L-R Paula Jennings (store manager), Janette Hobbs (owner) and Gina Bartrop (kitchen manager) at the newly opened Coffee Club in the Empire in Rockhampton. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
L-R Paula Jennings (store manager), Janette Hobbs (owner) and Gina Bartrop (kitchen manager) at the newly opened Coffee Club in the Empire in Rockhampton. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

New riverbank eateries flooded with customers in first week

THEY'VE been labelled as game-changers, and they've already attracted thousands of people to the riverbank precinct in the past week.

Employees at the new restaurants underneath the Empire have been run off their feet since opening last week, and hotel operator Grant Cassidy said it's proving there's a huge demand in the area.

"When you have a look at the whole precinct, with Empire opening and the rest coming online, what it's done has really given the whole precinct a great jolt of life," he said.

"It's a great opportunity to leverage off that and continue seeing good complementary development happen right throughout the CBD and riverbank precinct."

Coffee Club franchisee Janette Hobbs said they're quite pleased with the support they've had since opening on Tuesday.

She said each day hundreds of people have flooded through the doors of her shop, and she's already looking at expanding by adding extra tables and chairs to the al fresco dining area.

When the hotel opens upstairs they're expecting even more business.

"It's what Rocky really needed," she said of the development on the riverbank. It's such a lovely outlook … it's got so much potential."

Mr Cassidy also said the success proves the push for a riverbank revitalisation isn't just talk, and can become a reality.

"I think there's an expectation from the community to be honest that this whole CBD and riverbank precinct will be given the infrastructure it needs for the community to come and enjoy it more often," he said. "We've got to see investment from all levels of government along the riverbank."



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