are a symbol of the enormous metamorphosis that the city centre is currently undergoing. Government and private parties are working together on this.”

This project – part of a more comprehensive renovation plan for the centre – was made possible by a collaboration between the owner, the architectural firm Architectures Parallèles, specialised professionals and the Brussels public services for town planning and heritage

“Making the central avenues car-free was the changemaker and now, step by step, we are tackling the buildings and the public spaces in the wider surroundings,” Smet added.

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