Photo: Photo Kurt
It is Birger who says that “an agreement has been reached regarding the use of the name Tjop’s. Karel Knockaert will continue under that name, more specifically for the operation of his barbecue restaurant in Knesselare. ”
Birger continues in Ruiselede under the name Grill Academy Ruislé. In 2017 the bosom friends took part in the VTM program My Pop-up restaurant. Their barbecue concept caught on and ultimately won them the top prize. Afterwards, the friends went on with their own catering company for a while, but in 2018 they parted ways.
24 years of friends
Once they stood together behind the barbecue, they now faced each other in court. Karel wanted to continue with the catering under the name Tjop’s, while Birger wanted to use it for his grillac academy. Last year, the two both said they hoped the dispute could be settled amicably. “We have been friends for 24 years,” said Karel last year. “I think we should let that friendship overcome.”
Still, Birger later stated that it was Karel who went to court. “And I regret that. I wanted to arrange it among ourselves, but despite our years of friendship, that did not work out. And that makes me more than just a little sad. ”
Now the matter has been decided once and for all, but the bond between Karel and Birger seems irreparably damaged. “Anyway, the hatchet is buried,” says Birger. “We are both picking up again and we hope, despite these difficult times, for an excellent barbecue summer.”