Senate Square.

Restaurant application period opens for new Senate Square hotspot

Helsinki is transforming its iconic Senate Square into a giant outdoor food court this summer and restaurants, cafes and bars that wish to participate are now welcome to apply. The application period closes already on 8 June, so interested parties are encouraged to act quickly.

An open-air market and dining area will take over Senate Square in the summer of 2020, as the City of Helsinki seeks to revitalize interest in the downtown area after coronavirus shutdowns. Opening the square to such activity will require careful planning because as an important cultural and historical landmark, the new hotspot must be designed to suit the area’s dignified surroundings. The city-owned real estate firm Helsinki Leijona, which manages the development of the Tori Quarters adjacent to the square, will be responsible for the practical organization of the venture.

The goal is to open the new commercial space to the public by 1 July at the latest (perhaps already on 27 June), and for the market to stay open until 30 August. Commercial activities in the square will be permitted between 9 am and 11 pm, but prospective restaurateurs are free to decide their own opening hours in line with their individual concepts. Approximately 480 socially distanced customers will be allowed in the space at one time, and 16 restaurants will be chosen to operate in the space. 

The application period for the hotspot ends already on Monday, 8 June 2020, due to the project’s swift implementation. The city will inform applicants of its choices on Wednesday, 10 June 2020.


Single (4) point of sale: approx. 2.5 m width x 2.0 m depth

Fixed rent per month: 1000 euros (VAT 0%) + 10% of turnover, cover rental per month: 4000 euros

Double (12) point of sale: approx. 5.0 m width x 2.0 m depth

Fixed rent per month: 2000 euros (VAT 0%) + 10% of turnover, cover rental per month: 8000 euros

Rent of a stall with a locking system includes the cost of electricity, lighting, a water connection, waste services, cold storage if necessary, market area staffing (bussing tables, cleaning, washing glasses), security, marketing and communications, break spaces and a POS system.  

Each business will be able to furnish and decorate their outlet as they please.

Please note that the City of Helsinki will faithfully comply with the government’s coronavirus decisions and the entire outdoor market concept has been created with these guidelines in mind. Various licensing authority decisions and changes in the covid-19 situation can still influence the execution of the project. The city therefore reserves the right to make changes in connection with the project implementation and schedule. If the situation is altered, we will refund rental payments for any unused periods.

Application instructions

Please fill in the following and send the information to

Restaurant or business name

Business ID number

Contact person

Phone number

Email address

Website, Facebook and Instagram account

Short description of the concept

Intended menu and need for liquor license

Planned opening hours

Need for electricity

Need for cold storage (shared)

Need for running water

For more information, contact sales director Eija Malin at, tel. 044 200 96 16.


Photo: Torikorttelit