Villa Loco


Today is the opening day of Villa Loco, a new chapter in the life story of Miette Dierckx. In the third season of the My Pop-up Restaurant tv-show, she reached second place together with Willem, her 'partner in crime’ at the time. Last summer, they traveled through the country with a home-made food truck, the “Jalapeño Loco Summer Bar”. After an inspiring holiday, Miette returns this summer with a brand new concept: “Villa Loco”. Tunify was curious to find out how she had experienced the past few months and what her new project is all about.

“I actually took part in My Pop-up Restaurant to find out if I was able to start my own business or not,” explains Miette. “We never thought we could reach the final, so participating in that game show turned out to be a really nice experience. As a student, I had already been working in hospitality, but the real passion for starting my own business has grown on me there and then. Last year, we did only a small project, but this year I really wanted to have a permanent location. And that’s how the idea for Villa Loco started.”

The Latin American atmosphere runs as a thread through Miette’s projects. She explains where that passion for Latin America comes from. “For My Pop-Up Restaurant, we had to create a clear concept. After some research, we chose Mexico as our theme. In fact, I had never really been interested in Mexico before, not even in taco’s,” laughs Miette. “Half a year later I went there on a hiking vacation for a month and it was really beautiful. I’m now completely in love with that atmosphere.”

Instagram, @miettedierckx

Miette describes Villa Loco as 'a complete package’. “It’s not a restaurant this time, more a bar where you can meet with your friends. We have some snacks and tapas for when you get hungry, but the focus will be more on drinks rather than food, with Mexican-inspired cocktails and snacks. We will also organise some activities, currently I’m thinking about giving some salsa lessons. Well, not me, a real dance teacher obviously,” laughs Miette.

The fact that Villa Loco is a temporary business again, is not a coincidence. “It’s indeed a new test,” explains Miette. “The food truck last year was also a test and it didn't seem to work out that well for me. We did not have our own kitchen, so we had to rent a restaurant kitchen for the night to prepare the food and rent a real truck to transport everything to the location. That was not at all feasible. That’s why it was a test instead of starting out without knowing what you’re doing and ending up being forced to carry on because you made big investments.” Even though it’s a test, Miette still considers Villa Loco as a big challenge. “I’ve started a business twice now. Every time I want to manage my staff better, so that everybody is happy to work here, I want my financials to be much better than before… I too make mistakes every time, but I also want to do better than the previous time.”

Miette tries to do as much as she can by herself, but for dressing up the interior, she can count on the help of her sisters. “The first thing we’ve done in the new building is connecting speakers, so we could start working. We immediately started playing Latin American music. Music is mega important. It’s also crucial for the atmosphere in your business: you can dress everything up in a certain style, but if the music is not there, it just all seems a bit less real. It’s the music that makes the whole concept complete.” The music in Villa Loco comes from Tunify. “We know many business that use Tunify and they find it very easy to use, really user-friendly, so I thought it would be a good idea to use it myself this time.”

Today, the doors of Villa Loco are officially open. If you love mezcal, tequila, sombreros and summer cocktails, then don’t wait to plan your visit, because the pop-up summer bar only stays open for 2 months. Villa Loco is in the old town hall of Eindhout-Laakdal (Eindhoutdorp 13). More information can be found on the Villa Loco Facebook page. Arriba, abajo, al centro… y pa’dentro!


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