Antony the owner of Day Cafe t’Lusterke seen here with my first ever female graduate Shauna Mc Fadden, and her guest mum Martine Verfaillie ( feature photo also Martine with added collage)

Alarming news from Belgium this week with our great supporter and benefactor Antony Verschaeve, owner of Wervik’s Day and Music cafe *t’Lusterke* at the brink of despair, this due to impossible demands and new regulations pressed upon him. Being a small-sized Pub already he has now only 12 places left for customers, a third of his normal capacity. He had hoped that he could extend his front outside terras to add more places, something the local counsil first okayed, but due to emergency rules now rejected and his existing terras build 8 years ago now also in danger of demolition. At the time of building he had the permission of the town Mayor and never had problems, Antony even paid the taxes involved for such terras in the past (now abolished) If things do not change in the immediate future, he will have to put the shutters down he told the local newspaper HLN. This is terrible news for Antony, he always welcomed our Irish riders, many of my graduates went for a coffee on his terras and always got a bit of financial support, this out of his own pocket or collections he made in his pub toward our riders. A big fan of cycling races, his family well known in the cycling world due to Roger Verschaeve (ex-pro with Flandria, TDF rider and 9 pro victories) Antony has 3 supporters clubs in his establishment, Japanese CX pro-Yu Takenouchi has his supporters home in the pub, so is Justin Laevens, a young CX espoir. With the Belgian Project having his home there as well… it would be such shame of seeing the pub getting closed, bigger pubs in de cities can maybe survive but small-town cafes like t’Lusterke will have it hard to keep their heads above water, despite the efforts to accommodate their customers as best they can. We wish him lots of courage and support him in his battle to survive.

Yu Takenouchi on top, and Justin Laevens on the right (Levis top)
Two more graduates ( Michael Mc Glynn and Robbie Doherty) who got a bit of support of Antony in 2018 (photo Linda Logie)
Antony told HLN newspaper “Since the reopening, I have been open seven days a week and that will also be the case in July and August. A terrace would have come in handy. I wanted to dress it up special, I ordered southern plants and they have already been delivered. I wanted to place new tables and chairs and next weekend there would also be a large caravan. It would have served as a cocktail bar and in the event of rain, there would have been room for eight people from the same bubble. In mid-August DJ Bernardo would play music in that caravan and I also wanted to sell ice creams in it” In fact, the city had already posted a “no parking” sign to allow Anthony to extend his patio until the end of August. (Photo Maxime Petit)
VIP Frans “Look-alike Eddie Merckx” during a fundraiser for the Belgian Project a few years ago, this to help out David Montgomery who was racing the CX circuit in Belgium (Photo Katrien Quartier)

29, Molenstraat, 8940, Wervik, West-Vlaanderen,