The “Grand Café Odeon ” first opened its doors on Sunday 1 July 1911 at 6.00 pm. It was a magnificent Art Nouveau Cafe with its own confectionary production in the cellar. The Cafe Odeon was large with high ceilings, large windows, chandeliers, brass cladding, and marble-clad walls. This opulent style is still the hallmark of Café Bar Odeon today.
History has been – and continues to be – written at Odeon. Starting in 1911, the bar was a place where famous politicians, writers, poets, painters, and musicians came to meet. Colonel Ulrich Wille (a General in the Swiss Army in the First World War), Benito Mussolini, Russian revolutionary Lenin, and physicist Albert Einstein all frequented Odeon. During Hitler’s time, Odeon became a kind of ‘center-point for emigrants’. Regulars included Klaus Mann, Alfred Kerr, James Joyce, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Max Frisch and Rolf Liebermann.
Times have changed – yet tradition remains. Zurich would not be Zurich without Odeon. Guests of all ages and from all social and professional strata come through Cafe Odeon. Early risers, tourists, business people, and night owls all find something on the Odeon menu at any time of the day, and a place to relax. It is also worth mentioning that Odeon was the first place in Zurich that served Champagne – once a luxury drink reserved for the rich – by the glass!