How did this historic bar become a modern brewery restaurant?
The legendary Viisi Penniä has always been part of the elite of Helsinki’s traditional beer and food scene. In the spring of 2021, the restaurant took a step towards a more trend-conscious future with the construction of its own brewery, the Mad Hopper Brewing Company.
A peek to over 80 years ago - how did it all start?
Viisi Penniä is one of the longest running beer restaurants across the country, under the same name and location. It was the place to go in the 60s and 70s among the Tullinpuomi recidents living in the vicinity.
The restaurant opened its doors next to Töölön tulli in 1956, but in fact, its history goes back more than 80 years. The house, designed by functionalism and completed during the armistice in 1940, tells its own story of wartime history - the restaurant has been run there since the beginning.
The current Viisi Penniä was preceded by restaurant Walk, where wartime shortages were reflected in food regulation. The turning point was the Olympic year 1952, which brought thousands of tourists to the city.
Stone columns mark the spot, where did the name “Viisi Penniä” come from?
The name “Viisi Penniä” means “Five Pennies” in Finnish.
In 1956, the name changed from “Walk” to “Viisi Penniä” with the new owner. However, the name dates back to the old Töölön tulli, a turnpike or a customs gate at the city border. Stone columns and a plaque on both sides of Mannerheimintie have been left at the restaurant as monuments.
Töölön tulli, or Espoon tulli, levied on goods imported from the countryside to the city for sale. In the 1860s, anyone who towed a vehicle paid for a silver kopeck, or five silver pennies, for access to downtown. That is why Töölön tulli has also been called “Viiden Pennin Tulli” (Five Pennies’ Customs).
Welcome to the 21st century: new owner, new restaurant
In 2006, the current owner of Onniravintolat became the owner of Viisi Penniä, which piloted the restaurant on a new road, a cozy restaurant for socializing and dining. In 2011, they merged the two commercial apartments situated next to each other, and that’s how the restaurant got a bar next door, called Oluttupa Viisi Penniä (Beerhouse Viisi Penniä).
The next big change was renovation, which was carried out in 2014. The entire interior, furniture and lighting of the restaurant were renewed. At the same time, the partition wall was broken between the restaurant and the bar and the two spaces were concretely connected to each other.
Our own brewery, Mad Hopper Brewing Co.
The year 2021 is again a time of change. With the completion of Mad Hopper Brewing Company, Helsinki’s famous Mannerheimintie street will have its own brewery after a break of almost 90 years!
The brewery will be renovated in the basements of residential buildings at Mannerheimintie 53-55. Even though it’s an independent small brewery, part of it comes visible to the public at Viisi Penniä.
The construction of the Mad Hopper Brewery was something the CEO Gianjot “Dollar” Singh had in mind for several years. Everything started from Dollar’s attitude towards world-class beers and the desire to make them in his own brewery. Mad Hopper is based on passion, professionalism and know-how, as well as uncompromising quality in products and everything we do.
The residential building at Mannerheimintie 55 is completed. The restaurant Walk is established.
Viiden Pennin krouvi is opened.
Viiden Pennin Oluttupa opens.
Viisi Penniä expands to the neighboring building after the renovation.
The Mad Hopper Brewing Company begins operating in the basement of the building.