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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

Julius Meinl's Flagship Supermarket in Budapest - where?

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

KesterTester91 - Happy New Year! Where was this piccie taken? UPDATED with results!

Photo: I remember the press conference when this store opened, probably around 1993 or 94, and this outlet was promoted as their top shop in Budapest by the Vienna parent company. I can't remember exactly when the Austrians pulled out, maybe around 2010.

For a chance to win the first KesterTester of 2023, achieve global celebrit status AND buy me two beers, please send your entry to the site message system or send an email citing KT91.

I'll keep KT90, A Nice Leg of Pork, Sir? open for a day or two more, if you can sleuth that one meanwhile.

As it is the New Year, I'll say congratulations to the anonymous Guest Poster who penned the "Fairy Tale Politics" post on 27th July which attracted 254 hits - the champion post of 2022. It's here:

With 212 hits, the post Viktor Orbán's favourite film and Hungary's rural, grievance-filled subculture - László Kéri part II was the second most popular post. That's here:

And coming in at third most hits was KesterTester86, Budapest's Disappearing Banks posted on 28th October, here:

Thanks for all your participation and support over the past year - I hope the blog has provided some valuable insights as well as some fun - and all best wishes for 2023!

UPDATE: The Results!

First in, late on New Year's Day, was Jerry “always willing to have a punt” Taylor.

"Hi Kester

My only thought when I saw your latest picture was what is now the artists club at Budapest, Kertész u. 36, 1073.However, despite the similarities, I doubt it is correct.

Happy new yeara, Jerry"

Hmmmm. Well …. maybe not the bull's eye, but might not be far out geographically, Jerry. BUEKa to you too! Always happy to hear from you!

Jock MacKenzie was another early arrival.

"Hi Kester, BUEK

Pretty sure this was at Moscow Square. Likely to have pulled out c 2010 when the retail laws changed in favour of CBA and guess who owns that?

Take care. J"

As it happens, another early entry was from regular punter David McCall, Jock's former business partner, writing in from rainy Oregon. (Well, that's what Dick Brunner used to tell me, when he lived there.)

My dear Kester,

I understand that you are (hopefully) still recovering from your New Year festivities, but this is far too easy.

Is it, David? Well you may think that, but we'll have to see.

That was their location at the Korut, more specifically at Blaha Lujza ter - but I think it was earlier. When I moved to BP in 1990, I soon after found a grocery store in Sugar operated by Meinl that was open for a few hours on Sundays. That was a different store, but I would have assumed this opened at around the same time.

I'm pretty certain this was opened later than 1990, David - but maybe I've misremembered, 'tis possible.

FYI if I remember correctly, Meinl and their discount brand Jeee were bought out by a group that owned Cora and Profi. (They had a warehouse in Monor, and then constructed a large logistics center in Bp X, on the edge of the city's old landfill.)

Some of the stores were rebranded as Match or Smatch, until unfortunate circumstances caused them to sell most stores off to CBA. Back in the day I worked with Profi to overhaul their recycling operations, and consolidate cardboard from all their small stores to turn it into a revenue stream.

For the first time in my life I've spent the holidays somewhere warm. I have a new appreciation for life here on Gran Canaria! Too bad I have to leave tomorrow. Back to the grind. Happy New Year.


Hope the grind was a bit easier after the sunny hols, David. Another regular, Sandor Nemeth, wrote in on January 1.

Happy new year, Sir!

I think the photo was taken on Blaha Lujza tér.

Regards Sanyi”

Tom Chilton was rather terse, but sent in a supporting pic.

It's on the corner of Erzsébet körút and Rákóczi út. It's a Lidl now (see attached pic).”

Photo: The updated portal - thank you, Mr TC - this saves me taking a current pic to illustrate this.

Steven Nelson was also swiftly into the fray.

As for KT91, I believe that is the NE corner of Rákóczi út and Erzsébet körút. I remember Meinl also had a large store at Ferenciek tere.”

Wasn't that outlet previously an infamous restaurant, Steven? I mean the one where two young ladies helped fleece two slightly less young Danes of about USD 7,500 for meals and drinks one evening. It made the pages of a weekend Nepszabadsag and then the world in, c 1997.

Rarely a man to remain on the sidelines, Hubert “Poirot” Warsmann was again up for the challenge.

KT91. This looks very much like the building at Rákóczi út 48, at the intersection of Rákóczi út and the nagy Korut, by Blaha Lujza tér.

If I recall correctly, the shop was originally a Csemege and rebranded to Julius Meinl when the Austrian company bought the Csemege chain in Hungary in an early privatisation deal.

It was later rebranded to Match when Delhaize bought out the Hungarian Meinl operations.

More recently, the store briefly became a CBA when Delhaize left Hungary. It was operating as a Lidl last time I was in the vicinity. So this makes it 5 owners and as many brands in 30 years.”

Gosh, that's a pretty good memory you've got there, Hubert! Next in was Zsolt Maroti, flush with success from winning KT90.

Szia Kester, Happy New Year.

I think this one is in Blaha Lujza tér. Earlier it was the legendary éjjel nappali csemege (non-stop deli) opened around 1960. The Julius Meinl shops were taken over by the Belgian Match group and now there is a Lidl supermarket there.”

Thank you, Zsolti. I never knew about its 24-hour, non-stop past. One can never cease

learning with these KesterTesters!

John Cantwell, another regular punter, was up next.

Hi Kester,

Happy new year to you and yours! The Meinl shop in your photo is the one at Blaha Lujza tér. There is currently a Lidl shop there.”

I ought to say at some point that, strictly speaking, this is not Blaha Lujza tér, but since 97% of folks (including me) would consider it so, and indeed there is an entrance to the metro station of that name within this archway, the Competition Committee will accept this as a correct answer.

There then followed a veritable flurry of answers, from Stephen Saracco, Richard Lock, and Robert Mickens (Blaha Lujza tér). Tim Bender also pointed out that they still have the “No Bill Stickers” signs, according to googlemaps.

Tibor Szendrei, noting that it was “corner of Korut and Rakoczi”, added: “And I’d gladly buy you 2+ beers one of these weekends ... Any chance?”

Thank you Tibs! I must take you up on that one – but let's see if you can win a Tester meanwhile (It would salve my conscience!).

David Thompson was perhaps, the most specific in locative terms:

Hi Kester,

Where? I think this is : Rákóczi út 48, Blaha Lujza tér, Budapest, 1074.

Formerly Julius Meinl, a CBA for several years and now a Lidl.”

Finally, long-time Perspectives Budapest aficionado Laszlo Magocsi also nailed the location and mentioned the once-famous 'éjjel-nappal' (Hungarian for 'day and night') shop.

Incidentally, the shot for KT85 Towers-turrets-and-spires etc here:

was taken just round the corner, by the 7 Bus stop and the exit from the Lidl shop – although the two pics were snapped something like 25 years apart.

But this is all delaying the crucial, career-enhancing, life-changing, breaking news, ie which number of the 14 correct entries came out of the EU-approved Black Woolly draw hat?

And the draw revealed number 7 (on the paper slip, not the bus) as the winner of KT91, making the winner none other than super-sleuth John Cantwell!

I don't know how John is currently coping with the adulation he must now be getting (because this is not his first win), but he somehow manages, it seems.

Congratulations John, and thanks to all that entered with their contributions. I thought this would be a reasonably hard KesterTester, but it seems a fair number of hawkeyed readers quickly recognised this one. (So you were correct, David McCall!)

However, that still leaves KT92, the unknown can-drinker on a hot sunny day to be solved, so keep on sleuthing, please!

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