Hea Maa was born from the love for good Estonian food
Although our cafe restaurant opened its doors to you just a
couple of years ago, June 2015, the building itself is packed with a long
history and a stately past.
This, almost 100 years old hall where you are nicely sitting down right at this moment, was actually the office of the mayor of Pärnu already before the times of the first Estonian Republic. The old town hall right next to us, a yellow classicist style building, firstly built as a house for merchant Harder, is almost a century older than our Art Nouveau extension which was built in 1911. After Harder died, the house was put up for sale in order to cover his debts. In 1819 it was bought following the orders given by the emperor itself, price being 24 100 rubles and it was used as the house of the superintendent of Pärnu. A while later, during the dismantling of the fort of Pärnu in the year 1835, the building was given to the town and it became the town hall. In addition to the town hall, the building housed a court, the police and a prison, but the latter was soon moved from the basement to a more appropriate facility next door.
The mayor, who led the creation of the Hea Maa building, was Oscar Brackmann. The same man who made Pärnu into a resort town, created the beach park and who came up with the idea of the mud baths and the Waldhof cellulose plant. In addition to that, while he was the mayor Pärnu became the first town to have electric lighting in the whole Russian Empire. That’s how big of a man Oscar Brackmann was. We don’t know exactly where was the desk of the most famous mayor of Pärnu, but it is nice to think that it was located exactly where you are sitting right now, isn’t it? Therefore, while you were dining and you got a brilliant idea while at it - the reason why is quite clear: you were sitting at his place.
Our nice building nowadays also houses the office of Pärnu Town Orchestra, Pärnu Visitor Centre and Pärnu City Gallery. Although the City Council of Pärnu moved to another building in the year 2007, they still hold some meetings in here, in the second floor sitting room. We have some quite noble neighbours.
Our head chef is a passionate taste-seeker Virkko Vendla, who was born and raised in Soomaa. From the forests and bogs, which had been surrounding him since he was a little boy, he took along the fair and pure – elements which he nowadays claims to be the most important principals in the kitchen. He has studied and worked in England and perhaps that is the reason why everything Virkko makes always tastes like coming back. The kind that starts from the first bite and always brings you back here, to Virkko’s kitchen.
Hea Maa was born from the love for good Estonian food. To put it shorter: Estonian flavoured food. We are glad to say that we are living in a very tasteful country.
Our name was given to us by our good friend Imbi, who in turn took it from her bookshelf. She read a book in 1938 by a Nobelist in literature, Pear S. Buck, called “The Good Earth”, which tells the story about Chinese farmers and how their land and the cultivation of it is the purpose and meaning of their life. What Imbi saw there was honesty, passion and respect towards the land. She saw us and she was right.We can host 20 people inside and 30 people outside on our summer terrace.