In the forties of the nineteenth century confectioner Jernegan opened in the Esplanade Park small pavilion for the sale of lemonade and sweet pastries. The building was shaped like a small Church and quickly got among the residents of Helsinki the nickname "the Chapel".
The case was profitable, and in the eighties pastry decided to open a large restaurant in the Park. The new building was designed by architect Hump Dalström and built, not surprisingly, entirely of wood. The restaurant was opened on June 4, 1867, by coincidence on this day the future Marshal Mannerheim was born. (Kapeli, chapel). This name eventually became the official name of the restaurant.
The first regular customers of the restaurant were journalists, and ordinary people came here not only to drink tea or beer, but also to hear the latest news from the primary source. In 1883, the restaurant owner was Josef Wolontis, turned the institution into a cafe for the world of arts. Writers, poets, musicians, artists, theatre workers began to spend time here.
In the number of regular clients Kapeli was part of the writer Juhani Aho, poet Eino Leino, the composers Jean Sibelius and Oskar Merikanto. Artists Axel Gallen-Kallela and albert Edelfelt held their exhibitions in the cafe, some of their paintings can be seen in the restaurant now.
Volantis, also for the first time in Finland began to serve chilled beer in the summer. To do this, in the basement of the restaurant was arranged glacier. In 1919, Finland came into force a ban on the sale of alcohol, and the owner relied on high-quality and inexpensive Lunches and dinners. However, without hot drinks poorly heated building in winter lost attractiveness for the public, so it did not work.
The "Cold sucks" adversely affected the safety of wooden structures, and by the fifties the famous "Chapel" dilapidated so much that stopped working.
The revival began in the seventies, the building was renovated, heating and the restaurant resumed work without interruption for the winter. Now Kapeli offers dishes of traditional Finnish cuisine.