The Grill House is locatedat the Old Town boundary in historical Hinke Tower and two adjoining buildings on the site of a moat that extended along the town wall hundreds of years ago.
Passages were built to interconnect the bundle of structures that accumulated here over the years, so one half of The Grill House is located in the historical suburb (Pärnu mnt 2 building constructed in the 18th century) and the other half – in the old town behind the defensive town wall (Müürivahe 32 building dating back to the 16th century). This wall that used to separate the suburbs from the old town centre is crowned with one of Tallinn’s oldest surviving defensive towers erected in 1345-55, the Hinke Tower, which, according to historical records, was named after a town servant and stable boy called Hinke, whose house stood in the vicinity of the tower.
In the 15th century, the tower was made taller and was topped with a spire and a weathervane and, because that century ushered in the era of firearms, the tower could also serve the artillery needs. Since 1832, the Hinke Tower had been in private hands and had been mostly used as a warehouse, narrowly escaping destruction on a couple of occasions. At the beginning of the 20th century, the building complex was owned by the Estonian Seed Grain Association, who intended to demolish the tower in order to construct a more modern building in its place. In 1937, permission to do so was obtained, but for some reason, these plans were never implemented.
In Soviet times, a gardening shop operated in the Pärnu mnt building and the tower accommodated a warehouse and some apartments. After Estonia regained its independence in 1991, the tower became private property again. A casino was opened on the ground floor, but the rest of the building sat empty. The main purpose of the renovation was to pay homage to the historical background of the buildings and the tower and highlight the remaining details after almost a century of negligent use that has left its mark.