Frescos by renowned Hungarian painter Károly Lotz, Belle-Époque chandeliers, huge mirrors and a lot of gold – the Lotz Hall on Andrássy út is undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking locations in Budapest. After this ornate space was closed for two years, the Café Párisi has just opened to bring élan to the former department store of the same name.
The century-old Lotz Hall on august Andrássy út is one of the jewels of Budapest’s glorious Belle Époque. Originally a casino in the 19th century, at the onset of the 20th century this prime site was extensively renovated and transformed into the Art Nouveau Paris Department Store. For decades, this was the most elegant of Budapest’s shopping destinations, despite the occasional interruption of history. As a last reminder of a once glorious past, the sign on the façade under which you enter the building still says Párisi Nagy Áruház (‘Paris Department Store’).
Abandoned for years, the building was brought back to life by the Alexandra bookstore, which had a café in the Lotz Hall and its stock downstairs. In March 2017, the business suddenly shut down and the Lotz Hall was closed to the public for almost two years.
Now the Lotz Hall has reclaimed its former glory, housing the French-style Café Párisi. At the private press opening, we got a sneak peak into how the new establishment will look. Heritage-protected, the Lotz Hall still exudes an aristocratic atmosphere, the backdrop for today’s classic coffeehouse setting.
The menu features sandwiches, fresh salads and traditional Hungarian desserts. Our tasting selection of croissant with butter and sweet jam, mini sandwiches of salmon, ham-and-cheese and pesto, rounded off with a triple chocolate cake, reflected the flavours that will dominate here. Complete with Julius Meinl coffee and about 20 other types of cake, the assortment offers everything you should need for a coffee break. Your tasty refreshment comes served on a plate designed by Hungary's renowned Zsolnay porcelain factory.
Café Párisi is on the top floor of the building, with the Andrássy Entertainment Centre and, from tomorrow, an Avatar exhibition below. The café is open every day and the Lotz Hall can be rented for special events such as birthday parties, company gatherings or a fairy-tale wedding.