One of the oldest cafés in Košice will close after half a century

Sándor Márai used to visit legendary Carpano.

(Source: Korzár/Judita Čermáková)

The famous house at Hlavná 42 in Košice, which contains a restaurant and café, dates back to the 14th century. Discover the taste of Košice with our Košice travel guide.

Gustáv Megay moved his confectionery, which he inherited after his predecessor Július Szekerák, to the building in 1892. Later in 1968, the company Reštaurácie Košice opened the Carpano wine bar, regional daily Korzár reported.

Let this guide be your key to the most ravishingly beautiful secrets of the Košice Region (www.spectacularslovakia.sk) Let this guide be your key to the most ravishingly beautiful secrets of the Košice Region (www.spectacularslovakia.sk) (Source: Spectacular Slovakia)

Six years after reconstruction

The elegance of old times returned to the two-floor café in autumn 2014 after a complete reconstruction.

Korzár reported that the café will be closing after 50 years. This information has been confirmed by employees.

“Our management will leave, as well as the staff, and the building is being sold,” the Carpano staff said, as quoted by Korzár. “We cannot say whether the new owners will keep Carpano or it will come to an end as well.”

Employees are sad that the traditional Košice company is going to close.

“When they told us that we are closing down, I could not resist tears,” the operation manager said for Korzár.

The staff said that the future owner of the property is supposed be an investor from Hungary.

“We think that company numbers have not been bad during the coronavirus crisis,” said one of the employees, as quoted by Korzár. “Nobody has explained anything to us.”

The building at Hlavná 42 still belongs to the current owner.

Old Town Mayor Igor Petrovčik was also sad to hear of the closure of the café.

“The heart of the Old-Towner who honours traditions is crying over the end of the legendary Carpano, but I believe that the new owners of this café with genius loci will allow its further existence and that they will make not only old Košice-dwellers happy,” the mayor told Korzár.

Well-known regulars

Carpano has the longest tradition of all cafés in Košice, according to its website.

Košice-born writer Sándor Márai used to visit the café when he was a student. He met his wife Lola there. The most famous regular was Košice's version of Schöne Náci, the controversial fortune-teller Apík, whose real name was Karol Pohanka.

Košice region travel guide: On the border between Western and Eastern European culture. Read more 

The company is named after the inventor of Vermouth, Antonio Benedetto Carpano.

During the 1960s, an Italian restaurant was founded here, which belonged among the first in former Czechoslovakia.

The building was crucial for the Velvet Revolution in Košice. The Citizens’ Forum Košice was established in the studio of Zbyněk Prokop on November 24, 1989. There is a commemorative plaque on the facade.

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