elDiario.es, as the leading digital native newspaper in Spain and with a broad presence in fourteen autonomous communities, reinforces its presence in Navarra. After expanding its team of professionals both in the areas of writing and management, from this month of October the Navarra edition – born in October 2014 – opens a new headquarters in the emblematic Plaza del Castillo in Pamplona, a crossroads in the city. It is a workspace but it will be open to the community of readers and members.
elDiario.es/Navarra is installed in portal 43 of the square, in a historic 19th century building between the Passage de la Jacoba and the Belena de Iruña. The office has two entrances, one on each side of the block, and which retain some original ornamental elements. And it is a point full of history. And not only because of the elegant Iruña café that still operates next to the place and where Ernest Hemingway wrote in a corner. In that 43, for example, one of the leading institutions in Navarra was born, the Club Atlético Osasuna.
It is said that “house No. 43 occupies the northwestern corner of the square, Garbalena’s old house whose construction began in 1882, where the Kutz café operated for years. On the semicircular arcades, drawn at the same time as the building, there are four sections of balconies, with eight openings, plus an attic finish ”. It was precisely in the Kutz, where Hemingway was also seen and now disappeared, where in 1920 the flagship sports club of Pamplona and all of Navarra was created.
The Kutz had its precursors in Spanish and La Marina until 1912 when it opened its doors at the hands of Luis Kutz. “Hemingway inhabited its terrace on numerous occasions, recording this in his book ‘Death in the afternoon’. José Luis Kutz, son of the founder of this cafe, recalled a few years ago his memories of the stays of the North American writer, highlighting the mythical image that this character reached among his compatriots in the 1950s: they venerated him, almost knelt in his presence ” , can be read in ‘La Guía de Hemingway’. And it is added: “After the death of Don Luis Kutz, the coffee passed into the hands of his wife Elvira, who with the help of their children María Luisa and José Luis, kept its doors open until 1961. Curiously among Kutz customers there was another writer who would also go on to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is about Camilo José Cela, who maintained a good friendship with José Luis Kutz, former classmates ”.
At the time, the Kutz awning read “Pamplona-San Sebastián”. This is due to Benito Kutz Scheidler, born in 1847 in Ulm, then a city of the kingdom of Württemberg and, after the unification, currently in Germany. It was he who settled in the capital of Gipuzkoa. “The surname Kutz came to our city in 1867 with Benito, a brewer by trade. With the walls demolished and the expansion works started, San Sebastián became a claim, among other activities, for those in the service sector. Benito would have knowledge of the qualities of the water in the area, a determining factor in the final product, as well as the drive of San Sebastián as a tourist attraction on the rise. Ategorrieta was the origin of the first establishment: the Strasbourg Brewery and the Ice Factory. In the Barcelona Exhibition of 1888, Benito participated by obtaining a Silver Medal for his beer ”, reports the San Sebastian City Council.
And he continues: “The Kutz, guided by the demands of a spa city that had to compete with the best in Europe, opened establishments in the city center. Luis Kutz, Benito’s son, had at the same time establishments on Avenida de la Libertad, San Martín 23, Urbieta 24 and in Alameda del Boulevar-Garibay. The ‘Café Kutz’ was the café of the Bella Easo. The transformation of the premises was the subject of articles in the press, both from San Sebastian and abroad. The good taste of the matt silver furniture and service stood out as well as the novelty of the appliances of this industry and among them the cold room that took out the beer at 6 and 8 degrees. They sold both their own brewed beer and the one that came from Munich by refrigerated wagons and also the Australian beer. His Café Kutz de Pamplona, in the Plaza del Castillo, was known. In 1915 the Café Kutz in San Sebastián and the one in Pamplona were jointly advertised. In Madrid it would open shortly after, on Gran Vía 16, here, at the end of 1919, the Kutz orangeade was advertised ”. These beers are now part of the multinational group Damm.
In the Navarra archive there are numerous images of the place and of events that took place there. On July 16, 1912, for example, there was a visit on horseback by the then King Alfonso XIII, on the occasion of which balconies and facades were decorated. These old photographs draw a place of social gathering and meeting of the Pamplona society of the time.