Legend has it that 200 years ago a young famished journeyman stole a few rings of sausage from the butcher’s in Piwna Street, which together with Świętojańska street formed the square known as Zapiecek. Running away, the boy climbed up onto the roof a house and then went down through the chimney into a room, where he could finally enjoy his stolen meal. Having satisfied his hunger he fell asleep. When he woke up, he realized that the room had no way out. His desperate knocking on the walls finally drew attention of the owner who rescued the sooty boy, and seeing an embarrassed gourmand, laughed until the tears ran down his cheeks. Since the house was in the main market square, the story about the Zapiecek boy spread about the neighbourhood. You can read the whole legend here (The Legend about Zapiecek)

According to “Szkice Staromiejskie” [eng. Old Town Sketches] (Warsaw 1955, published by SZTUKA) Zapiecek is a short (approximately 36 metres) but relatively wide street forming a sort of square between the south-western corner of the Market Square and Piwna Street, and prolongs Piekarska Street. The street used to be called Poprzeczna [eng. crosswise street] (1743). The street was widened to a square of the present size in 1831 when the Wagner’s tenement house in Świętojańska Street collapsed in 1831. Zapiecek name dates back to 1770 (Kurier Warszawski from 1848, nr. 141). In the 19th century, Zapiecek was the site of a popular bird market.

The building which houses Zapiecek Restaurant, was destroyed during the World War II. After the war, it was reconstructed with the facade and cellars retaining its pre-war look. The interior and the back elevation was designed anew. A tondo designed in 1954 by Zofia Czarnocka was placed on the elevation.

Today, Zapiecek is a place where one can spend a relaxing time in the restaurant or the gallery. It’s a nice starting point for a stroll to a nearby Świętojańska Street, Mermaid Monument in the Old Town, Jan Kiliński Monument and The Royal Castle.