Duplex Grand Café is taking over an iconic Phnom Penh building on Riverside, opening its wide double doors and giving it a breath of fresh air. To welcome the new era and celebrate many parties to come, Duplex is having its grand opening party this Friday, 6 December.
The name may sound familiar. Duplex Belgian Taverne on St. 278 has long been known for a huge selection of Belgian beers in addition to craft bottles from other nations and local beer on draft. It has been a destination for customers who want the taste of a strong ale from home or to see a band play on its stage or to participate in its salsa nights.
Desiring to be even more accessible to its community as well as to welcome new members, the owners have opened its sister location on Sisowath Quay at the corner of St. 84, the former Chinese House.
Idyllically situated on a street corner shaded by ancient trees and overlooking the river across the street, the historic building was built in 1904 and served as a trading post in the burgeoning capital. Since then, the building’s function has changed several times but maintained its original structure and design, including exposed beam ceilings and Belle Époque floor tiling.
The owners have taken what was most recently a restaurant and turned it into a wide-open arty cafe with ample outdoor patio. Inside one sees famous works by Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte, pairing perfectly with the building’s French colonial façade, to feel whisked away to cafe life in the days of yore. Take a few steps out onto the patio lounge and the mod furniture and copious fishing baskets-cum-wall art remind you that you’re in trendy, modern-day Cambodia.
The wall-to-wall bar inside can easily serve hundreds of guests, as can the well-stocked shelves of bottles behind it. Of course Duplex’s sister restaurant wouldn’t be complete without its famous selection of Belgian beers – 45 in total – as well as its food menu. Both locations are still known for having one of the best burgers in town.
This location’s normal hours are 5pm to 1am, but for this special occasion it goes ’til “late”.