REVEALED: The 'game changer' of Rocky entertainment
WHEN the doors open at Headricks Lane next week, jaws are guaranteed to drop.
Central Queensland businessmen Peter Hawkins and Benito Zussino have transformed the historic Headricks Building at 189 East St into what can undoubtedly be described as a 'game changer' for Rockhampton dining and entertainment.
Headricks Lane features stunning raw materials throughout the spacious new venue which incorporates a bar, formal and causal dining and a microbrewery.
After 18 months of hard work, Mr Hawkins and Zussino will welcome their first guests tomorrow night as part of a private, soft opening event and the pair can't wait to reveal what they've been working on.
"Benito and I are two Central Queensland guys who wanted to do something new here in Rocky," Mr Hawkins said.
"Essentially it's a micro brewery. It has casual dining space, casual drinking space and it has a beautiful long restaurant attached to it as well.
"We are getting to the pointy end now and come next week it will be in full flight. We have a preview event tonight, Bonito and I come from down the road in Gladstone and we are very keen to meet some people up this way and showcasing the venue.
"We are aiming for Monday next week to be open to the public but it depends on how all our equipment and deliveries go."
Mr Hawkins said when he and Mr Zussino first stepped inside the Headricks Building, they knew it was 'the one'.
"When we saw the building we loved it and have been working with some great landlords that have really come along for the journey and have been great to work with," he said.
"We love these old buildings and think Rocky has some of the most beautiful architecture in Queensland which for a long time has probably not been utilised as well as it could be."
The most unique aspect of Headricks Lane is undoubtedly the micro-brewery section which will be used to showcase talented brewers from across Australia.
"We are going to use this venue as a showcase brewery and will be inviting brewers from around Australia to showcase some of their brews to Central Queensland," Mr Hawkins said.
"We are going to do quarterly, seasonal brews so we might get a group in from the SE corner to brew off an amount of kegs for us and we then sell that for them over a three month period.
"It's great for us because we get all the theatre of brewing and the patrons get the interaction with the brewers themselves so they can talk about their beers and why they are special."
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Behind the bar and in the kitchen, Mr Hawkins said patrons can rest assured all of their favourite drops and meals will be on offer.
"The restaurant is modern Australian but our head chef Raoul is European so it's modern Australian with a European twist," he said.
"It's quite an extensive drinks menu and has quite a lot of the craft range in there but we haven't left our the favourites. We are in the heartland of XXX country so there will be XXXX products."
While the ground floor of the venue is almost ready, construction is continuing upstairs to create a space Mr Hawkins and Zussino say will be phenomenal.
That space, combined with the ground floor, will require quite an extensive staff base to run and as such the opening of Headricks Lane has given the Rocky jobs market a substantial boost.
"I think what we are most excited about is the functions venue upstairs for weddings, corporate events, balls...connected by a glass lift down stairs to the venue downstairs," Mr Hawkins said.
"Headricks Lane is quite a big venue for us and we interviewed probably 200-300 applicants and we're very excited to end up with a team of about 40 young Rockhampton locals.
"When we are in full flight, when the event centre comes online in 2017, we hope to grow our team to 50."
Headricks Lane will open from 7am until late, seven days a week.