'T Oud Sashuis Ghent

Image by Heather Sills

‘T Oud Sashuis – Traditional boatman’s cafe

As soon as you arrive at ‘T Oud Sashuis, you’ll see the main attraction — the huge steel bridge construction that stretches over the River Leie and dates back to the First World War. The 19th-century building that houses the bar is actually home to the local ‘sasmeester’ whose job it is to open and close the bridge – by hand – when required. I think I picked the wrong career…

It’s a smart move – there aren’t that many boats passing through, so while you wait, why not serve thirsty hikers, bikers and dog walkers from a sunny terrace overlooking the water? Wim, the current sasmeester, juggles the two jobs nicely. He’s something of a local character, in his dungarees, flat cap and cracking jokes in the local dialect – not Flemish, or even Gents, but the dialect of that little stretch of the countryside…

Inside ‘T Oud Sashuis is more of a museum than a cafe. It’s tiny but jam-packed with paintings, historic documents and other bits and bobs on a boating theme. And there’s a great selection of local beers to choose from too. I always go for a Schobiak, the house beer, with a droge worst (dried sausage) and spicy mustard. ‘T Oud Sashuis makes for a great pitstop just 250m from one of my favourite walks – the Ooidonkroute, which you can read all about in my other post.

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Details about this spot



Hellestraat 20, Ghent

Telephone number


Opening Times

Daily 12:00 - 19:00


Beer: € 4


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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)