Services along Espoo’s Waterfront Walkway to be improved

Published: 28.10.2021 13.51Updated: 29.10.2021 12.13

The City of Espoo proposes new restaurant and café operators for two locations along the Waterfront Walkway. It proposes that year-round restaurants be built in Soukanranta and Haukilahti. Other services related to the use of the seaside areas would also be provided in connection with the buildings.

An illustration of the Klobbenin Loisto building planned for Soukanranta. The building would provide restaurant and sauna services. The size and appearance of the building will be specified during the planning process.Photo: Kassiopeia Finland Oy

The city received a total of 14 applications for these two locations. In addition to the overall quality of the applications, the selection criteria included the applicants’ previous experience of similar activities, financial resources and the financial viability of the plans.

The aim is to enable long-term operations, and the city will conclude 25-year leases on the areas with the operators. The city proposes that the plots be reserved for the two selected operators for planning purposes until the end of 2022. The appearance of the buildings and the services to be provided will be specified during the planning process.

Restaurants and a sauna are being planned

For Soukanranta, the city proposes a restaurant and sauna building that would operate all year round. The working title of the two-storey timber-clad building is Klobbenin Loisto. The plan takes account of public beach services and accessibility. Public toilets for beach-goers and lifeguard facilities would be placed in the building. Solar panels on the roof and the use of geothermal heat were also seen as strengths. Three parking spaces and a larger number of bicycle parking spaces have been planned for the site. In addition, customers arriving by car could use the parking area by the beach. The party behind the project is KF Restaurants Oy, a company that also operates the seaside restaurant Nokkalan Majakka.

For Toppelund in Haukilahti, the plan is to set up café and restaurant operations. The timber-clad building called Fokka would also provide facilities for windsurfers. A parking area for 30 cars is being planned in the vicinity of the building. Terraces have been planned for both floors of the building, in addition to the 70 seats for customers indoors. The plan submitted by Tuomo Vähätiitto, Karri Kivelä and Mikko Salminen was praised by the jury for its accessibility, bicycle parking facilities and brightness.

An illustration of the restaurant building called Fokka that has been planned for Toppelund. The location, size and appearance of the building will be specified during the planning process.Photo: Team Toppelundin Fokka.

The Business and Competitiveness Subcommittee of Espoo’s City Board will discuss the matter at its meeting on Monday 1 November. The application period for potential Waterfront Walkway café and restaurant operators started on 29 March and ended on 10 June. In addition to Soukanranta and Toppelund, the city also tried to find an operator for Otsolahti, but neither of the applications met the application criteria.

The Waterfront Walkway is a unique and popular recreational path that follows Espoo’s coastline. The walkway is nearly 40 kilometres long and extends from Saunalahti all the way to Laajalahti. There are several cafés and restaurants along the route, and the two proposed year-round restaurants would add to the selection of services.

  • Urban development
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