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History

Antoni Hawełka started up history of the Restaurant that you can find today in Krakow, on the Main Market Square. He was born on the 17th of January in Kety in Moravia. He came to Cracow in the period of Galician autonomy. Before he became a merchant and then a keeper of a restaurant he was doing his apprenticeship as a mercantile assistant in the companies of Cracow. Those days he was working as a manager in a famous company of J.Wentzel. 
He started up his own business in 1876 by opening a grocer\'s shop "Under the palm" ("Pod Palmą") in the Old Square, building no. 46. Business was flourishing. Then he moved to "Pod Krzysztofory" Palace, in the Old Square, building No. 35, where he also started offering catering service. That time he was running the so-called breakfast small business. That typical Cracovian term had been in use from nineties of 19th century. It meant something between snack-bar and a cheap restaurant.

Multi-layer sandwiches rendered him famous in all Cracow. Here is the recipe. Multi layer sandwich: Sweet butter was spread on a fresh roll. Then a piece of lobster was put on it. Mayonnaise sauce. At the top a slice of raw cucumber or a piece of hard-boiled egg.
Mixed sandwich: a pyramid of the following ingredients: sheep cheese, cheese, a slice of raw ham, hard-boiled eggs and some caviar on the top.


Hawełka was still trading in groceries. He had a warehouse of vodkas, wines and French cognacs. His company was of international renown. He was trustworthy even for the most demanding clients. He was supplying goods to the Royal Court of Greece. He was awarded a honourable title of thesupplier to the Court of emperor Franz Joseph. At his own expense he renovated the Chapel of St. Anthony in the Church of Our Lady in Cracow. He died childless in Cracow on the 14th January 1894. He made Franciszek Macharski, his shop assistant, the heir to his possessions. In 1909 Macharski bought Spiski Palace, next to "Pod Krzysztofory" Palace.


In 1913 Franciszek\'s nephew - Leopold Macharski moved the company to its new location. HAWEŁKA restaurant was opened up there. Thanks to its excellent cuisine, stylish interior and a wonderful atmosphere the restaurant quickly achieved renown among demanding scientists of Jagiellonian University, University of Mining and Metallurgy and among bohemia. According to anecdote professors (only men) of Jagiellonian Univesity, situated next to the restaurant, used to meet there to have a pint of beer (but not only). It was just during one of those inspiring meetings Professor K.Morawski drew attention of Henryk Sienkiewicz to Petronius. One of the main characters of "Ouo Vadis", the most elegant man in ancient Rome started his new "career" in Hawełka. According to another anecdote on the Pole awarded Nobel Prize, who liked so much to spend his time in the restaurant, waiter used to light his cigar in a special way. Giving him cigar, cigar cutter and matches on a tray waiter announced: "Master, by fire and sword".


First Hawełka was situated in the room on the first floor which is adorned with masterpieces from the beginning of the 20th century by the painter Włodzimierz Przerwa Tetmajer. The artist used to combine impressionistic influences with folk motives and decorativeness of the Secession. Geometric and floral ornament on the coffered ceiling and a beautiful frieze illustrating the story of Master Twardowski along with refined cuisine of Hawełka became symbols of Tetmajerowska Restaurant - uninterruptedly opened since 1913. One should also mention here that famous satirical performances were staged between 1935-39 in Tetmajerowska Hall. They were called "Puppets at Hawełka" ("Kukiełki u Hawełki"). At the beginning they were directed by Magdalena Samozwaniec and Artur Maria Swinarski and then by Irena Szczepańska and Zbigniew Grotowski.

 

Between 1945-50 Hawełka was managed by Commercial and Food Processing Cooperative (Spoldzielnia Przetworczo-Handlowa "Przelom"). Up to 1991 the restaurant was run by Cracow Catering Company (Krakowskie Zakłady Gastronomiczne). But the legend survived...

Since 1991 restaurant has been run by Hawełka company. Under conservatories\' supervision heavy repairs were carried out. The rooms and halls regained their previous appearance and splendour. Ceilings with paintings by Tetmajer as well as stained-glass windows underwent renovation. Walls were painted the same way like in 1912. Former climate, character and renown are back.

Confectionery as well as shop selling ready-to-cook foods were opened up. However heirs to Hawełka\'s tradition do not rest on their laurels. Today in Cracow, on Sławkowska street two new restaurants belonging to Hawełka company: ZAPIECEK and MIOD I WINO invite to visit.

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