Ixelles' Mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) said that he’d like to close the two bars that employed a man accused of raping multiple patrons, according to De Standaard.
El Café and Waff were blasted on social media when the allegations came out, and over a thousand people participated in a march against sexual violence that was held in the neighbourhood on Thursday night.
It was at that march that the mayor, joined by the president of the city council, Monica Frassoni (Ecolo), said both cafes must be closed “immediately.”
Both cafes remain open as of Friday afternoon, though they closed their doors on Thursday evening “to protect the staff and customers” during the march against acts of sexual violence like the sort purportedly committed by a member of their staff against multiple customers.
Both Waff and El Café posted statements to social media regarding the allegations, but turned off commenting so that no one could reply.
At the request of the demonstrators, the police presence in the neighbourhood was increased and Frassoni announced on Facebook that there would be a related evaluation within a month.
Mayor Doulkeridis' cabinet member, Aline Lacroix, told Bruzz that the investigation is ongoing and that the mayor therefore does not yet have a legal basis to close the cafes.
⚠️ À TOUS CEUX DE BRUXELLES ⚠️ Notamment les filles ! ⬇️Évitez d’aller au Waff et au El Café (Ixelles), le serveur du Waff a drogué et violé deux filles jeudi. Après qu’elles aient déposé plainte, le patron l’a transféré au El Café. Le serveur a déjà 17 plaintes à son actif. — Golden Wings ✨ (@RayHDDI) October 11, 2021
Translation: Warning for all of Brussels, especially the girls! Avoid going to the Waff and El Café (Ixelles), the waiter at the Waff drugged and raped two girls on Thursday. After they filed a complaint, the owner transferred him to El Café. The waiter already has 17 complaints to his name.
The allegations began with two women saying they were drugged by the employee while at the student-friendly bar Waff, then raped. After those accounts were shared on social media, at least a dozen more women came forward with similar allegations.
Waff reacted to the allegations by suspending the bartender, but reports then circulated on social media that the bartender had actually just been transferred to El Café, another bar in the same area.