Belge une fois
The concept store that makes life more Belgian
Arthur and Natacha, typical of Brussels folk, love a challenge. Less that three months after the end of their pop-up experiment in rue Haute in summer 2015, they opened their own boutique a few doors down. Then, when they were offered an opportunity to obtain ground-floor premises a stone’s throw from Grand-Place barely a year later, it didn’t take them long to make up their minds.
Atrium.Brussels, in its capacity as Regional Agency for Commerce, also acts as intermediary between owners of commercial property and tenants seeking retail premises.
The Agency had already partnered Belge une Fois to arrange its first opening, and it put the owner of 11 rue Brasseurs in touch with Natacha and Arthur. Atrium.Brussels then gave a sticker to the concept store for the duration of the works, before providing the young couple with logistical support for the store’s opening.
Where once it was Les Marolles, now it’s the turn of Grand-Place to rhapsodise over the pins and other designer bits and pieces at Belge une Fois. The customers include a surprising number of local people. And not without reason: the concept store has made the names of personalities such as Dikkenek and Freddy Tougaux, so beloved by the people of Brussels, go down in history. And its shelves reveal the joyfully impertinent creations of over 50 Belgian artists.
With Atrium, you don’t get the remotest impression of a public institution. The young and dynamic team is not the sort that watches the clock, or assigns numbers at random… Its members throw themselves body and soul into their mission. They demonstrate real empathy, which makes you want to hold on, and do better.