Barz Aalter: Bespoke Catering Recipes

May, 30, 2023 4 min reading time
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On Aalter's cosy market square is Barz. A medium-sized brasserie with a concept unique in the region: tapas sharing and regional gins. A house gin was therefore an obvious choice, and for this, manager Kathleen chose the floral gin from Recently, the experienced catering entrepreneur saw and seized a stroke of luck and immediately put the house style and thus the gin bottle in gold. Customers love it.

Barz Cover2.1 scaled

Barz revamped its corporate identity and it's paying off

Kathleen is an old friend of In the early years, our business owners put on their bold shoes and walked into her previous establishment 't Soulistje with it. "We clicked immediately and the gin caught on well in 't Soulistje," Kathleen recalls. "Hence, I immediately knew where to go to order Barz's house gin."

"Purely on the basis of the golden bottle, customers ask if they can taste our house gin" - Kathleen Snauwaert

With Barz, Kathleen is indeed not on her trial run. "I have been working in the catering industry for 25 years. First twelve years in the café on the other side of the market. As a result, I know the local crowd and have a good idea of what the other catering businesses are doing." She then switched to dance café 't Soulistje, until four years ago, the entrepreneur saw that a property came up for sale on the market that was so well known to her. "A year before, I was just too late with my bid, that was not going to happen to me a second time," laughs Kathleen. She pulled it in and housed Barz in it.

Unique and regional house gin

"I wanted to establish something that didn't yet exist in Aalter and a tapas sharing concept seemed perfect to me. All the more so in combination with only regional gins. Everyone has Hendrickx or other international gin brands on their menu. Local products generate more interest, however, is my impression."

From its opening, the new catering establishment was a hit. It is precisely the pronunciation of the name that sometimes causes confusion. "You have to pronounce it as bars," grins the self-confident owner, "we have heard numerous variants. We had to separate the Z from Bar because there was already a company with that name in Belgium."

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Expansion in a golden jacket

Barz has been so successful that Kathleen immediately seized the first opportunity for expansion. "In November last year, the adjacent vacant premises came up for sale. Two summers ago, we already occupied its terrace as a coronagest of the municipality and it was doing so well that we could handle a bigger business."

Barz took advantage of this renewal to give its house style a new, golden look. So the house gin also got a makeover. "The bar has become more modern and we wanted to reflect that with the new style. That's why we went for a black and gold logo print everywhere. The customers love it, we get compliments on it daily."

Eyecatcher that sells itself

The striking golden gin bottles are such eye-catchers that they sell themselves. "The golden bottles in the new house style have become really beautiful. We display them prominently and it happens that customers want to taste the gin purely because it comes in such a beautiful golden bottle," Kathleen proudly testifies.

The choice of the floral gin again dates back to the days of 't Soulistje. "Even then we wanted our own gin that had most in common with the Hendrickx gin. Accessible, rather sweet. When someone here asks for a Hendrickx, I invariably recommend our Barz gin."

Daily dish

With success. Both men and women appreciate it and regularly ask for another glass of it. "For many it is the regular 'dish of the day', which we are allowed to prepare without a word," Kathleen illustrates with a Champion term. "We only sell it pure with a bottle of tonic with it, so customers can mix it themselves. Recently we also got your non-alcoholic gin and we use it in non-alcoholic cocktails."

Spirits other than gin do not do as well, at least at Barz. But one particular cocktail is going over the counter just as fast. "We have a cocktail with vodka, which is also doing very well. A Red Cheeks vodka, which we make with raspberries, sugar, hibiscus and vodka."

Location: Markt 8, 9880 Aalter
Open since: Feb 2018
Renewed since: Jan 2022

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