Wellington’s Belgian beer cafe turns twenty, original decor still intact


Manager Todd Hunter has been with Leuven Belgian Beer Cafe for the last 16 years.

Rosa Woods/Stuff

Supervisor Todd Hunter has been with Leuven Belgian Beer Cafe for the final 16 years.

Wellington’s Leuven Belgium Beer Cafe turns 20 this week, and to have a good time they’re stepping again in time with costs from their opening days.

The cafe had seen its share of workers come and go, a number of marriages, plenty of infants, and plenty of college students and career-starters by the doorways who went on to blaze their very own trails in different industries.

Owned by Russel and Elwyn Scott, Leuven opened in 2000, and supervisor Todd Hunter has labored there for 16 years.

Over twenty years the cafe had bought greater than 400,000 kg of mussels – a staple dish that can drop to its year-2000 worth of $15.90 per kilogram this Friday.

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Leuven Belgian Beer cafe turns 20 years old.

Rosa Woods/Stuff

Leuven Belgian Beer cafe turns 20 years previous.

The decor – all imported from Belgium, together with the tradesmen who painted the joint – has stayed the identical for 20 years.

Furnishings, tiles, even lampshades had been imported at its opening, and had stayed intact since.

Whereas Wellington cafes usually stayed widespread by reinventing themselves each few years, Leuven hadn’t wanted to.

“Nothing has modified other than the workers and the costs.”

Leuven Belgian Beer Cafe on Featherston St has been in the same location since its opening.

Rosa Woods/Stuff

Leuven Belgian Beer Cafe on Featherston St has been in the identical location since its opening.

It had served greater than 500,000kg of frites, numerous litres of mayonnaise, greater than one million litres of Belgian beer, and had tons of of beer glasses stolen through the years.

Within the early days, Hunter had seen workers chasing patrons down the road to retrieve pilfered glasses, every vessel distinctive to the beer served inside.

Out of their greater than 600 workers, some had gone on to be docs, attorneys, architects and enterprise house owners, even beginning up their very own hospitality companies additional afield.

Hunter had as soon as visited Wellington hospital, and been seen by an previous colleague who labored at Leuven as a pupil.

The classic decor, brought over from Belgium, along with the painters who worked on the interior, has remained unchanged since its opening.

Rosa Woods/Stuff

The traditional decor, introduced over from Belgium, together with the painters who labored on the inside, has remained unchanged since its opening.

The cafe was in a first-rate location for individuals attending occasions on the newly-renamed Sky Stadium, with excessive factors being the Robbie Williams live performance in 2001, the rugby sevens, and AC/DC in 2010.

“We’re on the observe there, and on the best way again.”

This yr had been “the toughest yr in our historical past”, with their buyer base fully dropping away over lockdown, and sluggish to return to regular even now.

Hunter hoped the celebrations tomorrow would encourage individuals again by their doorways.

There would even be a “karma keg” on sale, elevating cash for the Karen Louisa Basis, a charitable belief which honoured the life and aspirations of Hunter’s spouse, Russel and Elwyn’s daughter, Karen Louisa Hunter, who died of breast most cancers in 2015.

* Be taught extra concerning the belief at karenlouisa.org.nz.



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