Senate Square terrace expanding with space for hundreds more customers

The new restaurant and bar hotspot has been a hit with Helsinki residents, and the extra tables and chairs should cut down on waiting times for customers.

File picture of Senate Square summer terrrace, 15th July 2020 / Credit: News Now Finland

The popular summer terrace that’s taken over Senate Square this year – already the largest in the country – just got bigger.

From Wednesday there is seating for 830 people at the venue, up from 480 when it first opened at the beginning of July.

There are 16 restaurants, bars and cafes which have proved popular with customers, as the City of Helsinki tries to attract more visitors to the downtown area to give local businesses a seasonal boost at a time when they would normally be welcoming tens of thousands of tourists.

Queues of customers at peak times since the venue opened should hopefully now ease with the extra seating capacity.

“This summer is a critical time for many entrepreneurs in Helsinki. The summer in Senate Square will not only serve the companies and residents of Helsinki, but will hopefully serve as a stimulus for the entire city center, entrepreneurs and domestic tourism” says Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori (NCP).

The space has been designed using Senate Square’s natural grid layout, with areas sectioned off by large planters to create an urban garden feel – which also ensures social distancing between different groups of people.

Wooden huts, which usually come out in time for the Christmas market have been given a summertime makeover and brought out for the new bar and restaurant hotspot.

“We’re really putting all this together for the local tourists and Helsinki people. This summer is going to be totally different, and we don’t have tourists, Finnish people won’t be traveling perhaps that much during the vacation so we are trying to make a really beautiful destination to come and visit Helsinki, the capital” one of the organisers Peggy Bauer explained before it opened.

The Senate Square venue opens daily until the end of August, from 09:00 to 23:00.

File picture of Senate Square urban garden, summer 2020 / Credit: News Now Finland