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Join Antwerp’s party people at its Plein Publiek pop-up

The Guardian logo The Guardian 1/12/2016 Richard Mellor
Antwerp’s Plein Publiek open club space: Open house … Antwerp’s Plein Publiek is a unique form of property sitting. © Robin De Raedt Open house … Antwerp’s Plein Publiek is a unique form of property sitting.

Pop-ups are two-a-penny these days but in Antwerp, Plein Publiek, a new venture that combines a restaurant, gallery, work-out space and rave-y nightclub is luring party-goers, yogies, art lovers and more – and it’s going to be around until at least next May.

Plein Publiek is in a disused block of flats in gentrified Antwerp Zuid, known for chaotic antique stores and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The building is owned by the city council and is awaiting renovation in 2018. In the meantime, Plein Publiek is hosting flea markets, yoga classes and Sunday brunches, and there are art exhibitions in some of the vacant flats. Others are available as rehearsal rooms.

Later, diners gobble down inventive tapas – vermouth-soaked mussels (€12) or aubergine, yoghurt and pomegranate (€8) – as first-daters sip cocktails in a sofa-lined bar area. The courtyard conservatory is tastefully decorated with hanging pot plants, wood flooring and mismatched furniture.

There’s live music on weeknights, and carousers arrive en masse after 10pm on Fridays. The on-tap Belgian beers flow, bright blue spotlights bounce off the ghostly stairwells, DJs spin retro pop and everyone gyrates until 3am.

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