Infamous Brussels prostitution cafe Taverne 54 ordered to close again
Thursday, 12 December 2019
The cafe can only be ordered closed permanently through court proceedings. Credit: Google Street View/Goran Lepen
An infamous Brussels prostitution and drugs cafe, Taverne 54 on the Rue de Laeken, has been ordered to close its doors again by the police.
The police and drug brigade surprised the cafe owner and were able to find enough incriminating material to close the cafe for longer period of time, reports Bruzz. This is not the first time Taverne 54 has had to close for a while. In 2016, the cafe was shut until June 2017 after someone was stabbed on the premises, and it was shut again in 2018, after several nuisance complaints.
However, the cafe can only be ordered closed permanently through court proceedings.
Nevertheless, the mayor, Philippe Close, promised to step up the rhythm of police checks and closures to prevent the owner from earning his income through the cafe. “Maybe the owner will decide to leave the neighbourhood. At least, we hope so,” said Alhambra, the neighbourhood committee.
The Alhambra district has had trouble with prostitution networks, which often also cause drugs-related nuisance, for years.
One of the places in which all kinds of criminal activities took place was Café Tropicana. The infamous bar where machine guns were found was ordered closed, and reopened in early 2017 as a community centre and meeting place. On Wednesday, Brussels-City granted permission for it to stay open until the end of 2020.