After opening in 1982, Pierrot quickly became a popular café for Budapest residents and tourists visiting Budapest.
The first major renovation took place in 1993, when Ilona’s were granted a licence to operate a hot kitchen. They started with a small menu and a very limited offer, the dishes were prepared with a small Swiss-made Bürgi, a contact grill.
The real big renovation and complete renewal started in 2003. Café Pierrot not only changed its image but also its profile - and what a good decision it was! That is when the café became a restaurant, something that had not been possible before because of the limited space available.
In 2003, Ilona and Pierrot took over 100 square metres of the cellar under the restaurant. This is where the kitchen, which is also suitable for a hot kitchen, was installed, as well as storage, warehouses and toilets, and the entire mechanical equipment was moved down a level. The Pierrot needed a huge mechanical plant, as it was necessary to ensure that the food did not smell and that the heating was guaranteed within the ancient walls of a listed building.
Just like now, renovating a listed building was not easy. Permits were required from the Historic Monuments Conservation Office, and archaeologists had to be called in for every excavation.
After a very serious renovation lasting several months, the Pierrot reopened on the same day as our accession to the European Union, 1 May 2004, with modern machinery, a modern kitchen and a complete makeover, i.e. a new logo and interior design.
Ilona recalls this period: "We loved the new Pierrot, but more importantly, so did the customers. It was definitely the heyday of Café Pierrot."