BACK IN BUSINESS: Zambrero's thriving after tree is taken away.
BACK IN BUSINESS: Zambrero's thriving after tree is taken away. Steph Allen

Council tree is cactus after Mexican stand-off

THE sign-blocking tree planted by council outside Colin Dean's East St Mexican eatery has been removed and Mr Dean's business is booming.

The tree that had been blocking the sign outside his East St business had started to die, and after Mr Dean approached The Morning Bulletin about how it was subsequently killing his business, he received some good news.

"One of the streetscape's council workers... he actually said 'we'll be out next week to take the tree out',” said Mr Dean.

Colin Deans at Zambreros restaurant East st, council has just planted a big tree outside his business  which has blocked his shop frontage visibility.
Colin Deans at Zambreros restaurant East st, council has just planted a big tree outside his business which has blocked his shop frontage visibility. Allan Reinikka ROK021117azambrer

READ: Mexican restaurant owner fires up at Rocky council

On November 13, council workers brought a crane down to the East St business and took the tree away "to nurture it back to life”

"They've decided not to replace it,” Mr Dean said.

"And [the council worker] got a free burrito.”

According to Mr Dean, the council tested the tree for signs of poison but decided the cause of the deterioration was stress-related.

"It's great for business,” Mr Dean said with a smile.

"Since the tree's gone it's just opened it back up and sales are coming back again.

”I'd say we've gone up about 15 per cent in a week.”

With the completion of the first stage of Rockhampton's Riverbank Revitalisation earlier this month, parking is now available to Mr Dean's employees who now don't have to walk to the riverbank at night.

With more feet coming through the restaurant's doors, Mr Dean has extended trading hours on Saturdays nights until three o'clock in the morning starting this weekend to coincide with the town's Christmas party.

The expansion of a cafe beside the eatery is also back on the cards for Zambrero's possibly as soon as March next year, provided there is enough "money back in the pocket first”.

"We've actually just put on about seven new staff starting this week,” Mr Dean said.

Zambrero's owner Colin Dean and one of his staff members.
Zambrero's owner Colin Dean and one of his staff members. Steph Allen

"Because now we've got late night shifts, we need a whole back up crew and once that picks up, we're probably going to open Sundays again.

"When Busby's playing here on the Friday night, we're going to open until 3am that Friday, Saturday and possibly that Sunday night.”

The Rockhampton Regional Council have commented on the removal of the tree that was a part of the Denham St streetscape renovation.

"Council staff were required to remove the tree in East Street earlier this month, after discovering that it had not survived the transfer and that its health had rapidly deteriorated.

"This is incredibly unfortunate however was deemed necessary after an assessment of the tree.”