Before the location got its proper name "Gasthof zum Hirschen" in 1703, from 1599 it was called "zum Schermesser im Niederdorf". The name "guesthouse" allows the assumption that even back then, the house provided simple accommodations. In the book "Die Strassennamen der Stadt Zürich" (The street names of Zurich), Mr. Paul Guyer, responsible for the archives, says that the Hirschengasse got its name 1769, the Spitalgasse (hospital street) 1865.
The demolition of the hospital in 1877 in front of the hotel and the pharmacy gave way for a lot of spare space which is called Hirschenplatz since 1917.
In 1910 a new hall with stage that still exists today was put in the Hirschen and the legendary Cabaret Federal started playing. Later followed the Cabaret Cornichon which became just as famous. In the beginning of the eighties until 1997 the hall was used for live concerts (jazz, salsa, later rock).