Almost three years after closing Hertog Jan in Zedelgem on the outskirts of Bruges, Gert de Mangeleer and Joachim Boudens have announced their return to fine dining with “Hertog Jan at Botanic Antwerp”. The new concept will be a ‘cosy’ 12 seat restaurant that will be open two weeks every month.
The restaurant will be housed in the site of Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp, a 5-star superior hotel with wellness and meeting facilities that will open its doors in the historic centre of Antwerp in June 2021. They have also announced the addition of a second Bar Bulot in Antwerp, their Flemish French bistro that has been so successful in Bruges. Gert de Mangeleer told The Food and Wine Gazette, “We will open for just two weeks in a month. Probably it will be the first two weeks of the month but we are not sure yet. During those two weeks, we will be open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. It will be a very cosy restaurant 12 seats only.”
Joachim Boudens said this is a new chapter for Hertog Jan. “It is not going a copy paste of our old restaurant in Zedelgem. It was good that we could reflect for two years. I believe now is the time to be more intimate and more human. When a restaurant is too big you lose the human connection. It is totally different to have to pay attention to just 12 guests,” he said.
In addition to the gastronomic Hertog Jan, the team of Gert and Joachim will also open a second branch of Bar Bulot, their à la carte brasserie, on the same site. Who will be at the helm at Bar Bulot in Antwerp is still unclear at the moment. Gert and Joachim are still looking for the perfect team.