Leopold Hawelka

Leopold was born on April 11, 1911 in Staatz, Lower Austria, the son of a shoemaker of Bohemian descent. In 1925, he moved to Vienna, where he learned gastronomy at the “Deierl” restaurant and met his future wife. Leopold and Josefine married in 1936, leased their first café “Alt Wien” together and opened Café Hawelka three years later.

A passionate painter himself, Leopold began collecting the works of his talented guests and decorating the café with them. He also invented the billboard that has become an integral part of many coffee houses. Leopold Hawelka has been welcoming his guests personally for over seventy years.

On his 80th birthday, he was awarded the title “Kommerzialrat” and on his 100th birthday in April 2011 no one seemed as young as him. However, Mr. Leopold Hawelka passed away on 29 December 2011. He left behind a unique piece of Viennese coffee house history.

Josefine Hawelka

Josefine was born on October 12, 1913 in Kirchdorf an der Krems, Upper Austria, the daughter of a butcher. She grew up in the countryside with two siblings and helped her aunt in the inn as a young girl.

She moved to Vienna at the age of 16, worked in the “Deierl” restaurant and met Leopold there. The day after their wedding, the couple opened their first coffee house. Later, at Café Hawelka, she began to bake her Buchteln, which quickly became famous, according to her own recipe for her guests. Evening after evening, their scent – now made by her son Günter – still pervades the room today.

After almost 70 years of passion for our guests, Mrs. Josefine Hawelka passed away on Tuesday, March 22, 2005.