Austrian President Heinz Fischer joined a national celebration of Café Hawelka by congratulating Leopold Hawelka, one of the nation’s most famous coffee house founders, on his 100th birthday on April 11, 2011.  Hawelka’s café was opened in central Vienna in 1939 and quickly became a gathering spot for Austria’s traditional coffee house culture as well as local artists and foreign dignitaries.
President Fischer called Café Hawelka a “cultural institution.”
To mark the coffee house founder’s birthday, the postal service issued a Hawelka stamp, and Vienna Philharmonic musicians came to play in his café.

"Kolschitzky's Cafe" (Franz Schams)

Not mentioned was Julius Meinl, A.G., which runs a competing Viennese coffee house and is a major gourmet coffee roaster.  This company’s founder began roasting and selling coffee over 150 years ago, erecting his first plant on the spot where coffee first appeared in Vienna in bags of raw beans abandoned by the retreating Turks in the 17th century.  The bean bags were found by Kolschitzsky, an Armenian visitor to the beseiged city, who discovered their value and introduced the Viennese to what became their favorite drink.



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