Southern French holiday atmosphere in wine bar La Cave des Amis in former restaurant Auberge de Provence (Chapelles)

For a quarter of a century, Auberge de Provence was one of the better restaurants in Kapellen. That was the credit of chef Albert Mangiapan.

Gino Mangiapan: “On August 15, 2010, my father served the last place setting. Immediately the end point for Auberge de Provence. My parents continued to live in the property until my father died and my mother no longer wanted to stay there. The building had been vacant for two years. In his restaurant I was a sommelier for 15 years. So we are important in my life”, Gino Mangiapan begins his story.

The wine truck gave them the idea of ​​a wine bar. — © koen fasseur

Food trucks boomed in the years before the corona pandemic. Many large events and private parties called on it. “Together with Frank Madelein, we converted an old Citroën van into a wine truck. A bull’s eye because we were often asked to supplement the food trucks. And then came corona,” explains Gino Mangiapan.

The concept of winetruck did not let them go. What started as a party of fun matured into a new wine concept. “Since the parental home was empty, we decided to convert it into a wine and tapas bar with a large terrace and a modern interior space.”

La Cave des Amis

The duo did not have to think long about a new name. “Gino’s father always said that customers are never numbers, but friends. Because we want to bring the French and southern holiday atmosphere to Kapellen and stay in the language atmosphere of Auberge de Provence, the name was, as it were, up for grabs”, explains partner Frank Madelein. The building at Antwerpsesteenweg 287 is hidden in the green and it already looks summer.

Large offer processed in a wine bible.

Large offer processed in a wine bible. — © koen fasseur

wine bible

Gino Mangiapan: “Like my father, we import our own wines. His wine cellar is still a treasure. Our own range, supplemented by that from my father’s wine cellar, provides an enormously varied selection. This ranges from small rural wines to the most exclusive bottles. It’s impossible to put all of that on a wine list, so we developed a wine bible. The book will be available later this month. However, we also know that most guests will find their choice in the regular wine list”, says Gino Mangiapan.

“Appropriate tapas belong with a glass of wine. A charcuterie plate, camembert in the oven… it’s all there. “The bread with olives, rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes was made especially for us by the Brasschaat bakery La Boulangerie. If you want, you can also reserve a grill table,” says Frank Madelein.

Inside view.

Inside view. — © koen fasseur

Follow-up assured

Gino and Frank’s children are eager to help. “I helped my father from the age of 15. My daughter Margaux and Frank’s son Maxim are now both 15 years old. They also have the urge to help. Follow-up assured.” Info: Instagram winebar_cavedesamis

Erik Vandewalle

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