Café 't Stationneke' sits in the shadow of Deinze station and has been a household name in the wider area since the heyday of metal in the late 80s. The pub weathered numerous storms over the course of time but a changing nightlife scene and a series of unpopular government measures that directly impacted the hotel and catering industry hit Elpee hard and by 2009, the pub was hanging on by a thread.
As Tim's (pub landlord from 1992-2010) faithful right hand, Kat had a front row seat and she developed her own concept of what a modern pub/music club should look like. When Tim threw in the towel in 2011, Kat decided the time had come to take the reigns and put her vision to the test
She rebuilt the club from its foundations and changed the name to ELPEE. The cliché of the gloomy, dingy metal pub was abandoned and the club underwent a facelift that same year. A small stage was erected and the new, welcoming interior had a more universal appeal. The result of the makeover was a cosy-as-hell no-nonsense low-budget pub/club where all are (made to feel) welcome.
Kat's vision caught on and when she acquired the property in 2015 it was time to start the renovations in earnest. The music club in particular was bursting at the seams. When Elpee started out, Kat had envisioned organising the odd concert but before long the concert calendar swelled to 50-odd gigs per year. It was quaint and it had a certain romantic metal appeal - struggling to set up properly, fans packed like sardines in front of a tiny stage - but in the end it was just too much hassle. In summer 2016 half the building was torn down and what remained standing was thoroughly renovated. A new section was added, doubling the pub's surface area. Today Elpee is a state-of-the-art music club that complies with all applicable norms and regulations. Also, the club was soundproofed to limit noise pollution to an absolute minimum. Through it all Kat's main concern was to preserve the warm and casual character that was the backbone of Elpee. And sure enough, the post-renovation Elpee managed to retain its unique atmosphere as a cosy club with an informal and intimate atmosphere.
Elpee has always boasted its fair share of fiercely loyal visitors, ranging from regular patrons to music lovers or a combination of both. Some only come to shows while others prefer to sit at the bar. It doesn't really matter because Elpee caters to people of all ages and from all walks of life, and somehow everyone seems to fit in just fine.
The exceptional ambiance and a strong sense of family are Elpee's strongest assets. Regulars, passers-by, music lovers and musicians... everyone knows everyone else or they get to know each other. Or as one patron put it: "Elpee is like coming home". Kat is in charge of reception, service and organisation; the visitors and musicians set the atmosphere, which is really unique.
On Thursdays and Sundays there's room for a variety of music genres and the crunching guitars and double bass drums are given a rest. After all, everyone enjoys a good chin wag from time to time!! In other words, Elpee caters to a variety of tastes so you never know what you'll find when you walk in.
Today Elpee might be an oasis of peace and conviviality; the following day a band with an international reputation will raise the f***ing roof. Our calendar offers something for everyone, depending on your mood or preference. In summer it's nice to sit out on the terrace, whether the pub is packed or you're just having a quiet drink with a few friends. There are no fixed opening hours and a lot depends on the clientele.
There's a nice balance between pub Elpee and club Elpee: the patrons are just as important as the music fans that attend our shows and vice versa.
We also take care to keep our prices affordable, we only serve branded products and ticket prices for live shows are kept to a minimum. There's an unwritten rule that gigs are concluded at a reasonable hour to avoid night noise. Weekday shows end at 10 pm out of respect for the neighbours, train passengers and customers who prefer to sit at the bar. The curfew on Saturdays and Sundays is 11 pm. It doesn't matter if you're a regular or you just walked in off the street, everyone is welcome here. So put any prejudices and fears aside and visit our 'beer-swilling' rock 'n' roll pub with its wooden decor and let the cheerful banter and spirit of camaraderie that characterises Elpee take you by surprise.