The Largest Investment done by City Grill Group: EUR 13 million for the modernization of “Hanu’ Berarilor” Restaurant

Aurel Dragan 31/08/2023 | 11:14

City Grill Group, one of the strongest domestic players in the HoReCa industry, announces the completion of its most extensive investment process to date. With a 13-million-euro investment in the revitalization and modernization of “Hanu’ Berarilor Oprea Soare” restaurant and the establishment of “Hotel La Boheme,” City Grill Group is solidifying its position as the largest domestic operator in the hospitality market and taking its first steps into the hotel segment.


City Grill marks a significant milestone in the evolution and development of the group by completing its largest investment to date. Remaining committed to transforming Romanian cuisine and hospitality into an authentic and innovative experience, City Grill Group has invested 13 million euros in the restoration and modernization of “Hanu’ Berarilor Oprea Soare” restaurant. Additionally, the La Boheme Hotel, included in the investment project, enhances the authentic restaurant experience by offering its guests comfort and refinement.

We aimed to transform ‘Hanu’ Berarilor Oprea Soare’ into the most beautiful restaurant venue in Bucharest. The feedback from guests after the modernization and restoration has been excellent, with the restaurant becoming a true destination for both locals and tourists,” says Daniel Mischie, CEO of City Grill Group.

City Grill Group leased the building in 2008, where the Casa Bucur restaurant was operating at the time, with the option to purchase it from the rightful heirs. The acquisition was finalized after the first year of operation, and the restaurant was ultimately transformed into “Hanu’ Berarilor.” Restoration and renovation work began in 2015 and were carried out in distinct phases. Therefore, during the period of 2015-2017, works were undertaken such as the construction of the orangery and terrace infrastructure. Between 2018 and 2019, a new kitchen was built, and from 2019 to 2023, the old building of the hotel and restaurant was restored. The total budget invested by the group in the gastronomic beer house “Hanu’ Berarilor” amounts to 13 million euros. 

“The budget ended up being three times larger than we initially estimated. Throughout the construction process, numerous additional requirements arose, which increased the costs. The old building, a historical monument, proved to be the most challenging and costly part of the investment. However, a significant challenge was also the closure of the construction site during the pandemic and lockdown. The plans were completely disrupted, both in terms of costs and completion time,” notes Daniel Mischie, CEO of City Grill Group. 

The heritage building, a historical monument, the greatest challenge of the investment

The building housing Hanu’ Berarilor Oprea Soare restaurant is a Grade A historical monument, imposing very high standards for conservation and restoration.

Under the signature of architect Mihai Butucaru, authorized by the Ministry of Culture, the old building was strengthened, compartmentalized for the allocated hotel space, and interior details were restored. These were brought as close as possible to their original form, with some elements being reconstructed based on old interior photographs provided by the former owners of the building.

The restaurant’s design project, created by architect Mihai Popescu, serves as an exemplary adaptation to the historical architecture of the building. Therefore, the gastronomic beerhouse “Hanu’ Berarilor Oprea Soare” preserves the original construction elements designed by architect Petre Antonescu, combining them with contemporary design and current interior elements, modern lighting fixtures, and a well-balanced terrace with plenty of greenery.

One of the significant changes brought about by the renovation was the expansion of the kitchen in the new building, allowing for the installation of more equipment and streamlining the serving processes.

“Hanu’ Berarilor is situated within a Grade A historical monument. This classification brings numerous limitations in terms of actions on the building. Special authorizations and agreements are required, along with specific studies for valuable elements of the building—wood, stone, metal, stained glass, and more. It’s an externally costly process that unfolds over a longer period of time. Last but not least, restoration interventions require skilled individuals qualified for these activities and certified by accredited institutions. It’s not easy to work on wooden inlays, metal decorations, to restore water-damaged painted ceilings, or to gild with gold leaf, for instance. I’d like to see as many restored monumental houses in Bucharest and beyond, becoming iconic destinations themselves in the city,” adds Daniel Mischie.

The other historical location of the brand, situated in the Elena Lupescu Villa on Pache Protopopescu Street, is also undergoing a redesign process, with a focus on elements that will connect the two restaurants: painted walls in the same style and similar lighting fixtures. 

Hanu’ Berarilor, the restaurant with the highest degree of loyalty

The restoration, modernization, and transformation of the “Hanu’ Berarilor” restaurants are accompanied by changes in the menu that aim for refinement while maintaining the same authentic taste and high-quality ingredients. Currently, at the “Hanu’ Berarilor” locations, the average bill amounts to 40 Euros, and “papanasi” and duck leg remain the most popular dishes.

“The ‘Hanu’ Berarilor’ restaurants, along with ‘Caru’ cu Bere’ and ‘Hanu’ lui Manuc,’ are tourist destinations in themselves. For those visiting Bucharest—be they foreign tourists, Romanians, or expats—it’s a must to stop by ‘Caru,’ ‘Manuc,’ or ‘Han.’ Therefore, our mission goes beyond serving good food. I believe that to a large extent, these restaurants set the hospitality standards in Bucharest, perhaps even in Romania, and we need to emphasize, first and foremost, on the exceptional customer experience. A customer’s experience in a restaurant is defined by the atmosphere, design, menu, and quality of services. We constantly diversify and innovate the menu, pay close attention to the price-quality ratio, and make sure we have products catering to various customer preferences. Since opening our first restaurant 20 years ago, we have strived to stay current in all aspects while preserving the values of traditional cuisine,” adds Daniel Mischie.

The menu of Hanu’ Berarilor restaurants is designed by Chef Dan Iordan, who has been with the brand since its inception. His passion for traditional cuisine, with an emphasis on cooked food and sauces, is complemented by international courses at Le Cordon Bleu and the Escoffier Institute. The menu is perfectly complemented by local beer under various brands and Romanian wines (120 labels).

As such, Hanu’ Berarilor caters to all customer categories and is renowned for its quality-price ratio, making it one of the most popular restaurant brands throughout the day. In fact, the lunch menu priced at 34.9 lei with two dishes is one of the most efficient choices for lunch in Bucharest.

The gastronomic beerhouses Hanu’ Berarilor currently have a team of 350 employees, coordinated by Cornel Mihalascu, a partner of Hanu’ Berarilor brand, who has been collaborating with City Grill Group for over 20 years.

City Grill Group currently operates restaurants and cafes under the brands “Hanu’ Berarilor,” “Hanu’ lui Manuc,” “Pescarus,” “Caru’ Cu Bere,” “Buongiorno.Italian,” “City Grill,” and the La Boheme hotel. All locations have a loyal and highly engaged customer base. Among all these, “Hanu’ Berarilor,” with its three locations—Oprea Soare, Elena Lupescu, and Otopeni—is the brand with the highest degree of customer recurrence.

Turnover growth supported by new unit openings

City Grill Group concluded 2022 with a turnover of 235 million lei and estimates a moderate growth of 10-12% for the current year. In the coming years, the turnover growth will be driven by the opening of new units, including the La Boheme Hotel, operational since the end of 2022, as well as the performance of existing restaurants such as Hanu’ Berarilor, Buongiorno.Italian, Pescarus, Caru’ cu Bere, Hanu’ lui Manuc, and Becker Brau, all of which have a loyal and highly engaged customer base.

At present, the La Boheme Hotel has an average occupancy rate of 75%. From the very first month, due to its central location, the occupancy rate exceeded 60%, with over half of the guests being international visitors.

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