By Matthew Pearce
Rocky will become a little bit German on Monday, 9 November when around 40 locals start start work at The Bavarian Rockhampton.
Located at Rockhampton Stockland shopping centre, at the former Sizzler site, the German-inspired 480-seat restaurant will get straight down to business, serving its first lunch at midday.
Rockpool Dining Group chief executive officer Thomas Pash said The Bavarian had a solid footprint in Queensland and a loyal following across the state.
“Queenslanders seem to love the casual laidback feel of The Bavarian, not to mention our steins of German and Aussie beers and generous serves of classic and contemporary dishes,” he said.
“We like to say that The Bavarian offers something for everyone, which is a bit like the Queensland way of life.
“From our initial Brisbane base, our expansion has included South Queensland, South East Queensland and North Queensland, so it was only a matter of time before we settled on a location in Central Queensland.”
Mr Pash said Rockhampton had a strong community spirit, which was perfect for The Bavarian.
“We also like the fact that Rockhampton is a recreational and tourism hub, as we know the demographics of such areas serve The Bavarian restaurants well,” he said.
“We expect the region will see stronger intra and eventually interstate travel in the post-Covid landscape, until international tourism resumes, and that is a positive scenario for us.”
He described Bavarian-Australian cuisine as the ‘best of both worlds’.
“A Bavarian restaurant wouldn’t be the real deal if it didn’t feature classic dishes such as pork knuckle – we believe ours is the best in the southern hemisphere – thick slabs of pork belly, huge schnitzels, sausages, pretzels and platters of shared dishes,” he said.
“However, The Bavarian is reminiscent of the local Aussie pub in lots of ways, so we have some great pub classics on the menu too, including burgers, chicken wings, sticky pork ribs in Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce, salt and pepper squid and salads.”
The Rockpool CEO’s favourite meal from the menu is a stein of cold beer accompanied with a couple of fresh, hot pretzels with butter or hot mustard.
“After that I’ll either go for a schnitzel, or a burger.”
Mr Pash said The Bavarian Rockhampton would be different to other restaurants in the group, serving as a prototype for the group’s first ‘ground-up, free-standing build’, with design by SGB Group.
“This is a really exciting project and site for us. Our aim was to make it a little cosier and more comfortable with booth seating for small groups, some smaller tables – as opposed to predominantly large, communal tables in some of our other venues – and smaller dining zones,” he said.
“We have a media wall of large-screen TVs where sports fans can group together to watch some of the big games.
“We’d love some of Rockhampton’s sporting teams to make The Bavarian their post-game destination to re-fuel and celebrate a good game and in fact we’re looking for teams to sponsor, as we’d love to be part of the local sporting community in this way.
“We encourage the local communities to really make each venue their own … they can be as fun as the locals want them to be.”
Mr Pash said the outdoor curved beer garden around the front of the restaurant was also unique.
“It’s huge and can seat around half our 480 guests, which gives The Bavarian Rockhampton a real inside-outside feel, which is in keeping with the great climate and outdoors lifestyle of the area.”
The Bavarian will launch with a community partnership program to support local groups and charities, with the Rural Fire Brigade Association Queensland named as their inaugural partner.
A fundraising event will be held on Saturday, 5 December, to support RFBAQ’s Rockhampton division.