In 1978, the cooperative today known as Genossenschaft Baseltor opened the Löwen in Solothurn. This restaurant was packed from the very start, and soon became one of the city’s key social and culinary venues. It was an era in which people strove for self-determination in their life and work, and similar cooperatives were founded across Switzerland, successfully introducing new culinary trends.
Although the initial dream of self-determination involved owning the premises of the Löwen outright, this was not possible until the cooperative moved to the venue today known as Baseltor. Through skill and hard work, the 25-person collective remodelled this former canon’s house and restaurant, installed an open kitchen – then a rarity – and added a charming little hotel. Thanks to the successful conversion and excellent food, Baseltor’s reputation soon spread far beyond the region.
The cooperative, now renamed Genossenschaft Baseltor, developed slowly but steadily, and continued to maintain its cooperative values even as it became more professional. It opened several more enterprises in the city over the next few decades, winning customers with a combination of high quality gastronomy, contemporary design and historic buildings. Today, Genossenschaft Baseltor operates the four businesses Baseltor, Solheure, Salzhaus and HOCH3 Catering, which together make a significant contribution to the cultural life of Solothurn. In April 2017, these will be joined by the Krone, the best hotel in town, which will reopen as La Couronne Hotel Restaurant following a comprehensive renovation.