Large-scale open-air dining area opens in Senate Square


Large-scale open-air dining area opens in Senate Square

A large-scale open-air market and dining area located on Helsinki's iconic Senate Square opened to the public on Wednesday, as a way to encourage the catering industry as well as tourism, reported Xinhua.

Out of the more than 100 local restaurants that applied for a spot of the "Super Terrace" on the 3,000-square-meter Senate Square, 16 have been selected by the City of Helsinki in mid-June. When the selection of the restaurants was announced, the mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori said that due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the operation of restaurants had been restricted and opening the "Super Terrace" aims to alleviate the financial distress of restaurateurs.

A total of 480 customer seats were set on the "Super Terrace," which opens from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day until the end of August. The restaurants offer a diverse selection of food and drink, including breakfast, lunch, fine dining, cocktails and craft beers from local microbreweries.

Preventing infection with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is one of the most important things to consider on the "Super Terrace," though the epidemic situation in Finland has been eased, national broadcaster Yle reported on Wednesday.

Concerning the measures his restaurant taken, Via Tribunal's manager Antti Kuitunen told Yle that safety is maintained in the same way as in the brick-and-mortar restaurant, for example, no serving at the tables. Kuitunen said that hygienic hand disinfection, hand wash and rubber gloves are really emphasized. Via Tribunal is a well-known pizza restaurant brand in Helsinki, the Finnish capital.

According to the introduction made by Linda Bergroth, designer of the open-air dining area, the "Super Terrace" has been designed in the spirit of the allotment garden. About 200 cultivation boxes have been set there, planted with a total of more than 3,000 different flowers and plants. With the help of the flower boxes, the flow of people is guided and tables are separated with safety intervals.

All the big events had been canceled, due to the state of emergency imposed by the Finnish government in mid-March to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"Now the state of emergency gives birth to something new that would not otherwise have been done," Bergroth was quoted by Yle as saying.

Located in the center of Helsinki, Senate Square is a unique symbol of political, religious, scientific and commercial powers of the capital city. Famous landmarks in the surroundings of the square include the Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, and the main building of the University of Helsinki.