Tartu cafes, restaurants want to expand outdoor seating options

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The city of Tartu. Source: Tarmo Haud.

Cafes and shopping malls in Tartu are looking to expand their premises outside after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions last week.

Due to last week's restrictions, restaurants, bars and cafes can only open their outside seating for the foreseeable future. Food and drink can be sold for take-away, they cannot be consumed inside at the premise.

This year, nearly 40 cafes and restaurants in Tartu have said they want to expand their outdoor terraces, ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

Head of Tartu Business Development Department Alo Lilles said there have been more applications in previous years and shopping centers have also asked to expand their outside areas.

For example, Tartu Kaubamaja has approached the city with a wish to find an outside sales point for its third-floor restaurants.

Kristel Liivapuu, CEO of Tartu Kaubamaja shopping mall, said: "Burger places like Vegmachine and Viru Burger have their own mobile trailers which they can set up on the streets. That's where the idea came from. They thought that they would bring out so-called foodtrucks, create some seats and be closer to the people."

The council is open to ideas if entrepreneurs are prepared and a food area does not restrict traffic on the street.

Lilles said: "If we take last year's experience of Vilnius, where the Old Town was opened to outdoor cafes, we can take Helsinki, where the central square was opened to pop-up cafes, we can definitely think about whether Town Hall Square, Küüni Street or Pirogov Square is a solution. But we expect the entrepreneur to come and say what solution they want."

Many cafes which previously only put up a few tables in their yard for summer would also like more outside space this spring. For example, Karlova Kohv coffee shop will build a terrace this week.

"It will be useful. We would have liked to make the terrace one way or another. In summer, it is so nice to be outside in the sun and to expand our space so that we do not have to sit inside," said Miina Seer, Karlova Coffee manager, told AK.

The city of Tartu does not charge companies rent for seasonally expanding their points of sale.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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