Vis-a-vis is like the diner in Seinfield, the cafe in Friends, the bar in Cheers – everyone in Luxembourg knows it and everyone’s probably been. I’ve lived in Luxembourg for three decades, and this little corner bar was already established when I arrived and is still going strong, still reliable, still a familiar place to find a table or a barstool and have a drink with friends.
I love the warm red and ochre walls, visibly cracked and old, with paintings on the wall that feel straight out of 1920s Belgian advertising; the tall red bar stools and the tiled counter, the simple fare and down-to-earth feel. As the name suggests, vis-a-vis is the perfect spot for a little face-to-face chat, a quick beer after work or a glass of wine before the theatre or before the bus comes.
You can get bistro fare here, meaning there’s a small menu written in chalk up on the blackboard. Last time I was there, you could get Luxembourg’s famous dumplings ‘kniddelen’ with a salad and apple sauce for 12.50, a vegetable soup for 7.50 or a grilled cheese with a salad for 8.50. You can sometimes find fresh waffles too – and intimate live music – but people usually just drop by to be in a familiar place that feels like a home away from home. Even tourists stopping by will feel that same vibe and enjoy having a coffee or a drink in the unpretentious but welcoming setting of Luxembourg’s familiar corner bar.