The story behind Au Savoy
May 2018: Determined to find a suitable location near Place Brugmann for their third restaurant and after a several months search Albert-Jean and Frederic Niels buy out the business of the restaurant Le Plasch Brugmann.
In July of the same year, vast refurbishment works are undertaken under the guidance of architect Anne Catherine Lalmand whose expertise had proven already to be an asset in the interior design of Restaurant Au Grand Forestier.
Much attention is paid to the architectural design. All furniture is custom made.
Noble, first quality materials such as brass, cupper, leather, solid oak, Belgian blue limestone are being favoured.
Work of modern and contemporary artists contributes largely to the restaurant’s warm atmosphere.
The large terrace (with heating in wintertime) got a complete makeover in order to maximise customer comfort.
Albert-Jean and Frederic Niels have called their new restaurant Au Savoy as a tribute to their grandfather and great-grandfather Joseph (1890-1940), founder of the dynastic line and creator of the filet américain recipe.
Indeed, in 1908, ancestor Joseph Niels decides to leave his parents and native Pajottenland region to seek his fortune in the United Kingdom. Due to his energy and perseverance he will soon be offered a job in the prestigious London Savoy Hotel.
Au Savoy opens its doors on the 15th of October 2018.
The Berkendael- Brugmann district, a bit of history
From 1905 forward surveyor Cesar Boon manages the construction of Place Georges Brugmann in the context of a new urban-development masterplan aimed to reshape the Berkendael district.
The square is named after Georges Brugmann (1829-1900), an illustrious banker and philanthropist born in Verviers, who invested in the Belgian railways, the Brussels tram transport system and the industrialisation of the Congo, who had been consul of Great-Britain, Norway and Sweden in Belgium and who contributed largely to the urban planning of many parts of the then still rural municipalities of Ixelles, Uccle and Forest.
Place Brugmann has been designed in T-shape from which stem seven streets.
In 1932 the Notre Dame de l’Annonciation church was constructed with a rectangular parvis in front of it, as well as a small oval-shaped park.
Place Brugmann stayed a distinctly residential area even if many businesses have established here over time.
The housefronts are made of blue or white limestone often designed in an Eclectic or Beaux-Arts architectural style.
The former Belgian Red Cross Hospital spread over five buildings is mainly located at Place Brugmann, though also had premises at rue Stallaert and rue Picard.
For the anecdote, Albert-Jean and Frederic Niels both were born in this hospital.