The renovation of the restaurant premises is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
In the historic the cultural hall, which operated in the former flag hall of the main railway station since the summer of last year, will be under renovation at the end of the month. This time, the purpose of the renovation is to turn the ticket hall, which introduced photography, sculpture and video installations from last summer, into a restaurant hall. Project Manager of VR Group’s Real Estate Unit Jani Jääskeläinen says a new café and the Italian restaurant of the Norwegian restaurant chain Olivia will be coming next.
“Olivia has previously had restaurants in Norway and Sweden, and now Olivia is implementing a restaurant at Central Station in Helsinki,” she says.
The restaurant chain, which offers Italian food, including pizzas and pasta, currently has ten restaurants across Norway and two in Sweden. At least for pizzas, the promises on the chain are tough: on its website the restaurant chain tells the vision of “serving the best pizza outside Italy”.
The renovation of the restaurant, which will open in the old restaurant hall opposite the fast food restaurant Burger King, is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
By the end of the year, a café focusing on coffee by Löfbergs, the coffee company of HH Restaurants, will also open on the premises. It will be located in the space that currently serves as office space between Elielinaukio and Olivia Restaurant.
As a ticket hall the space served will return to its original purpose in the renovation: until 1958, it served as a waiting and restaurant hall for the “ordinary people,” that is, those who purchased second- and third-class tickets.
This is not the first time Eliel Saarisen the premises of the planned main railway station will be renovated in the 21st century for modern restaurant use. In the past, renovations have focused on the restaurant hall opposite the flag hall.
See pictures of the restaurant hall opposite the flag hall over the years: From the People’s Cup to the Burger King – a historical compilation of pictures of the changes to the station restaurant
Renovations of the restaurant hall have sparked a lot of discussion over the years: both the renovation of Restaurant Eliel, which was completed in 2009, and Burger King, which came to order in 2014, were heavily criticized, for example, in the newspaper sections of newspapers.
Ticket hall after the completion of the restaurant, according to Jääskeläinen, the focus will be on the premises on the second floor of the railway station, where The Pullman Bar now operates.
“That state is in need of reform and a new kind of activity at the moment. The restaurant fits in well with that space, so we would like one in the future as well, ”says Jääskeläinen.
In addition, there are plans to make a basement restaurant in the basement of the station later, for which there are already original granite stairs at the entrance to Kaivokatu.
According to Jääskeläinen, the renovation of the station building, which began two years ago, has progressed as planned despite the coronavirus.
“For its part, it has in some places facilitated construction work when the station has not had the same number of customers and passengers as before the restrictions.”