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


14 comments on “Firpo’s Restaurant, Chowringhee, Calcutta, 1917

  1. Julio Firpo says:

    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”]


  2. Michael Beamish says:

    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.


  3. Suparna Dey says:

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


  4. […] number of blogs/sites have got some interesting coverage of Firpo’s in its heydays – in PuronoKolkata, in noisebreak (which also has a pic of the undisputed heartthrob of our Emerald Bower days; yes, […]


  5. […] Year’s Eve at Firpos,” Calcutta, Dec. 31, […]


  6. Mr Firpo was awarded an OBE, He died in London in 1948. A nephew also called Angelo carried on with the catering business in Calcutta.


  7. Amit bose says:

    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


    • 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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