This summer head to DOK, a Ghent pop-up bar that even has its own beach
I knew that the Belgian city of Antwerp has various cool pop-up summer bars. But I didn’t realise until a recent visit thanks to Visit Flanders that the city of Ghent also has its very own Ghent pop-up bar called DOK. I was told about DOK by one of the locals. True to form this Ghent hidden gem was a bit of a mission to get to from our base, the best B&B in Ghent, which was close to Ghent’s historic city centre. We had to get a bus (or you could get a tram) to Gent-Dampoort bus station. From there it was about a 10/15 minute walk straight along a major main road (there is a bus that runs down it but it wasn’t that frequent so we decided it best to walk) until you reach DOK.
DOK is literally in the middle of nowhere, close to the docks area (see what they did there). Used as a creative space as well as a Ghent pop-up bar, DOK is only open on Sundays. Each week a different artist’s work is exhibited. Throughout August and September, this Ghent pop-up bar also runs a vintage market selling second hand clothes.
As well as the bar area inside, there’s also lots of open space at this Ghent pop-up bar for people to hang out while DJs spin their tunes on the decks. At the front there is a large terrace, decked out with wooden tables and chairs, as well as a play area for kids. Walk round to the back and you’ll find a BBQ (they also have BBQs on Sundays) and my favourite bit of DOK, its beach.
What I loved about this Ghent pop-up bar is that although it’s quite cool (think Dalston/ Peckham type places in London) it isn’t in the least bit pretentious. We were the only tourists there but we were made to feel welcome by the staff and it has a relaxed vibe. DOK also holds events from time to time. During the World Cup it was open for matches and had a tent with a huge screen and deckchairs for people to watch the games. In August it’s holding a couple of film screenings and it also hosts performances and readings.
Sadly this Ghent pop-up bar won’t be around for much longer as it finishes in its current incarnation in September 2014. DOK has running for a few years on its current site but this is being turned into apartments from next year. The staff told me the plan is to hopefully make this Ghent pop-up bar mobile so next year it will be in a different place in Ghent each week. Here’s hoping then that this brilliant Ghent pop-up bar doesn’t get docked in 2015.
For more info on Ghent check out visitghent.be