Demand for restaurant

By FRAZER PEARCE

THE city council owned restaurant in Rockhampton's Riverside Park is set to become a cafe/bar and it appears entrepreneurs are lining up to have a crack at such an enterprise.

At last night's city council general purposes meeting Mayor Margaret Strelow told councillors there were three "quality people'' with experience in the restaurant/ cafe industry who were interested in taking on a lease at the building.

"Two of those have extensive experience,'' she said.

"People are saying 'when is there going to be a chance to get at this?' ''

Property officer Kelly Roberts told the meeting that she had received another "six or seven'' inquiries about the future use of the building from "interested people''.

She said a councilfunded survey of 200 Rockhampton residents (20% business people and 80% general public) into the possible leasing opportunities for the building had revealed the majority favoured a cafe/ bar enterprise.

Based on those findings councillors last night voted to call for expressions of interest for the use of the facility with the focus being on (but not limited to) a cafe/bar operation.

The controversial restaurant has been shut since December when the former lessee walked out saying there were safety and non-compliance issues with the building.

After months of negotiations the council finally negotiated a confidential settlement in April which allowed it to begin searching for a new tenant.



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