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Chad Davies introduces Cafe Brutal

Lovers of food and drink, rejoice! Utrecht has just welcomed a new addition to its list of hotspots: Cafe Brutal. Located right on the water at the popular Rotsoord – home to WT Urban Kitchen and Klein Berlijn, among others – Cafe Brutal is serving up Spanish wines and bites for super affordable prices.
Chad Davies is the initiator behind Cafe Brutal & he’s also the one running it. He’s an expat from South Africa with a love for food & wine – so a natural fit for a feature here on Explore Utrecht.com! Today he’s sharing his Utrecht story, his favourite things about the city, and also giving us some more info on CB.
What first brought you to Utrecht from South Africa? How was it to adjust to life here?
• I moved to the UK aged 17 where I worked in restaurants and hotels. Later I studied at a London university where I met my girlfriend. She got the opportunity to study for her Masters at UU and being the grandson of a proud Dutchman, I couldn’t refuse her offer to move over together to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
• Adjusting to Utrecht life was mostly fun and easy. Fortunately, the Dutch are friendly, helpful and fluent English speakers – it almost felt like being on a holiday where everyone aims to make you feel welcomed and supported. Dutch cheese and beer is a big pull factor if I’m totally honest!
Favourite thing about the city?
• Cycling EVERYWHERE – especially down the Oudegracht in the autumn when the Christmas lights are on!
Tell us about Cafe Brutal! What’s the story behind this venture?
• The idea of Cafe Brutal came as a bringing together of my passion for great Spanish cuisine (particularly the pairing of good local wine and rich, delicious Iberian ham) and my discovery of and love for the Dutch ‘borrel’. I approached my employers at Beers and Barrels Downtown (the same people responsible for the award-winning WT Urban Kitchen) who were more than happy to commit to join me in opening a fresh and innovative café that prioritises quality food and wine without the expensive price tag. Like many small businesses we hope our story at CB will be a successful, long and happy one!
What can we expect from Cafe Brutal? (In terms of drink, food, atmosphere…)
• Very simply – great, authentic wine and jamon in a relaxed, informal setting – a little taste of Spain in your neighbourhood!
And finally, what are four of your favourite spots in Utrecht?
• Beers and Barrels Downtown – I know it might seem a little biased but the burgers and beer selection are second to none!
• Maarsenveenseplassen – best spot for summer swims.
Broei – my local coffee spot.
• Any one of the canal bridges in the old part of the city.
Thank you to Chad for answering our questions!
Make sure you check out Cafe Brutal on Facebook or head on over to Heuveloord 25a (right under WT Urban Kitchen) for a delicious Spanish-style borrel 😉 Expect a full review of CB next week!

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About Sophie Boisvert-Hearn

Sophie is a freelance editor with a master's in Media Studies. She hails from Toronto but has lived in Groningen, Leiden, and The Hague, and now happily calls Utrecht home. Besides eating, thinking about eating, and buying & making food, her hobbies include travel and writing. Her idea of the perfect day in Utrecht includes a lot of coffee, a friend or four, copious amounts of pastries, and a stroll around the city's gorgeous streets and canals – all topped off, naturally, with drinks on a terrace. Surprisingly knowledgeable about kaasstengels.

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