The skinny on De Kleine Duivel
This morning, I caught up with Paul Kopchinski, the owner of De Kleine Duivel, the new Belgian beer bar coming to Hampden.
A Baltimore native, Kopchinski graduated from Peabody with a degree in classical composition, then spent 10 years working as a pharmaceutical sales rep. Now, he's opening a Belgian bar.
"I'm on my third or fourth life right now," he said.
After leaving Big Pharma, Kopchinski took an introductory course at the French Culinary Institute in New York City and started scouting locations for his bar. He wound up buying the Nutty Pub in Hampden, which he is currently gutting and renovating. Kopchinski hopes De Kleine Duivel will be open by late June or early July.
"The location was perfect and the timing was perfect," he said. "I thought, 'My idea for a bar would fit right in with what's already in this neighborhood.'" ...
"Anybody who's been in here before is not going to recognize it when they come back in now," he said. "We're pretty much starting from scratch."
If all goes as planned, De Kleine Duivel will have 10-12 Belgian beers on tap and another 30 bottles, Kopchinski said. He wants the beer menu to be seasonal, and also plans on serving a limited, authentic menu.
Kopchinski's mother's side of the family is Flemish, and he still has relatives in Antwerpen -- hence the name, which means "The Little Devil." For hundreds of years, Belgian beer was brewed by monks, who gave it names with religious symbols like "devil" and "angel."
"I know it will be little difficult for some people to read or pronounce, but what as long as they like the beer, that’s all that matters," he said.
(Photo courtesy of the bar's Facebook page)