I’m eating a delicious vegan sandwich. I’m wearing headphones connected to a turntable. I’m studying the record cover, while raw indie pop music treats my ears. I order a coffee when the vinyl reaches its midpoint and I need to turn it around. Around me are several more musical tables, with a cassette deck or turntable built in the woodwork. I was asked to chose my table soundtrack from the record bins at the entrance, just after ordering lunch. None of the bands or covers looked familiar to me. Both the food and the music were a pleasant surprise.
Bienvenue chez Super Fourchette, a brand new lunch or brunch café slash restaurant slash record shop around the corner of La Brouckère in the center of Brussels. Opened just three months ago by Charlotte and Marie-Eve, it sets somewhere in the middle of cuisine and music, for music freaks and foodies. This wild combination is not so odd for the couple. Charlotte explains: “we both have experience in the catering business, Marie-Eve is a chef, and we are avid music lovers. I have been playing in several bands as well. Right now I’m part of Tuvalu, a Brussels based post punk and psychedelic rock band.” Charlotte and Marie-Eve are originally French, but have been living in Brussels for about five years now. The inspiration and network that led to opening the record shop in their restaurant is the result of the places were they have lived, worked and played music. For Charlotte especially the touring experience with her previous band ‘Moss Lime’, when they lived in Montreal, was important: “most of the records you find here are the outcome of meeting people, discovering new labels, bands and concert promotors. This record shop and its music selection is meant to support a small and underground scene.”
Super Fourchette does not want to be a typical record store. Although in the near future the offer will definitely grown, it will never be the shop to go to and ask for the latest Arctic Monkeys album. Instead American, French, British or Belgian independent labels such as Burger Records, Okraina, FONS or Fatcat Records are part of the offer. Charlotte describes their artistic identity as discovery-oriented: “our customers have never heard of the music they unearth here. It’s mostly pop, rock, hiphop and a little bit of world music, since this is the music we like to listen to ourselves. We don’t offer much electronic music for example, since we aren’t able to explain you anything about it. The music selection is very close to our own personalities.”
This “support your scene” philosophy is also reflected in the food menu. Super Fourchette opts for local suppliers, which leads to a new menu every two or three days. A vegan option is always available, next to a selection of delicious cakes. And the coffee is served slow, to allow the aromas and oils to extract more. But will people always take the time to enjoy the music and vibe of the restaurant? Charlotte answers thoughtfully: “no, sometimes people lunch quickly and see the records as decoration or put on the headphones just for fun, which is of course also fine. But in the afternoon there is plenty of time to come here and enjoy a coffee, beer or drink and take the time to enjoy the music. And every second Sunday of the month we do a brunch with a concert. So plenty of options, to each his own Super Fourchette experience. But there will always be good music around, no doubt about that.”
Rue des Hirondelles 3
Open: Tue - Fri 12:00 - 17:00 Sat 11:00 - 17:00 Every second Sunday (brunch+concert) 11:00 - 17:00
Words & pictures: Koen Galle