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Matild Café & Cabaret to open on May 19

Food

After a long and thorough renovation period, the historical "Belvárosi Kávéház" is returning to Budapest’s social and cultural scene as Matild Café & Cabaret next month, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

The 300-seater venue will await guests in Matild Palace from May 19 as the reimagination of the café originally opened in 1901, echoing the Belle Epoque era of Budapest with the grand café and cabaret shows. The gastronomic concept of the café was dreamed up by star chef Wolfgang Puck.         

The two-story café was the most popular center of the vibrant social life of the early 20th century, where prominent public figures, journalists, and artists used to meet; and where significant pieces of Hungarian literature were born, like some part of “The Adventures of Sindbad” by Gyula Krúdy. As it was one of Krúdy's favorite places, a Krúdy statue was erected next to the café in 2021 to pay homage to one of the greatest writers of Hungary.                

The café was not only a popular social hub in the city for a long time, but it also had strong symbolism related to a fresh start after the World War II: this café was the very first such business in Budapest to reopen its doors to the residents after the war.     

The original café was run by the Rónay dynasty for almost four decades and then has lived through different eras. It was the home of one of the most traditional coffee houses, later a restaurant, a casino, and even a nightclub.

Today, the building itself is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been under monumental protection since 1977. The long and highly detailed restoration work was based on the original plans, and contemporary drawings and photographs also helped the restorers to restore the building.        

"It is a great pleasure for us that this art nouveau café is finally coming back to Budapest's social and cultural scene. It wasn’t an easy task, but we restored every detail to its original condition. The unique atmosphere of the café, the design elements are rooted in the local culture and infused in every element of the venue. Entering the Matild Café & Cabaret, our guests will be enchanted by the charm of this historic place, the heritage of this beautiful café" says Emre Pasli, general manager of Matild Palace.              

The venue's gastronomic offering will embody a mixture of tradition and innovation: the menu showcases stylish and modern scenes of gastronomic experiences over coffee, cakes, traditional pastries, comfort food, international dishes, and peerless service for its guests for breakfast and daytime.

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