Firpo’s Restaurant, Chowringhee, Calcutta, 1917

ফ্যারপো’স রেস্তরাঁ,চৌরঙ্গি, কলকাতা, ১৮১৭
Firpo’s Restaurant in Calcutta was established after the Great War I around 1917 by Angelo Firpo, an Italian by birth and culture. He opened several famous restaurants, a tea room that was the favorite spot for high society, a renowned pastry shop, and a popular catering service that delighted Lord Irwin, the Viceroy and Governor of India, several maharajas, and very important dignitaries. His refined cuisine made him famous worldwide. The story was that the Governor-General and his court ate lunch there every Sunday. Later, it was only the creme de la creme who found their way there. The cabaret acts were European and the orchestra was a big band – trumpets, saxophones, trombones etc. The dance floor was full size, and the only sprung floor in India, giving dancers an extra lift as they Quick-stepped and Waltzed and Tangoed their way through the night. Firpo’s didn’t have an a la carte menu; it was strictly table d’hote – always a five-course meal, always with perfect options, always scrumptious. Between 1917 and 1960, A. Firpo Ltd in Calcutta employed more than 500 people. It has a turnover of one billion liras at the time and produced bread for the entire Bengal region.
Photograph was taken by Frank B. Sykes, in c1927


Published by অযান্ত্রিক

Passion worker

21 thoughts on “Firpo’s Restaurant, Chowringhee, Calcutta, 1917

    1. Hello Aviskar,
      I am afraid my answer will disappoint you and all who love ‘puronokolkata’. Once the delightful Firpo’s building at 18 Chowringhee is now widely known as the ‘Firpo Market’ and so it appears in Google Maps and Wikipedia. Sadly, the iconic building remains entirely hidden behind the chaos of the street vendors who squizzed in the entire ground underneath its hanging verandah. This is one of the glaring examples of how Kolkata is losing its cultural identity to reckless merchandisers.


  1. From April 1962 to May 1965 I lived in Bombay, but I spent a week almost every month in Calcutta. Stayed in the Grand hotel next to Firpo’s, or The Great Eastern, or with friends. Lunched regularly at Firpo’s and still have a round red tin with a gold square in the middle announcing “Firpo’s, the confectioners of Calcutta. NETT WT. 1 KILO.”
    I must have taken it back to Bombay as a present for my wife.


  2. Me entere de la existencia del restaurante x un libro q estoy leyendo ” PASION INDIA” e ingrese a google y me aparecio esta pagina. Me encanta conocer algo de mis antepasados, seguro algun grado de parentesco debemos tener

    [Goole Tr. – “I know of the existence of the restaurant x a book that I am reading ‘PASION INDIA’ and enter google and I appeared this page. I love to know something of my ancestors, surely some degree of kinship we must have”]


    1. Thank you Julio for finding out my post on Firpo’s Restaurant. Did you notice the Comments made by others? You may get by chance some interesting connections. You may also share with us your memories of Firpo’s, if you please. Kind regards and wishes


    2. Angelo Firpo, lived in England for a time before going to Calcutta. He lodged at my Grandparents home in Stockport, Cheshire. Angelo died in London, England. I have a copy of his Will which is very interesting listing quite a few relatives. Leaving cash gifts to the work of the Catholic Church in Calcutta.


      1. Thank you Fred for sharing with us about the cash gifts Angelo Firpo made in his will to the Catholic Church in Calcutta. It is interesting to know how much Angelo felt for Calcutta in his last days. Perhaps you may like to add little more details to help researchers working in related areas. Wishing you a Happy New Year.


  3. My grandfather worked at the Imperial Bank of India in Calcutta for many years and my grandparents as well as my father and aunt were regulars at Firpo’s. Angelo Firpo used to continue to send tea to my grandparents every year after they left Calcutta and returned to Ireland. Angelo junior continued to do do after his father died and even when my grandparents themselves died.

    My uncle used to tell us of the occasion when he could not cut his steak and complained to the waiter that it was too tough. “But that is impossible Sir! Such things do not happen at Firpo’s” came the reply. My uncle, a stern military man and not to be trifled with, demonstrated his problem to the waiter, probably in a somewhat autocratic manner (!). “It must be the knife, SIr” came the reply and he took it away and returned with a different one. “Well!” said my uncle, “it just sank into the steak like a hot knife cutting through warm butter!” My uncle had been put in his place!!!

    When I first visited Calcutta in 1982, my father gave me a letter for Mr Firpo – obviously not knowing what had become of him (the son) or the place. I was horrified to discover “Firpo’s Market” had replaced it and I obviously could not convey such news to my father on my return…….

    To this day I have a set of the very small copper sauce pans for poaching the eggs, engraved with Angelo’s signature, that my grandparents had been given as a souvenir.


  4. i heard my mother describing the Firpo floor shows in the early 1960. It was a haunt for Christmas and New Year revellers.


    1. Kindly excuse me for the delay in acknowledging your wonderful pictorial history of Walsh family. I am sure, whoever remembers Calcutta Firpo’s will be delighted to know a little more of the family background, as I do. My sincere thanks and New Year wishes


  5. Those were the days my dear friends now kolkata stinks dirty filthy n roads are teeming with people low grade snatching rampant no security para goonda a rule the roost no industry no jobs the chief minister lies through her speech but nothing is done no industry no jobs nothing waste of time n man power. Only oped is restaurants fast food n hairdressing parlours. Rest is a myth
    Kolkata has lost it’s charm house to the elderly only tough terms young hv gone


    1. সবিনয় নিবেদন,
      মন্তব্যের জন্যে ধন্যবাদ! মনে করি, সেকালের কলকাতার নৈতিক চরিত্র প্রশ্নাতীত ছিলনা। এই পত্রিকায় তুলনামূলক সমাজিক বা রাজনৈতিক আলোচনা ঠিক প্রাসঙ্গিকও নয়। শুভেচ্ছা জানবেন


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