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

Peliti’s Restaurant, Government Palace, Calcutta, 1870

Pelitis turned into a restaurant

পেলিটি’স রেস্তোরাঁ, গভর্নমেন্ট প্যালেস, কলকাতা, ১৮৭০
Chevalier Federico Peliti was a Manufacturing Confectioner, a purveyor of cakes, chocolates etc by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen Empress. He started his restaurant and confectionery business in 1870 at 11 Government Place in the Dalhousie Square area of Calcutta. The Pelitis’ was famous for their three course lunch which could be had very quickly at Rs 1.50. The price remained static from 1917 till about 1924. If we consider that the Firpos’ used to cater a similar lunch for Rs 2.50 in 1947 then you will realise that Peliti’s was not really cheap. The Peliti’s did a lot of outside catering and the variety of their cakes was well known. A great masterpiece of Peliti was a 12′ high replica of the Eiffel Tower in sugar, crafted by the great man himself in December 1889. It was here at a lunch meeting on 26-Sep-1919 that the Rotary Club of Calcutta was organised thus ushering in the movement in India and indeed the mainland of Asia. Peliti’s restaurant closed down after Independence.
The photograph was taken most likely by Frederico Peliti himself in c1890s