In the second half of the nineteenth century, Amilcare Mulassano, owner of the Sacco distillery known for mint, opened a liqueur shop in via Nizza 3 and in 1907 moved it to piazza Castello, along the so-called “Portici della Fiera” characterized by a system of commercial furnishings highly representative. It was already in these early years that the Buvette Mulassano, as it was called, was transformed into coffee. In 1925 the place passed to Angela and Onorino Nebiolo, two Turinese migrants who were returning home after staying a few years in Detroit. The new owners introduced two great innovations: the toast and above all the sandwiches. The restaurant gained a pleasant reputation and retained customers who later became famous, such as Achille Mario Dogliotti, Luigi Spazzapan, Italo Cremona, Gigi Chessa, Giacomo Grosso, Erminio Macario, Gigetta Morano, Caterina Boratto, Mario Soldati, Gianandrea Gavazzeni and many others. Its reputation was such that even the king and queen did not disdain to come and drink coffee from Mulassano (which is why, until 1926, the place was garnished with heavy red curtains to delimit the inaccessible space of the royals).
In 1938 the Nebiolos sold the coffee and with the Second World War there was a natural decline, but in the 70s the new owner, Antonio Chessa, had an important conservative restoration carried out which returned the prestigious coffee to the city. In the same period, the Caffè made the lobster sandwiches famous, which were a novelty for Turin. The restaurant is now part of the “Historical shops and clubs of Turin”, as well as being registered in the list of “Historical Places of Italy”.
Thanks to its size and the accuracy of its decorations, during the twentieth century the place became the set for commercials and for auteur cinema: some scenes of Addio Giovinezza were shot here! (1940) by Ferdinando Maria Poggioli, Piccolo mondo antico (1941) by Mario Soldati and 4 flies of gray velvet (1971) by Dario Argento.
Caffè Mulassano is the work of the engineer Antonio Vandone (pupil of the more famous Carlo Ceppi), while the box is the work of Enrico Pezza, Capisano and Cazzaniga. The restaurant, small and square in shape, is decorated with precious marbles (onyx from Piedmont and Numidia, poupre from the Pyrenees, green Alps and red from France) bronze parts and floral motifs and has a coffered ceiling.