The legendary Hauer confectionery reopens in August
It is always nice to visit a restaurant or a café that was once one of the most significant spots in Budapest. After years of being closed, the Hauer confectionery reopens in August, thus breathing new life into the neighbourhood, reports index.hu.
One of Index.hu’s reporters actually paid the confectionery – still under renovation – a visit. The following is a recollection of his experiences.
You would expect a building that was abandoned for years to be in a run-down state, but this is not the case here: only a minimum amount of renovating was needed. Authorities only requested the installation of new toilets, nothing else had to be replaced. Still, the owners repainted everything, you will find the old bright white furniture to resemble antique pieces, the chairs were upholstered and the floor had to be re-polished.
Attractive spaciousness: the story behind the interior design
Hauer is different from the usual downtown confectioneries, as it has three stories, not just a simple guest area, with huge windows with a view of the street, and a counter with a confectionery shop behind it. It is altogether 1300 square meters big today, but, as most of the successful and still operating businesses in Budapest with a long history, it started off as a small family venture. Nándor Kasselik opened a small confectionery in the same spot in 1890, which was not fancy, considering that this area was on the outskirts of the town back in the day. Years later, after the death of Kasselik, his widow married Rezső Hauer, who revived the place.
Today, one would expand by relocating, but back then they had to resort to simpler solutions, so Hauer kept adding new and new joints: first a snack room, then a chocolate- and bonbon factory and so on, so forth. Today the confectionery occupies the whole ground level of the apartment house on Rákóczi street, along with the roofed inner yard. The yard used to be an event room for years, equipped with a submergible stage. At one side, you will find the confectionery shops, the preparation rooms in the flats that open into each other, on the other, there are decorated saloons with a bar at the end of it. There is even a spacious backstage in the back.
It is quite an exciting adventure to explore it; even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you should still visit it, it spectacularly embodies everything related to the twentieth century. Some pieces of furniture resemble the Golden Era, though they are not originals, the portal was built in the 1930’s, there are relics from the period following the nationalising, and there are also the areas renovated recently.
Luckily, at the turn of the century, shop owners did not try to squeeze money out of every inch of their ventures, and during the socialist era, efficiency was not a priority, thus the whole confectionery (both the guest area and the shop rooms) is very spacious.
The new era: closing and revival
The Hauer had a rough time since the regime change. It was torn down in 1991 and closed for ten years, then renovated and reopened in 2002, only to be closed down again a couple years later and to stay empty because of legal quarrels.
The new owners got the rights to use the well-known Hauer name and decided to restore the confectionery to its original glory. The cakes will be made locally by a team lead by two master confectioners. Their prices will range from 2.5 euros (790 forints) to 3 euros (1000 Ft), cappuccinos will cost about 2 euros (590 Ft), coffee 1.6 euros (490 Ft). Two of the most significant cakes will be available again, these are the Hauer-cremeschnitte and the marzipan-pineapple cake.
Péter Enyvári is responsible for the interior design, who also worked on Pola Pola and the Rózsavölgyi Salon. The new owners would love to have an atmosphere similar to the Rózsavölgyi Salon. The grand hall used to be the venue for theatre performances, reading events, literature debates, but the new owners are not planning such events as of yet; however, they dream of making it into one of the most culturally significant spots of the region.
The confectionery is very well situated: there are numerous hotels in the area, next to it is the Palace, across the street the Novotel, Boscolo, the Blaha Lujza Square is close by, where the Marriott and Hotel Nemzeti. Also, the Opera House moves to Erkel Theatre while the renovation is taking place, so it will be very close to Hauer.
You can check out Index’s photos from the scene, by clicking here.