Rocky's restaurant renaissance
MOVE over fast food, Rockhampton residents have a taste for fine dining.
An injection of new restaurants near the Fitzroy River has livened up the CBD scene like it's never been before.
Now it's all about class and good food.
The new Edge Restaurant and Bar has been booked out both weekends since it opened two weeks ago.
Restaurant supervisor Beck Walsh has been run off her feet, but she's still had time to hear a few passing comments.
She said yesterday she overhead customers comparing the city's CBD to Brisbane.
“The vibe of the city is certainly changing,” Miss Walsh said.
And a little competition never hurt anyone.
Cassidy's Seafood and Steak House, at Motel 98, owner Grant Cassidy said the introduction of three new restaurants in the area was great as it has helped transform the CBD.
“It has a new look and feel,” Mr Cassidy said.
“If you look at the whole river precinct it's where the focus is now. Right from the Heritage Hotel to the Pilbeam Theatre, there is a good range of dining options.”
Felicity's Piano Bar opened last weekend and Saigon Saigon by the River opened last month.
On opening night Saigon Saigon was packed and has been ever since.
Felicity's owner Jeff Bird said during his first weekend open he got a lot of great feedback and hopes to see things keep picking up.
Although the number of restaurants hasn't overtaken the amount of takeaway outlets in the city yet, the figures have certainly increased.
In 2007 Rockhampton had 72 takeaway outlets and 48 restaurants.
A Yellowpages search yesterday showed we now have 69 takeaways and 51 restaurants.
Mr Cassidy, who also runs the accommodation section of the Edge Luxury Apartment Hotel, said all this month Cassidy's Seafood and Steak House had been nearly full every night.
“Obviously Beef Week was a boost but the trade has been holding up,” he said.
“There is more traffic in the area.”
Ms Walsh said The Edge Restaurant and Bar had proved so popular that diners have had to book well in advance lately.
She said their fresh cocktails and Wagyu Beef have been real winners with their customers. She said customers were trying their alfresco breakfast dining, lunch menu, all day tapas and diner.
Fine dining options in Rockhampton walking distance from the Fitzroy River:
- Cassidy's Seafood and Steak House, at Motel 98
- Da Berto Ristorante Italiano, at The Pilbeam Theatre
- Daltons, crn East & William Sts.
- Felicity's Piano Bar, Bolsover St.
- Leichhardt Hotel, Bolsover St.
- Punjabi Indian Restaurant, East St.
- Riverside Restaurant, at Travelodge
- Saigon Saigon by the river, Quay Street
- Thai Tahnee Restaurant, Bolsover St.
- The Cambridge Hotel, Cambridge St.
- The Criterion Hotel, Quay St.
- The Edge Restaurant and Bar, Victoria Parade
- The Heritage Hotel, Quay & Williams streets.