150 YEARS ANNIVERSARY
Casa Capsa is a legendary place in Bucharest, situated in Calea Victoriei, open in 1852, next to “La doi frati, Anton si Vasile Capsa” (The two brothers’ Anton and Vasile Capsa) Cake Shop, vis-a-vis to Zlatari Church, in the former Damari Inn. After a short period it was transferred to Slatineanu House, the actual location. Since the opening, this place began to be visited by famous personalities at that time. In 1873, Casa Capsa received the Great Medal at the Universal Exhibition of Vienna, therefore becoming appreciated at an international level, in 1882 obtained the supplier license for the house of Prince Milan Orbenovici of Serbia, and in 1908 became the supplier of Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria.
Capsa got to know a greater development since 1886, when Grigore Capsa opened a hotel and a cafe. From that moment, Capsa became the “official” meeting place for various personalities from politics, journalism, art and culture. Grigore Capsa substituted in Bucharest the oriental aspect by the Western one, succeeding the transition from baklava and sarailie to confectionery, chocolate, ganache and “bonbon”.
At Casa Capsa the most important dinners from Bucharest were held, and in 1920, upon the invitation of the King Ferdinand and the Queen Maria, arrived in Bucharest the famous French Marshal Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre. The famous confectioner Grigore Capsa, the supplier of the Royal House, in honour of the Marshal created a chocolate cake suggesting the cylindrical shape of the French military caps. The Marshal Joffre suffered from diabetes, and therefore the master confectioner, having Paris education, invented a cake with no risk for the guest. That cake was called “Joffre” and became famous in the entire world, being taken over by the French cuisine, from whose tradition it had been inspired.
Casa Capsa was also known in Bucharest as the „Cafe of writers and artists”, circulating the idea that a writer was not a real writer without going to Capsa. Virgil Carianopol said: “In order to become a writer, you must go through the Capsa baptism, that without any literary company, it was really the editorial of editorials, the Gordian knot of the passage to immortality”, and Tudor Arghezi said about Capsa that “it is the sole intellectual place situated in Calea Victoriei”. Here are only some of the names of the cafe’s “pillars”, and also the real pillars of Romanian culture: the Poet Ion Barbu “opened” the doors at Capsa, appearing even at the hours 08:00 a.m. in the cafe and remaining there most of the day, working as if in his office. After him, there were several famous regulars: the Critic Serban Cioculescu, Liviu Rebreanu, Tudor Arghezi, Ionel and Pastorel Teodoreanu, Camil Petrescu, Zaharia Stancu, Ion Minulescu and others.