A historic Budapest cafe is reborn and other news – SURFACE


Our daily view of the world through the prism of design.


October 19, 2022

Mathilde Café & Cabaret. Photograph by Matild Palota

The Design Dispatch offers essential, expert-written news from the design world, curated by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in the design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now.

Got something our readers need to see? Submit it here

A historic Budapest café is reborn

Channeling the spirit of the Belle Époque when it served as a favorite haunt for journalists, musicians and artists, Hungarian writer Gyula Krúdy wrote parts of The Adventures of Sindbad there, a century-old art nouveau social center is experiencing a renaissance. The 300-seat bi-level Mathilde Café & Cabaret played a prominent role in the history of Budapest since it opened in 1901. Its closure at the start of World War I is a time marker that many believe marked the end of the golden age of the European cafe culture. Closing again during World War II, it was the first venue to open after the Allied victory. Withstanding further disruption during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, 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 a toe-to-toe restoration of a UNESCO-listed building housing the Matild Palace Hotel.

Revisiting his Austrian roots, stalwart Los Angeles chef Wolfgang Puck oversees the culinary program and enlisted Austrian chef Franz Pichler to help curate a varied menu of regional staples. In the morning, coffee and pastries inspired by classic pastries from Puck’s childhood are offered on the terrace along Duna Street. In the evening, Hungarian soul dishes like beef stew with homemade spaetzle and Krúdy-style sausages are served during cabaret shows. An on-site chocolate workshop is the perfect place to stock up on traditional Eszterházy and Dobos sweets and cakes. “Not only has a traditional Hungarian cafe been reborn, but the city’s entertainment and gastronomy palette has been further enriched,” says Matild Palace General Manager Selim Olmez. “I believe that the unique atmosphere of the place, the culinary art of Wolfgang Puck and the special cabaret shows will shake up the social life of Budapest.” —Nate’s story

Berghain nightclub in Berlin. Image via Flickr

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

“Rumor has it that the Berghain nightclub in Berlin will close down permanently by the end of this year. The legendary establishment, founded in 2004, is one of the most famous clubs in the world and has been dubbed the ‘techno capital of the world’. It currently employs 250 people and has dozens of residents, according to Mixmag. The recent closure of Berghain’s record label and booking agency, Ostgut Ton, has led to speculation about the venue’s future. The German outlet cites an unnamed source as saying that ‘Berghain is closing forever’ and its ‘final end’ will come sometime in 2022 (translated into English by Google). [H/T NME]

Soaring material and transportation costs led Ikea to raise prices by 22%.

“Ikea admitted its price-cutting philosophy was under strain after some products were found to have become 80% more expensive in less than a year. Price growth of more than a dozen items has has at least doubled inflation since last December, according to a new study by Retail Week. The company said keeping prices low “remains our goal” but suggested its hands were tied by “soaring raw material and transportation costs”. Ikea products have become more expensive overall this year.” [H/T Metro]

Skanska will lead a much-needed rehabilitation of the Williamsburg Bridge in New York.

The New York City Department of Transportation has selected Swedish construction company Skanska to lead a $150 million rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Williamsburg Bridge, the city and company announced last week. According to Skanska, the project will include “steel structural repairs throughout the bridge superstructure, including floor girder repairs, transit support upgrade and temporary lift system, gusset plate repairs, repairs truss bottom chord reinforcement, upper and lower side bracing reinforcement, overhead truss diagonal replacements, intermediate tower repairs and transit rail repairs. [H/T Archinect]

Johann Konig. Photography by Ken Ishii

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

“After only one year, dealer Johann König will close his space in Vienna, which his gallery now presents as a temporary location. The German publication Standard reported news of the Vienna shutdown earlier this month. The closure took place several weeks after Die Zeit published an investigation detailing allegations by several women that König had sexually harassed them. A representative of König Galerie said Standard that the Vienna gallery was “a one-year ephemeral project”. 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 stated that König’s Viennese gallery would now “fill a not-so-modest 400 square meters with long-term art.” There was no mention in this article that the Vienna gallery would be temporary. [H/T ARTnews]

The American Alliance of Museums will ask members to target 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 for diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion. The alliance announces a new initiative to contribute to the development of these standards, which will be developed with the assistance of an advisory group of museum professionals of six to eight people, over the next three years. The process will be supported by a government grant of $740,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. [H/T Artnet News]

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

“Toronto residents aged 19 or older can now officially purchase weed on demand from Uber Eats. The food delivery service has partnered with Leafly, an online marijuana retailer, to connect customers to local dispensaries. According to Leafly, this is the first time marijuana delivery has been available on a third-party food ordering platform like Uber Eats. Customers can start shopping for cannabis products in the Uber Eats app today, with delivery from approved retailers handled by the staff of CanSell, an Ontario-based cannabis retail education program. . Leafly and Uber Eats say this partnership will hopefully help tackle the underground marijuana market and encourage people not to drive while intoxicated. [H/T Gizmodo]

Aliens Among Us by Rameez Iqbal

Today’s attractive distractions:

The Balenciaga Rumor”Black Target“The concept store sets fire to TikTok.

Digital artist Rameez Iqbal envisions an intergalactic fashion campaign.

This Philadelphia medical museum is full of wonderful anomalies.

Bernard Arnault is now rent planes to avoid private jet trackers.

All stories
Previous Next

About Walter Bartholomew

Check Also

Sesame Cafe makes food-themed cat toys for pet owners

Longtime friends and Evanston residents Theresa Robinson and Skye O’Connor adopted two rescue cats at …