New restaurant, brewery and café in the ORZĂRIE monument building, on the premise of ex-Grivita brewery

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FOSTA FABRICĂ – the consolidation and conversion project of the former Grivița brewery, in fact the Luther factory founded in 1869 – signed a partnership with KANÉ GROUP for the development of hospitality functions on the ground floor of the ORZĂRIE building, one of the four monuments undergoing a full process of restoration, consolidation and conversion. The ground floor of ORZĂRIE will include restaurant, brewery and café spaces.

The future belongs to brave projects that revive parts of the city which are currently unknown. The partnership with Fosta Fabrică was born from the desire to find a location with a strong personality, ideally a heritage space, to prove once again that the past revived in a contemporary setting can become valuable”, said Răzvan Crișan, co-founder KANÉ GROUP. “The character of the space, the vision and the desire to be involved in the architectural and logistical development stages, which will be the responsibility of the developer, as well as the idea of reviving the tradition of a true brewery determined us to include ORZĂRIA in our long-term development plan”, added Răzvan Crișan.

According to the partnership, FOSTA FABRICĂ will finance the development and interior designs of the spaces where the restaurant with brewery and café managed by KANE GROUP will operate. Thus, the FOSTA FABRICĂ developer will invest in the entire range of equipments, installations, custom-made brewing systems and architectural designs necessary for the operation of the respective spaces, made in accordance with the requirements of KANÉ GROUP.

“FOSTA FABRICĂ will truly begin when the construction works are finished”, said Mindaugas Valuckas, founder FOSTA FABRICĂ. “The majority of the buildings will remain in our property and we will develop one of the largest local entrepreneurial communities in the field of hospitality. Even though this segment has now been severely affected in the context of the restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that it is well worth investing in the future of an industry with a major role in the community’s life”, underlined Valuckas.

ORZĂRIA is a former silo located inside the former Luther brewery, with Art Deco architecture. The consolidation of the building raised significant design challenges and ORZĂRIA entered a re-authorization process, after the team of structural engineers led by Prof. Dr. Eng. Paul Ioan and the team of architects coordinated by architect Bogdan Babici have identified a new technical solution more beneficial for the preservation of the character of ORZĂRIE.

The investment in FOSTA FABRICĂ exceeds 40 million euros. The development is located in the immediate vicinity of the Basarab metro station, the Basarab passage and Gara de Nord railway station and is the largest consolidation and conversion of monuments carried out by a private investor in Bucharest today. Upon completion, estimated in 2022, FOSTA FABRICĂ will include a brewery, restaurants, café, bakery, food court, farmer’s market, beauty salon, vocational and professional training programs, museum elements about Luther’s history, cultural and event spaces, playgrounds for children, co-working, office spaces, the first lofts in Romania, new apartments and public spaces.

KANÉ GROUP includes in its portfolio the fine dining restaurant Kané, the Mamizza pizzeria, Mercato Comunale, a summer terrace for events and partnerships with other local entrepreneurs and Project Copenhagen, a concept to be launched in June 2021. Recently, KANÉ GROUP launched a platform named “The Locals”, which aims to promote local entrepreneurs who produce goodies, delicacies and limited-availability products, develop communities and spaces where people can gather.

Luther brewery, known as Grivița brewery

The Luther brewery was founded in 1869 by Erhard and Sofia Luther. Located in the immediate vicinity of the Gara de Nord railway station, whose cornerstone was dated 1868, in the presence of Carol I. In the past, a train track that entered the premises of the Luther beer factory and surrounded Orzăria, operated as a direct connection with Gara de Nord, for beer exports and raw material transportation.

Luther brewery
Photo credit: Rezistenta.net via Radu Oltean – art-historia.blogspot.com

The Luther brewery was the first metal structure plant in Europe, built with the help of Austrian structural engineers. It has been one of the first mixed-use projects in Europe, integrating production and logistic centers, multifamily housing, the founder’s house, terraces, breweries, public spaces, racecourse, tennis court, even an obelisk that appears in some sketches. In 1883, they became suppliers to the Royal House.

After Erhard’s death in 1890, his wife Sofia officially took over the management of the beer factory and even won international competitions with the beer produced in the Luther brewery. It seems that the success of the company was actually related to the name of Sofia, who remarries Dumitru Bragadiru, of the famous competing family. Thus, the Luther and the Bragadiru breweries will unite in a company called The Beer Industry.

In 1900, at L’Exposition de Paris, Luther beer received the gold medal. Gazeta Săteanului wrote: “The excellent beer produced at the brewery of Mrs. Sofia Luther had to compete abroad with the most famous products from prestigious locations and win the gold medal at these exhibitions, in order for this beer to take its rightful place. Only after our eyes have been opened by foreigners, we have been convinced…”

Shortly after receiving this award, Sofia divorces and continues to run the brewery on her own, which will be renamed the Sophie E. Luther brewery. Later, the beer factory is bought by the Czell brothers, who will own this property for the longest period of time, of over 40 years.

During the communist period, the brewery’s name becomes Grivița and continues to operate until 2005. The buildings were affected both by the bombing of the Gara de Nord railway station, when the Luther brewery was hit by 17 bombs, as well as by interventions during the communist period and subsequent demolitions after the revolution. Currently, three buildings have survived, Mălțăria, Orzăria, Casa Luther, as well as a wall that was part of the Administrative Center building, on a plot of land with an area of approximately 1 ha.

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