A not-to-be-missed tourist location, not only in Romania, but also in Europe, Bucharest’s <<Caru’ cu Bere>> (the Beer Cart) is, first of all, a place in history, as it turned 135 years old this year. The owners and the managers are currently working on renovating the upper floors and the façade of the building, with work schedule to last until end-2015.
Starting 2006, City Grill took over the operational management of the restaurant and managed to run it into one of the biggest restaurants in Bucharest. Caru’ cu Bere has increased its turnover by 10-15 percent each year since then, and this year it is getting close to EUR 5.5 million. With some 2,500 clients visiting it daily, about 36 percent of these are foreign tourists, who come either via tourism agencies or by themselves, Dragos Petrescu, CEO City Grill Group, said in a press conference.
Foreigners spend on average some EUR 20 on their bill at Caru’ cu Bere, and show interest in the history of the place, and in local traditions.
“We tried to keep as many items as possible from restaurant’s original menu. The mici, ciorba de burta and ciorba de perisoare are among the most popular in Caru’ cu Bere menu, while Romanian beer is also popular among foreigners who dine here. The restaurant sells 2,000 tons of mici every month and 3,000 portions of pork with cabbage” Dragos Petrescu said.
Some of the foreigners included international personalities such as Kirk Douglas, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Edward Kennedy, the Rolling Stones’ band members, Demi Moore, Jon Voight, Danny Trejo, and Naruhito, the Japanese heir prince.
“Our recipe is simple: we have understood that people want good local food at reasonable prices. With an average bill of EUR 35, we can say that dining with us is accessible,” CEO City Grill Group convincingly said.
Caru’ cu Bere was established in 1879 by Transylvanian merchants from the Sighisoara region, the Mircea family. It became famous at the turn of the century, before World War One and Romania’s Great Union as a meeting place for Transylvanian activists.
In 1949, the restaurant was seized by the communist regime and it was only 50 years later, in 1999 that it returned to its rightful owners, Nicolae Mircea’s grand grandchildren.
The restaurant covers some 1,300 sqm and the two upper floors host seven rooms of up to 50 sqm each.