A Historic Budapest Café is Reborn, and Other News

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Matild Café & Cabaret. Photography by Matild Palota

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A Historic Budapest Café is Reborn

Channeling the spirit of the Belle Epoque when it served as a stomping ground for journalists, musicians, and artists—Hungarian writer Gyula Krúdy famously penned portions of The Adventures of Sindbad there—a century-old art nouveau social hub is experiencing a rebirth. The bi-level, 300-seat Matild Café & Cabaret has played a prominent role in Budapest’s history since opening in 1901. Its shuttering at the onset of the first World War is a time marker many believe signaled the end of the golden age of European coffeehouse culture. Closing again during WWII, it was the first venue to open after the allied victory. Weathering another disruption during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, it regained its status as the city’s entertainment epicenter and eventually became known as Belvárosi Kávéház. Now, emerging from a meticulous five-year renovation courtesy of Maria Vafiadis of MKV Design in collaboration with local architects Péter Cajka and Puhl Antal, the latest iteration is part of the tip-to-toe restoration of a UNESCO–listed building and home to the Matild Palace hotel. 

Revisiting his Austrian roots, L.A.’s stalwart chef Wolfgang Puck oversees the culinary program and tapped Austrian chef Franz Pichler to help deliver a wide-spanning menu of regional staples. In the morning, coffee and baked goods inspired by the classic pastries of Puck’s childhood are on offer at the terrace along Duna Street. Come night, Hungarian soul food like beef stew with homemade spaetzle and Krúdy-style sausages are served during cabaret performances. An onsite chocolate atelier is the place to load up on bonbons and traditional Eszterházy and Dobos cakes. “Not only a traditional Hungarian café has been reborn, but the entertainment and gastronomic palette of the city has been further enriched,” says Matild Palace general manager Selim Olmez. “I believe that the unique atmosphere of the venue, the culinary art of Wolfgang Puck, and the special cabaret shows will shake up the social life of Budapest.” —Nate Storey

Berghain nightclub in Berlin. Image via Flickr

Berlin’s legendary Berghain nightclub is rumored to be permanently closing this year.

“Berlin’s Berghain nightclub is rumored to be permanently closing by the end of this year. The legendary establishment, which was founded in 2004, is one of the most famous clubs globally and has been called the ‘world capital of techno.’ It currently employs 250 people and has dozens of residents, per Mixmag. The recent closure of Berghain’s in-house record label and booking agency, Ostgut Ton, has led to speculation over the future of the venue. The German outlet cites an unnamed source who claims ‘Berghain is closing forever,’ and that its “final end” will come at some point in 2022 (translated to English by Google).” [H/T NME]

Surging material and transportation costs have led Ikea to hike prices by 22 percent. 

“Ikea has admitted its cut-price ethos is under strain after some products were found to have become 80 percent more expensive in under a year. Price growth on more than a dozen items has outstripped inflation by at least twofold since December last year, according to a new study by Retail Week. Eye-watering price rises of at least 22 percent were found across five of its main ranges: dining furniture, drawers, beds, sofas, and mattresses. The company said keeping prices low ‘remains our focus’ but suggested its hands were tied by ‘surging raw material and transport costs.’ It’s not yet clear how much more expensive Ikea’s products have become overall this year.” [H/T Metro]

Skanska will lead a much-needed rehabilitation of New York’s Williamsburg Bridge.

“The New York City Department of Transportation has selected Swedish construction concern Skanska to lead a $150 million rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Williamsburg Bridge, the city and firm announced last week. According to Skanska, the project will include ‘structural steel repairs throughout the bridge superstructure, inclusive of floor beam repairs, a transit hanger retrofit and temporary jacking system, gusset plate repairs, truss bottom chord repairs, top and bottom lateral bracing strengthening, overhead truss diagonal replacements, intermediate towers repairs and transit stringer repairs.’” [H/T Archinect]

Johann König. Photography by Ken Ishii

Johann König closes his gallery’s Vienna space after sexual harassment allegations.

“After just a year, dealer Johann König will close his space in Vienna, which his gallery is now billing as a temporary venue. The German publication Der Standard reported news of the Vienna closure earlier this month. The closure came several weeks after Die Zeit published an investigation that detailed multiple women’s allegations that König had sexually harassed them. A König Galerie representative told Der Standard that the Vienna gallery was ‘a pop-up project for a year.’ But when the gallery opened last year, it was never advertised that way. Ahead of the space’s inauguration last October, the gallery published an article on its website in which it said that König’s Vienna gallery will ‘now fill a not-so-modest 400 square meters with art over the long term.’ There was no mention within that article that the Vienna gallery would be temporary.” [H/T ARTnews]

The American Alliance of Museums will require members to aim for DEI initiatives.

“For the first time in 20 years, the American Alliance of Museums is updating the standards for its member institutions, adding new required goals on diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. The alliance is announcing a new initiative to help draw up these standards, which will be devised with the assistance of a six-to-eight-person advisory group of museum professionals, over the next three years. The process will be supported by a $740,000 government grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.” [H/T Artnet News]

Toronto residents can now officially purchase weed on demand from Uber Eats.

“Today, Toronto residents age 19 years or older can officially purchase weed on demand from Uber Eats. The food delivery service has partnered with Leafly, an online marijuana retailer, to connect customers with local dispensaries. According to Leafly, this is the first time marijuana delivery is available on a third-party food ordering platform like Uber Eats. Customers can begin purchasing cannabis products in the Uber Eats app today, with delivery from licensed retailers fulfilled by staff from CanSell, an Ontario-based cannabis retail education program. Leafly and Uber Eats say that this partnership will hopefully help tackle the underground marijuana market as well as encourage people not to drive while high.” [H/T Gizmodo]

Aliens Among Us by Rameez Iqbal

Today’s attractive distractions:

Balenciaga’s rumored “Target Black” concept store sets TikTok on fire.

Digital artist Rameez Iqbal envisions an intergalactic fashion campaign.

This Philadelphia medical museum is packed with wondrous anomalies.

Bernard Arnault is now renting his planes to avoid private jet trackers.

All Stories