Café Commerce is still a permanent fixture in Leuven

Café Commerce (  has a name that does not disguise what the catering industry is primarily about. Customers of all kinds have traditionally felt at home here. As early as 1864, Café Commerce provided a meeting and banquet room on the first floor. Associations such as the National Association of Former Military Men of Leuven and the Trade Union of Tailors held their meetings here.

Students also found their way to Café du Commerce. For example, before the First World War, the Flemish student movement Amicitia (1911-1914) was based here.


 Whether the café owner was entirely happy with that remains to be seen. After all, the members of Amicitia were not only committed to the intellectual education of the Flemish students in Leuven, but they also advocated more moderate drinking among this future elite of Flanders. Other student clubs scornfully called them the "lords of the water castle", referring to the castle in their logo.

The café, like many other buildings on the Graanmarkt (Herbert Hooverplein) and the Volksplein (the Mgr. Ladeuzeplein), was set on fire by the Germans in August 1914. In July 1920 the plot was publicly sold; Exactly one year later, architect Frans Vandendael's reconstruction plans were approved. The first manager of the new Café Commerce was Edmond Robertz.

Today, Café Commerce is still a permanent fixture in Leuven.

Source: Info board at the Cafe Commerce, February 2024.

Photos by Aslı Tezcan 


Café Commerce is still a permanent fixture in Leuven