Melanie Englebin is only one of a number of traders unhappy with the zone. They claim a loss of takings is due to difficulty clients experience accessing their premises.
The mayor intended to dine with a city cabinet colleague, but the chef made it clear he was not welcome.
"I asked him to leave in a friendly way. I provided him with an explanation: the pedestrian zone means people can't get into the centre and that people don't feel safe in the evenings. My turnover has fallen by 40%. I'm nearly bankrupt."
Earlier Comme Chez Soi's top chef Lionel Rigolet also sounded the alarm after he was obliged to get staff to sign on. "It's the sign of a dying Brussels" Lionel Rigolet claims. He mentioned the Brussels and Paris attacks, but also the impact of the pedestrian zone: "Last year our turnover fell by 18,000 euros after the pedestrian zone was introduced."