I thought that I wasn’t very much into drag queen shows. Well… that was before I discovered Chez Maman. Located right at the heart of the gay area around Rue Marche au Charbon, Chez Maman is one the very few, and certainly the best, dedicated drag queen show in Brussels.
It is located in an old Maison de Maitre and consists of two floors, the upper floor being the bar, while the ground floor is used for the performances. The place is quite small and becomes easily crowded. The owners made the most of the small space by using the bar counter for the performances rather than going for a normal stage. The performers seductively come down a narrow wooden staircase to land on the bar counter, which is then used as a catwalk for the act. And all works perfectly!
The bar is normally open only on Fridays and Saturdays. On Fridays Chez Maman showcases a variety of performances, while on Saturdays, the bar counter is normally occupied by La Diva, a drag queen who pays homage to the international Divas, starting from Whitney Houston to Edith Piaf. The glitzy outfits and the strong powerful voices make the performances very glamorous.
The compactness of the bar, the low lighting and the seductive music, result in a very intimate atmosphere. Maman, dressed to perfection, is always there to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
Expect to find a more mature crowd, from 30-somethings upwards. While the clientele consists mostly of gay men, it is also quite popular with lesbians. The popularity of this bar means that it can become stiflingly busy so head there early to make sure you that you manage to get in.
All in all, an absolute must! I can’t wait to go back there.
Chez Maman, Rue des Grands Carmes 7, 1000 Brussels website