This work was originally the right half of a painting of the Brasserie de Reichshoffen, begun in about 1878 and cut in two by Manet before he completed it. This half was then enlarged on the right and a new background was added. The left half of the composition is in the Oskar Reinhart Collection, Winterthur.
The Brasserie de Reichshoffen was in the Boulevard Rochechouart, Paris. At the time, brasseries with waitresses were fairly new in the city.