Helsinki’s world of tastes changed when the 25-year-old Karl Fazer opened his French-Russian café on Kluuvikatu Street on 17 September 1891. The assortment included, among others, different kinds of pastries and ice cream that was an outstanding delicacy at the time.

The café on Kluuvikatu remained Fazer’s only café for a long time. In the 1930s, the company took the next step in restaurant operations and rented a popular restaurant, the Kalastajatorppa, in the Munkkiniemi district in Helsinki. The name stems from a fishermen’s hut that had been located there.

In 1935, Fazer bought Kalastajatorppa and began to plan a new building. The new Kalastajatorppa restaurant opened to the public in July 1939 when the Colonial Hall and the restaurant’s symbol, the Round Hall, were commissioned. With terraces, Kalastajatorppa could serve 2,000 customers at a time, being the biggest restaurant in the Nordic countries.

Kalastajatorppa also played a role in Tove Jansson’s and Fazer’s common history.

The first evidence of cooperation between Tove Jansson and Fazer dates back to 1937 when, according to her notes, Jansson created “a decoration for Fazer Munkkiniemi.” This note refers to Kalastajatorppa. According to tradition, Jansson lived in Kalastajatorppa. Because she could not always afford the rent during the early days of her career, she would pay her rent in paintings. Kalastajatorppa still has Tove Jansson’s paintings on display, and one room is decorated with wallpaper painted by Tove Jansson.

When the war broke out in 1939, the commander-in-chief Mannerheim suggested that Kalastajatorppa be turned into a military hospital. The building served the Defence Forces during the Continuation war as well. After the wars, the restaurant’s operations successfully continued. In 1952, Kalastajatorppa was sold to the Yhtyneet Ravintolat company.