Helsinki Olympic kiosks

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POSTED: June 27, 2021

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Today’s edition – one of the three weekend editions – carried a short article about the renovation of several of Helsinki’s classic Olympic kiosks – something that I had not yet cottoned onto.

They said this:

Helsinki’s distinctive wooden kiosks, built for its 1952 Olympic Games, have been given a new lease of life by Laura and Tom Hansen, the duo behind much-loved neighbourhood bistro Kuurna (writes Petri Burtsoff). The first, Kiosquito, specialises in Mexican-style tacos and paletas (ice lollies). The second, Kiosuku, offers the Hansens’ take on yakitori, the famed Japanese barbecue. And the third outlet, Kiosque, serves French-inspired croque monsieurs and beignets.

“The kiosks are very central and in key locations,” Laura Hansen tells Monocle. “But since they haven’t been in use, people have forgotten about them. We wanted to bring them back to life and give people new spaces for enjoying urban life.” The kiosks have been a hit at a time when indoor dining is still subject to restrictions. When Monocle visits, they’re full of life, surrounded by patrons basking in the sunshine. To keep them appealing to all, the Hansens have kept the prices reasonable: yakitori skewers sell for €3 and tacos for €4. “Just as it is in Kuurna, our food is about simple, high-quality ingredients,” says Tom Hansen. Other cities hungry for fresh ways to reinvigorate their streets would do well to examine the kiosk model closely.

You can find out much more about the Hansen’s actual restaurant – Kuurna – here.