Bar or restaurant? The big issue in pandemic-struck Brussels

BRUSSELS (AP) — New coronavirus restrictions have put a spotlight on two Belgian classics this week: Beer and surrealism.

Since bars in Brussels were forced to close Thursday for at least a month to deal with a massive surge in virus cases but restaurants were allowed to remain open, the big question on the streets is: when is a bar a bar and when is a bar a restaurant? And more importantly, does the distinction really help contain the pandemic?

It is all very reminiscent of surrealism master Rene Magritte, who painted a picture of a pipe and wrote under it “Ceci n’est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe),” — because, of course, it is an image of a pipe.


“The Treachery of Images,” as the painting is called, also applies to Brussels watering holes these days. To stay open, bars will have to prove that they are

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