Charlie Rockets


Everything changes - Tunify stays

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Karel Hessels manages Charlie Rockets, a hostel-and-bar-in-one, located in the centre of Bruges. He also has an Italian restaurant in the building next door. Karel has been a Tunify user for many years now. And in that time, pretty much everything in Charlie Rockets has changed except for the choice of music player... 

Karel has been a Tunify user since day one. His first experience with the music player was at a colleague’s, after which he immediately made the switch. He hasn’t gone a day without it ever since. Not that Karel is afraid of change. Au contraire: When Charlie Rockets opened in 1995, it was an American style café with hamburgers and a Tex-Mex kitchen.

‘I wanted to introduce a slice of Americana here,’ explains Karel. ‘In the United States, they eat and drink at the same place.’ But Belgians hold on to the idea of keeping their restaurants, cafés and bars separate. And Karel was 20 years too early for the current hamburger hype. So, he decided to take a different approach. The kitchen moved to the building next door, where Karel opened an Italian restaurant. And Charlie Rockets became a youth hostel-and-bar-in-one.

A diverse entity 

Today, these different parts form one beautiful but diverse entity. Just like the diverse clientele. ‘There are a lot of young people who come in via the hostel,’ says Karel. ‘But in the bar, you’re just as likely to see guests who are 16 as men who are 61. And there’s even a good mix of tourists and locals from Bruges. Travellers always have good stories to tell and they add variety to my clientele.’

In recent years, Charlie Rockets has continued to follow the trends. Recently, experiences have become more and more important, and the business made the most of this. As well as offering pool, foosball and darts, Karel organises all sorts of events, including live acts every week. Visit their Facebook page to take a look.

A playlist for everyone

Music is especially important in the bar. For this reason, Karel chose the most extensive Tunify subscription: Tunify Orange. With this, you play your pre-programmed channels and make your own playlists.

‘During the day, we usually play one of Tunify’s set lists or an atmospheric channel. In the evening, we switch to our own playlists,’ explains Karel. ‘We work with 6 or 7 people behind the bar. Everyone has their own playlist that is constantly being added to. My own list now has more than 600 tracks on it. If I come across a good track on Tunify or on the radio, I immediately add it to my list.’

"If you’re not familiar with Tunify yet, I can only recommend you try it out. Only then will you know what you’ve been missing."

Karel Hessels - Charlie Rockets

Control and user-friendliness 

As his subscription has already been running for so many years, there is no doubt that Karel is enthusiastic about the music player. ‘If you’re not familiar with Tunify yet, I can only recommend you try it out. Only then will you know what you’ve been missing.’

‘I think Tunify is worth it just to have so much control over the music being played in my business. At any time, I can create the right atmosphere or send a track someone has requested straight to the speakers. This kind of thing is very important. People also go to a café for the music. If I went somewhere and didn’t like the music, I’d head back out and look for a different bar.’

‘For me, as the person in charge of the business,’ says Karel, ‘the other big benefit of Tunify is the user-friendliness. I have an employee who has worked here since she was 18. Today, she’s 38 years old. Of course, she knows Tunify through and through. But new colleagues only need 2 words of explanation to be able to use the music player as well.’

You’re welcome at Charlie Rockets from 8 a.m. Would you like to know more? Go to

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