Café Baek is the latest ray of sunshine on ash grey Blaak. There’s no other place in the street where you come away feeling happier.
There’s no question of quietly slipping past. A pair of bright blue eyes immediately appears beside us. Would we like a seat on the terrace, are we hungry or thirsty? The enthusiasm is infectious. A critical review is a distant prospect at that moment.
And that doesn’t change when her colleague comes to our table. Your reviewer soon unintentionally knows more about her than his companion. That she ends the conversation with ‘bye bye’ and ‘love you’ stays with us. Particularly when the waitress returns five minutes later to take our order.
Anyway. Nothing negative to report about the staff. What’s more: Baek has a star chef on board. You can see that from the small menu, ditto portions and slightly high prices. Interestingly: the hamburger – what do you mean, star chef? – apparently has celebrity status in the city. Regardless of the fact that Baek has only been open since February.
From the terrace, you look out on the constant bustle on Blaak. So enough to see. ‘You have a good view if an accident happens,’ someone says. A comment you can’t argue with. Also true: on a summer’s day, it’s heaving, which is a good sign.
Trendy 20 somethings
Inside, where La Cubanita used to be, it’s industrially trendy. A large colourful painting on the wall makes the visitor even happier than the staff had already made him. Trendy 20 somethings eat well and drink wine. On their sticker-filled MacBooks – someone’s drawn an apple juice carton around his Apple logo – they think up disruptive innovations. That kind of person.
Baek exudes charm. See first of all the waitresses, but also the lovely offers – the 1000th hamburger customer won free burgers for a year, at the checkout you can win a meal if you leave your business card – and the fact that the customer literally sits on classroom chairs. For many student entrepreneurs, this will be an inspiration. Perhaps not for the new Facebook, but for the day after tomorrow’s.