Hawelka was born in Mistelbach. His parents were of Bohemian ancestry. His father was a shoemaker. At age 14, the family settled in Vienna, and he began to work in the Deierl restaurant, where he met Josefine Danzberger. They married in 1936 and opened their first café, Kaffee Alt Wien, on the Bäckerstrasse. They later opened a new café, Café Hawelka, on Dorotheergasse. During World War II, the Hawelkas were not able to operate their business. After the war, in September 1945, the Hawelkas reopened their café, the building of which survived the war largely intact.
- Austrian Television http://wien.orf.at/news/stories/2515087/
- "Leopold Hawelka". The Daily Telegraph. London. December 30, 2011.
- Anne Marshall Zwack (1986-10-19). "Where to Go After the Show: Vienna". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
- Oleksyn, Veronika (2011-04-11). "Leopold Hawelka, founder of famous Austrian cafe, turns 100 amid much fanfare". Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
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