Pier-group pleasure is the vision
IT'S 5.30pm on a Friday and a high-energy crowd is on the deck of the new Pier restaurant to celebrate the end of the working week.
It's a noisy but fun atmosphere radiating from the 200 people who are enjoying the view of the Fitzroy River from the elevated area of the Pier where it juts out over the water.
That is a vision Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow has of how this high-profile space could be on Quay St as the council seeks a prospective tenant through a national advertising campaign.
The mayor's enthusiasm for this part of the Riverbank Redevelopment was clear to see last week as she talked with excitement about its potential during an interview in East St.
"My own personal thoughts are it has to be a very busy place," she said.
"If it is high-end fine dining then there will be 40 or 50 lucky people - but it won't generate the sort of excitement we need.
"In a perfect world, I would like to see 5.30pm on a Friday, 200 people crowding each other out at the Pier restaurant with shared plates and lots of activity.
"Then, as people peel off to go and find a meal, it should then feed the rest of the restaurants on Quay St and the CBD."
As for the style of operation at the Pier, the list of possibilities is long with wine bar, tapas, steakhouse and seafood restaurants among the venue types mentioned.
"We are really open on this," Cr Strelow said.
"We are out there looking for ideas. So my own personal thing is that it should be noisy and busy.
"The flip side to more desirable behaviour in a place is having less undesirable behaviour. So the more people are there the better the atmosphere will be."
She is looking for a "high quality finish and a high quality operator" and was confident of success through a Knight Frank advertising campaign while acknowledging the winner may well be a local operator.
"Anyone who is not a local that wins it, will become a local afterwards," she laughed.
Construction of the restaurant is expected to be completed in 2017.