All around the world, the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic has created an uncertain environment for many people, be it employees or entrepreneurs, but the travel restrictions and other measures hit the catering industry the most. Many hotels and restaurants have already fallen prey to the lack of customers, and the list just gets longer every day.
This is what happened to Kárpátia, one of the most iconic and oldest restaurants of Budapest which, due to the lack of guests, Hungarian and foreign alike, is now in debt, and the restaurant is currently undergoing compulsory liquidation, says Napi.
The building of the Kárpátia restaurant is a piece of history itself as the catering unit has been in business for almost 140 years.
It was opened back in 1877 when György Holzwarth leased a restaurant in the newly built Franciscan Bazaar, appointed Károly Csalányi as the manager, and made it a very popular destination with Budapest locals.
In 1925, the famous restaurateur dynasty, the Spolarich family, took over the restaurant and transformed it into a unique place with good atmosphere that remained unchanged until today.
The name came a bit later, however, as it was only in 1934, under László Károlyi’s ownership, that is got its current name, Kárpátia, according to the restaurant’s website.
It is very unfortunate that the restaurant has to close as its interior was very warm and had evoked the spirit of 15th-century Hungary. But in addition to its looks, the restaurant served amazing Hungarian dishes and welcomed its guests with live gypsy music during the evenings, Startlap writes.
The reason why the restaurant has to close is because of the hard hit it suffered during the first year of the pandemic. Due to the restrictions and the quasi-ban on foreign travel, the restaurant lost many of its Hungarian and foreign guests.
According to the data available on Céginfo, the restaurant had a yearly net income of over HUF 300 million (€857,000) in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, the revenue decreased a bit to HUF 290 million (€828,000), which is a lot in and of itself, but
during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, the revenues plummeted and only reached HUF 36 million (€102,000).
The current owner, Ákos Niklai, who had also been the head of the Hungarian Hotel & Restaurant Association, bought the restaurant in 1997 and has operated it ever since. The compulsory liquidation started last November because the company owed a total of HUF 53 million (€151,000) in liabilities to banks, suppliers, and even to the National Tax and Customs Administration.
Source: Napi.hu, Startlap.hu, Céginfó.hu