More alfresco on CBD menu

MORE alfresco dining could be on the menu for Rockhampton's CBD.

The Leichhardt Hotel wants to introduce open-air dining on its Bolsover Street footpathwalk and create a culture similar to that of Cairns.

It has made application to the city council for an open-air licence which would include a significant alteration to the streetscape.

"Cairns and Townsville both have plenty of walk-in, walk-out dining,'' said Tudur Howells, Central Queensland manager of The Hedley Hotel Group, which owns the Leichhardt.

"I'd love to bring a bit of that down here."

Mr Howells said furthering the CBD's alfresco dining/cafe market would complement Rockhampton's riverbank development and "ideal weather''.

"Just to sit out there, enjoy a coffee, and watch people to-ing and fro-ing would be a very pleasant way to spend some time.

"I really think it would bring people back to the CBD.

"It's a shame we don't have more of it.''

The council will continue consultations with the hotel's operators before considering granting a licence. Since buying the Leichhardt property midway through last year, Hedley Group has made improvements including new gaming facilities through the introduction of Keno and a TAB.

Work is under way on the construction of a walk-in alcohol retail superstore, adjacent to the hotel.

"We'd love to have it finished by Christmas but it probably won't be until the new year,'' Mr Howells said.



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