Top-class restaurant wanted for CityPort development
Wow factor: The CityPort development is looking for a top-class restaurant to serve patrons at the waterfront recreation area, due to open November 17.
THE search is on for an innovative operator to open a showcase restaurant in the latest stage of the CityPort development.As well, the leasing agents for the $20 million Cityport Waterfront precinct are looking for a tourism "wow factor" such as a small aquarium or an interpretative centre with a nautical theme.
It comes as restaurateurs, cafe operators and catering industry representatives are taken on a three-hour guided tour of the precinct today at 10am.
The public will get to see the finished features at an open day on November 17. An invitation-only VIP opening function is scheduled for November 16.
Leasing agent Danny Betros of CBRE Cairns said the public would be "stunned" when they saw the development.
"People attending the public open day will be blown away. It's unlike anything seen in Cairns before," he said.
"The climbing feature through the fig tree is the greatest thing I have seen. On the waterfront there is a fishing jetty and public barbecues."
Mr Betros said they were seeking operator-tenants for the tourism attraction, a signature restaurant, a waterfront cafe, mobile kiosks and markets in the heritage shed.
He said the development had "the best waterfront leasing opportunities that Cairns has seen in many years."
Mr Betros said Ports North had given him "a blank canvas" to fill the vacancies.
He said ideally the 120-150 seat restaurant would be five star, serving seafood and/or steaks and they would be able to provide catering for off-site events.
Mr Betros said the tourism attraction could be a "boutique aquarium" or an interpretative centre, a tourism retail hub or arts and crafts exhibition space.
The waterfront cafe adjoins the fig tree playground and open-plan gardens. Operators for mobile kiosks selling ice cream and beverages were being sought as well as market stall holders.
Mr Betros said he did not believe the venue would be suitable for a seafood market as it would require costly cold rooms and other modifications while there was no intention to duplicate what Rusty's Markets offered in nearby Grafton St.
He said Ports North was not "rushing in" to fill the tenancies with the process expected to take a few months and the first businesses not opening until after the wet season.
Ports North chairman Brett Moller said the management and board would be guided by the leasing agents.
He said the restaurant "deserved a top-end operator".