The idea of art patronage and public houses of this kind originated in Europe. Specifically, Georgian patrons of art, the Zubalashvili brothers Levan, Stepane, Petre and Iakob, laid foundation for this European novelty in Tbilisi. In honor of their charitable father, Konstantine, they built Konstantine Zubalashvili’s Public House in accordance with the design of architect Stefan Krichinsky from St.Petersburg in 1902-1907, and gifted it to the capital of Georgia.
The house was constructed under the supervision of architect Aleksander Rogoisky, from Tbilisi.
This wonderful modern-style building included a big concert hall, a library, and rooms for various thematic circles. Performances here were staged for Tbilisi residents of diverse backgrounds including in Georgian, Ossetian, Armenian, Lithuanian, Polish, Armenian, Greek, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Tatar, Hebrew, and Assyrian.
The inscription “Konstantine Zubalashvili’s Public House” disappeared from the façade of the house in the Soviet era. In subsequent years, the authentic design of the concert hall changed as well, and a café constructed with glass and metal was built next to one of the corners of the façade in 2008.
Despite these changes, the building is one of the outstanding sights of the city today.
The building has hosted the Kote Marjanishvili State Drama Theater and Museum since 1930. Rich materials about the playwrights, directors, and painters to have worked at the theater are kept at the museum. The stage decorations and artistic drawings by well-known Georgian painters Petre Otskheli, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, and Elene Akhvlediani are preserved here as well.