“Gastro islands”: Vienna will invest 2.8m euros in a city garden pub project

“Gastro islands”: Vienna will invest 2.8m euros in a city garden pub project

An initiative to place cafes and restaurants in public gardens in Vienna will receive 2.8m euros

The City of Vienna is ready to invest 2.8 million euros to open “gastro islands”, announced the Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig in a press conference on Thursday.

“Gastro islands” refers to café and restaurant areas that will be specially set up in public spaces and caterers will be able to cook food and serve it. The purpose of the city’s “gastro islands” is to support restaurants and cafés that do not have open spaces.

The mayor of Vienna commented on the “gastro islands”: "I see a great advantage in a regulated area. There have already been many talks with Viennese businesses."

The 2.8-million-euro budget will be allocated for three-months, with the earliest possible date being 27 March. For the time being, partial opening of restaurants is planned but this will strictly depend on the pandemic situation which may change.  However, it is envisaged that "gastro islands" will be introduced in any case, even if the measures have not yet been relaxed at the end of March.

To cover all 46 zones of Vienna

It is planned to initially open 23 “gastro islands”, with at least one per district, and then to expand the concept throughout the 46 zones of Vienna.

In addition to those numbers, ten more gastronomic islands and picnic zones, managed by the city, will be offered to the Viennese in Stadtpark. The Vienna Chamber of Commerce will select the participating restaurants. The functioning of “gastro islands”, including the permits required for catering, will be carried out by the restaurants themselves.

The city will only provide the necessities such as huts, tables, chairs, electricity, and toilets. The maximum number of seats per area will be 36 as this is the only way to ensure compliance with the safety regulations.

The exact location of the “gastro islands” has not yet been decided and more details are to be provided next week.

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