Iconic Rocky bar and restaurant's exciting new revamp
IT'S out with the cream and in with the new for Rockhampton's iconic Criterion Hotel Motel.
The historic local venue, and Rockhampton's oldest business, is currently undergoing a major makeover, with the entire facade receiving a freshen up.
Licensee Ryan Turnbull said it had been about 13 years since the "Cri" had seen a paint brush and it was time to give the "old girl" a facelift.
"The paint job was needed. We just want to look after the old girl and make sure she is looking good for the next 10-15 years," Mr Turnbull said.
"I think the last time we painted the building was about 2004. Last time it was a three-colour scheme and this is a five-colour scheme giving a bit more depth to the building."
With white replacing the former "Criterion cream" - a special tone created for the building in 2004 - as the dominant colour, Mr Turnbull said tones of grey and Fraser Island gold had also been incorporated.
With the Rockhampton Riverbank Revitalisation transforming the river bank and street in front of the building, Mr Turnbull said touching up the Cri was a logical step.
"It needed a paint job and we thought, we're going to have to do it now because once everything is looking good around us, we can look good as well," he said.
"The boys from local business Programmed Maintenance Services started about two weeks ago and they should be finished painting by the end of next week.
"Everyone is loving it. They love the colour and it's very positive."
Mr Turnbull said the roof of the Cri and interior had also received some "TLC".
"The old roof above the stairwell had to be replaced. It was damaged in Cyclone Marcia," he said.
"The section replaced was the last part of the original roof. Now the whole roof is all brand new and ready to last for another 150 years.
"We're always fixing things up inside. It's like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, you start at one end and by the time you get to the other end you have to go back again," he said.
"We were going to put a door back in on the corner of Fitzroy and Quay Sts but we had some issues on the foundation and stuff like that so we put a window back in and built a booth table."
Mr Turnbull said a lack of foot traffic during the reconstruction of Quay St combined with a downturn in the central Queensland economy had meant a drop in day trade and accommodation bookings at the Cri in recent times but he hoped business would bounce back soon.
"We really don't know if we are going to see any benefit from the Riverbank Revitalisation until a few months after it is completed," he said.
"But we are lucky in that we have a great location and good looks. It's one of those buildings that if you haven't been inside, you want to go in and have a look.
"We have the River Festival coming up and then the Capricorn Food and Wine Festival, so we are looking forward to that."