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How it all started

The flair of 1873 and the aroma of the Viennese pastry cuisine.


On the 1st of March 1976, Herbert and Anita Querfeld leased the Café Landtmann. At the time, the Landtmann was an institution, but the infrastructure and facilities of the Grand Café were no longer up-to-date. Other traditional coffee houses just disappeared from the Ring Road for similar reasons. But we, the Querfeld family, wanted to secure a vibrant future for Café Landtmann. Celebrity patrons supported us to make a complete renovation possible. In 1982 it was time. With the help of our family, the Fund for Historic Preservation and the Federal Department for Cultural Heritage, it took a couple of months, but the coffee house was lovingly restored. Herbert Querfeld wanted to offer our guests not only authentic ambience, but also delicious Viennese pastries to go with their coffee, which are now freshly baked daily in the basement vaults of Café Landtmann. All handmade with classic ingredients and traditional recipes. At first apple strudel, etc. were specialties of the boss, Anita Querfeld, herself. Soon a pastry chef had to be employed, because the demand grew steadily. And how this new pastry culture took off! So much so that we soon had to open a bigger production in a small café-confectionary in the 2nd district, the ”K.u.k. Mehlspeis-Paradies”. For the first time, we had hit the right spot in the hearts of our guests by combining a first-class patisserie with a unique location.


Querfeld family

1976

Herbert and Anita Querfeld fell in love with the Landtmann and were able to save it from its fate with the support of former Councillor of Cultural Affairs Helmut Zilk. They knew that the infrastructure and fittings of the now heritage-protected coffee house no longer met modern requirements. And so with a great deal of love, effort and considerable financial funding in 1982, the coffee house was completely renovated in order to safeguard its future. In 1988, Berndt Querfeld joined his parents' business and together they perfected the so-called "Landtmann style", which embodies classic Viennese coffee house culture. The number of employees grew from 13 in 1976 to 90. Today, the Landtmann is run by Anita and Berndt Querfeld. Their most pressing concern is to preserve "Vienna's most elegant Café" for the future – but as a lively meeting place with a modern conservatory and terrace, not as a museum-like culinary establishment. The Querfeld family continues to write the history of the Landtmann with the utmost dedication and optimism.


Franz Landtmann

1873

Franz Landtmann did not plan to open just any old coffee house: it was to be the most elegant in the city. When he unlocked the doors on 1 October 1873, Landtmann demonstrated his pioneering spirit – with nothing but construction sites all around the new establishment. The splendour of the Ringstraße was nowhere to be seen; there was no Burgtheater next door; the Rathaus and the University were only just being built. But the residents of Vienna were thrilled, and Café Landtmann was a hit.


Wilhelm and Rudolf Kerl

1881

Brothers Wilhelm and Rudolf Kerl bought the Café and continued to run it under the Landtmann name. Rudolf Kerl, however, soon withdrew from the world of business. After an impressive 35 years, Wilhelm sold the Café to the butcher and innkeeper Karl Kraus (no connection to Karl Kraus the writer).