22 February 2021

Gspan since 1621

The Gspan kitchen for home
The Gspan kitchen for home

Gspan - since 1621
The history of Gspan begins in 1621, when two Walser houses with stables were built on the hill opposite the Bergkirchli. The hill was given the field name Gspanhügel. The name is derived from the dialect word "Gspändli" (Gespanen).
As early as 1914, the Gspan was a meeting place for music and dancing for the youth of Arosa.
In 1935 it is rebuilt for the first time.

Johann Ulrich Schmid of the Gspan, the grandfather of the current Gspaners, has a large haulage business and he is the first in Arosa to operate a taxi. He met his wife Mia Naef on a carriage ride. The woman from Zollikon spends the summer in Arosa as a governess for the shoe manufacturer family Bally.

In 1947, the former cowshed becomes a cosy Kaffi-Stübli. The legendary "Gspan-Nani", Mia Schmid Naef, has taken the business under her wing and drives it forward with much diligence and courage.

Demand increases steadily, and soon there is a shortage of guest rooms. Therefore, in 1953, the roof is raised by night and fog. This creates four new guest rooms. The restaurant is also extended by integrating the former kitchen and the veranda, which resembles a railway carriage.

In the early 1970s, daughter Ursula joins the business with her husband Bruno Gull. The Gspan is converted and extended. There are new guest rooms and the restaurant is renovated and equipped with the "Zigüner" tables. Today they are still our tavola pubblica, where everyone who likes to be sociable can sit down!

In the Stübli, the architect at the time, Turi Bächtold, covered the walls with jutte sacks on which great sayings can be read. He certainly wrote one for the Gspan-Nani:

Obe im Dorf sind d Wiiber
but in the village there are no men!
"Merksch öpis"

1981 All rooms are equipped with shower/WC. The former stable wall comes to light. Today it adorns the graffiti room.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Ursula Oechslin and her second husband Rolf have the idea of offering fine meals in a cosy atmosphere in the evenings. This met with little understanding from the après-ski guests. As a result, the beautifully laid tables are sometimes moved out in protest! That's why the legendary Öxli bar was built in 1986. It is still the bar with the best view of the Bergkirchli and the village.

The Gspänli, a former stable on Tschuggen, is also part of the business. It was erected in the 1970s by Bruno Gull and players from the EHC Arosa on a new foundation opposite the Gspan. At first it serves mainly as a club venue. At the beginning of the 80s, the Gspänli is furnished in such a way that guests can also be entertained. For the first few years it was mainly used for après-ski. But little by little, the Gspänli becomes an insider tip and popular meeting place for lovers of fine meat from the charcoal grill and cosy hours.

Daughter Caroline has been working at Gspan since 1993. In the beginning, she worked in the service area, but gradually she also took over administrative tasks. Her husband Dirk Geng has been part of the team since 1997. He worked in the kitchen and in the service for a few seasons. In 2000, Dirk became head chef and refined and perfected the Gspan cuisine. Since 2010, the "boys" Caroline & Dirk Geng-Gull have been running the Gspan. For tips, the fine salad dressing and the famous Gspan herb butter, Rolf Oechslin is still at their side. In 2020, Dirk Geng will join the guild of established chefs.

We are still constantly renovating and rebuilding. The last major renovation was four years ago. The Graffito, Rothorn and Mittagslugga rooms were renovated and the bathrooms completely redesigned - the story of the Gspan continues.

So, dear guests and friends: see you soon on the Gspan hill! We are insanely looking forward to pampering you in our cosy parlour.

Take Away & Drive-Thru at the Gpsan

Challenging times need extraordinary ideas. Under this motto, we at Gspan are offering a drive-thru this season. Whether you're coming straight from the slopes on your skis, on the way home from your walk or at work: Pick up your lunch menu from us in a very uncomplicated way in reusable or disposable dishes and enjoy a fine meal at home in the warmth of your living room.

The Gspan is located directly at the ski slope and in the middle of the hiking area of Arosa. In winter 2020/21 we will spoil you with simple, fine dishes at lunchtime. In the evening you can order warm dishes or sous-vide cooked menus to heat up yourself.

You will find new and varied menus every day at www.gspan.ch. We are happy to take your PRE-order by telephone on +41 81 377 14 94. For the lunch menus until 11.00 am. The dishes can be collected from 11.45 to 13.30. Order in the evening until 6.00 p.m., pick up until 7.30 p.m.


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