Von Wakano’s Kochmeister House

Alfred Von Wakano’s restaurant, or “Kochmeister House”, is a monument of architecture of 20th century.

The building was bought in 2006 within our investment program. Design of restoration works was completed in 2008, but financing was suspended and the building was put on conservation until 2015; the work resumed in 2016. The building is an object of cultural heritage of federal value. Following the project the ‘eating house’ will be adapted for modern use and will include areas for entertainment infrastructure, a restaurant, a bar, exhibition space and showrooms.

A glimpse of history

The beer shop and the Kochmeister House (or a small restaurant or canteen) of the “Zhiguli Brewing Cooperative” in Samara occupied a private house constructed in 1903.

The Zhiguli Brewery was founded in Samara in March 1880 by foreign merchants Alfred Von Wakano and Moritz M. Faber. It was one of the largest industrial companies of Samara. The plant was built in less than a year, and the first brew was on 10 February, 1881. The production of beer was 48,000 decaliters in 1881, but by the year 1913 the plant’s output grew to 3,000,000 decaliters per year. The high quality of products won the plant a great reputation in Eastern Russia: it brewed ‘Vienna’, ‘Table’ and ‘Bavaria’ styles of beer. It had a monopolist right to brew the “Zhigulevskoe” lager that was exported, too. 85% of the products was sold outside Samara from wholesale depots in Eastern Russia, in the Caucasus, in the Transcaspian Region and in Siberia (52 depots total). The company had about 400 retail shops, and one of them was the bar in the Alekseevskaya Street. From 1882 to 1900, the plant was owned by the joint-stock company, but on January 1, 1900 it was reorganized to the “Zhiguli Brewing Cooperative of A. Wakano and Co.”. By 1906, the partners were A.F. Wakano and V.A. Wakano, and M.M. Faver and K.M. Faber were its investors.

The success of the company called for expansion of production that was done until 1911 without stopping the main production facilities. The plant’s reconstruction was under the project of the German machine building company of J.S. Schwalbe. It was then that the building of the restaurant was built using Baroque architectural solutions.

The architect decided to use the rustic work as the main decorative element. It covers the entire plane of the wall and brings it to life with an intricate play of light and shadow. The building is Baroque-styled (wall superstructures above the ledge), with a line of paired windows with semicircular transoms and panels.

Owing to the exquisite forms of the façade and the rich interplay of light and shade the building is dynamic and picturesque. Its interiors had a great artistic value. Too. One of them is captured in a photograph in the album of the Wakano and Faber cooperative published in Leipzig in the early 20th century.

In 1918, during the Komuch period (abbreviated in Russian from Committee of Constituent Assembly Members — first anti-Bolshevist national government of Russia that was organized in Samara by the members of the Constituent Assembly protesting the dismissal of Assembly in January 1918), the building housed the Headquarters of Russian Officers’ Society.

During the NEP (New Economic Policy, 1920s) the Zhiguli Brewery was rented by the “Wakano Brothers, Boyarsky and Faber” Cooperative (the rent agreement was until 17 January, 1935).

Later, the building housed the calculating machine station of NIIPTIMASH Institute.