The interior’s decoration was 80% similar as it is nowadays. So the cult-painting named Toi Jeune, Ne te Désespère point (Young man, never despair !) and thought to be a portrait of the French writer Lautréamont, already hung on the same wall at Café de la Justice. Quite groundbreaking as a piece of interior design ! Given his penchant for noble materials (massive oak, leather, steel, copper, brass, Belgian bluestone, …), Gevers turned VSM into a place that would appear in the forefront of trends in the late sixties.
From the first moment on, the restaurant proved successful and its turnover was steadily growing.
De restaurant’s name Au vieux Saint-Martin was given by Albert Niels who, being himself a great art collector, used to stroll every morning around the Marolles quarter in search of flea-market treasures. One day he came across a medieval St Martin’s sculpture, so he decided to name the restaurant after this Patron Saint of the poor.
Huge transformation works were done in 1988 by two of his sons, Albert-Jean and Philippe. These involved the digging-out of a basement to put up the lavatories, which provided for a 30% restaurant table increase on the ground level. A brand new kitchen was installed and so were a pioneering ventilation system and a vast banquet hall. The restaurant closed 5 weeks.
From then on, redecorating works are undertaken regularly to maintain and embellish what had been done for the last 50 years.