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Before the coffee house was built, biggest beer brewery was located here (the city had 50+
breweries and 40.000 inhabitants) as well as Joseph workshop where he built his world famous
mechanical and optical precision instruments.
Then in 1888, merging seven houses between Straße and Straße, the Café-Restaurant was
opened. It was a classic coffee house inspired by the Habsburg coffee "palaces" and included
the Wine Restaurant Francais serving champagne and lobster - both a fairly new
invention to the beer drinking citizens of Munich.
The building had 20 halls that could cater 2000 guests: the center pieces were a 9
meter high domed hall, columned aisles and a hall of mirrors like Versailles. Black
marble and pompous bronze details as well as wall paintings established it next to
the luxurious Café Central in Vienna and the Café New York in Budapest. There were
also other “firsts” for Munich: It had a billiard hall with 16 pool tables and in 1929 the
-– a movie theater - with 1.245 seats opened as well.
In 1911 Kandinsky and Klee allegedly founded the “Blue Rider” artist group at the
café. No post without it: The Café-Restaurant had always been very popular due to its
location and so in the 1930 it turned into a meeting place for members of the and. “A
decent man didn’t go there anymore”, wrote Thomas Mann’s son Klaus. “The seemed
to share my aversion against his brave men, and preferred the intimacy of the
(Carlton) Tea Room.” During the Reich of the 120 employees, 12 were slave workers.
The building was destroyed and rebuilt in a simpler and much smaller version of the
Café, which is still with us today. On the first floor is a museum on the history of the