Located on the Chaussée d’Alsemberg, La Buvette was built in 1944. This former butcher’s shop (now a restaurant) is remarkable for its architectural quality and consistency. This place is a representative of the development of the Chaussée d’Alsemberg around the 1940s, a period which saw the installation of numerous shops in this urban artery. This is why Brussels Region decided to add it to the list of protected commercial heritage.
“The urban commercial heritage is often weakened because it must respond to a constant evolution of standards and tastes. Due to its perfect state of conservation and its originality, La Buvette deserves to be protected and classified. It seemed important to us to protect this decoration, which is a testimony to the economic vitality of the district so that it can also become a source of inspiration for the future” says Pascal Smet, Secretary of State in charge of Urban Planning and Heritage.
The refreshment bar inside bears witness to an “Art Deco” architectural style, while the facade is already more modernist. Inside, the use of certain materials such as marbrite, marble, ceramics and shapes testify to a purely decorative desire with many characteristic decorations.
The author of these decorations, the architect François Mees, is little known but has nevertheless made a few other buildings also inspired by “Art Deco”. These are mainly found in the municipality of Ixelles/Elsene; avenue du Bois de la Cambre 61, 63 or avenue Brillat-Savarin, 15. In 1951, the architect created a conference and film projection room, as well as offices and a library for the Dominican convent and church located on avenue de la Renaissance in Brussels. Finally, in 1958, François Mees also transformed the ground floor of an eclectic building located in rue des Deux Eglises in Saint-Josse into a commercial ground floor. The facade of this building is covered with blue, green and orange tiles, like the old butcher’s shop on Chaussée d’Alsemberg.