The story of Graniittilinna
The history of Graniittilinna dates back to 1908 when a worker’s hall designed by famous architect Karl Lindahl on the shore next to the famous Säästöpankki bank was completed. The house façade is grey granite mined from cliffs nearby. Graniittilinna restaurant’s rugged, castle-like construction with triangular gables, romantic balconies and towers rising above the rooftops, has over the years provided a setting for many kinds of activities, and has experienced the cruelty of war.
RESTAURANT IN OPERATION SINCE 1884
Restaurant operations began in 1884, when the Helsinki Workers’ Union began meeting on Kaivokatu in Helsinki. After many twists and turns, the restaurant in question, Juttutupa, moved to its present location in 1908.
PHYSICAL TRAINING, CIVIL WAR, AND BACK AGAIN
On the premises of Graniittilinna, in the early 20th Century, the Helsinki worker’s union gymnastics and sports club met in Jyryn sali until the dissolution of the club in 1930. In addition to athletes, there were other visitors. In 1917, the Red Guard made its lodging in the downstairs of the worker’s hall. The gym was, at that time, converted into an arsenal.
In the Civil War in 1919, the Whites bombed the building, and, after its repair, the house continued operation under the temperance movement, which had a strong grip on the restaurant and the gym. In Helsinki in 1930, during the time of the “march of the peasants,” the authorities closed the restaurant operations by nailing boards over the doors, due to civil unrest. Around the same time, the Social Democratic Party’s Tarmo sports group moved to Graniittilinna in 1931.
FOOD AND EXERCISE UNDER THE SAME ROOF
Following the annulment of the prohibition in 1932, beer began to flow again from the restaurant building, in spite of opposition. In 1934, the restaurant received its license to serve alcohol, which was quickly repealed when the prohibitionists got more power. In place of the restaurant came Kustannus Oy Tammi book storage facility, and then later Demari’s printing and storage space.
On the worker’s celebration day, May Day of 1979, the restaurant business started again. The original spirit and atmosphere of the revered Juttutupa restaurant opened again after careful renovation was completed. The restaurant facilities were expanded in 1982, with the opening of Vintti and Junttakabinetti, the latter of which was built in the 80’s under Kalevi Sorsa as prime minister. In 1982, the Tarmo Sports Club moved out of the current restaurant premises, which were first rented to the Raatikko Dance Club, and later to the Helsinki City Sports Department. Prior to being the current restaurant hall, the area was used by Helsinki city employees to work out. Juttutupa operations continued until 1987, when a new restaurant was made out of Junttakabinetti and Vintti: Marco Polo.
TIME FOR À LA CARTE
In 1996, Helsinki’s worker’s union waived their restaurant rights to the ownership of Graniittiravintolat Oy. Live music got some jazzy vibes, and club nights began. In 2004 Graniittiravintolat restaurants opened a restaurant exuding historic ambience, and focusing on high quality food: Graniittilinna.
Along with Graniittilinna, in the Paasitorni building, you can find the Juttutupa pub, Paasiravintola restaurant, Paasin Kellari cellar, Helsinki Congress Paasitorni as well as Finland’s first Story-hotel Scandic Paasi. Check out our extensive service offerings »
THE STORY EXPANSES TO THE BAY OF THE SEA
The latest chapter written in granite, is Meripaviljonki restaurant, floating on the waves offshore near the famous Savings Bank, providing you with a panoramic seascape of Eläintarhanlahti bay. After a decade of planning, Meripaviljonki was finished in the spring of 2015. Now Graniittiravintolat Oy’s restaurants, meeting, and lodging services ensure that this block is full of life, as it was a century ago.