Alfresco dining overlooking the Fitzroy River is The Cri’s latest exciting offering.
Alfresco dining overlooking the Fitzroy River is The Cri’s latest exciting offering.

Iconic CQ pub’s spectacular new offering

RIVERFRONT views and the chance to soak up Rockhampton’s mild winter days are now some of the simple pleasures guests at The Criterion Hotel can enjoy.

The iconic watering-hole last week launched the exciting addition of alfresco dining as the venue looks to reinvigorate following COVID-19 shutdowns.

General manager Jay Hill said the introduction of outdoor dining presented the perfect opportunity to capitalise on the longstanding venue’s prime real estate.

“Outside spaces are just amazing to sit and dine, especially when you’ve got a bit of a scope like the Fitzroy to look over as you do it,” he said.

New alfresco dining is available at Rockhampton's popular venue The Criterion.
New alfresco dining is available at Rockhampton's popular venue The Criterion.

“It was a bit of a wasted space and since the riverbank development, I’ve been stewing on what I could do with that front space.

“Adding 50 seats for dining seemed like the best thing possible.”

Since its launch last Friday, alfresco dining has understandably been flooded with guests eager to indulge in the unique dining experience.

“Unfortunately, not all the tables are ready, some need to be rejigged to fit in the area. The tables that are out there, they were inundated pretty quickly, and it was really nice to see.”

However, despite breakfast dining for now suspended, Mr Hill remains optimistic surrounding the venue’s future moving forward.

“We’re really hoping to see the lunch and dinners packed out. We’ve got the full front veranda and the alfresco to offer too. So far, it’s been really great feedback and everyone’s loving sitting out there,” he said.

BRAINCHILD: The Cri’s GM Jay Hill is capitalising on the venue’s prime real estate.
BRAINCHILD: The Cri’s GM Jay Hill is capitalising on the venue’s prime real estate.

“We’ve got a real sense of normality back too. There’s obviously a few things we need to adhere to, but because visitor numbers are increasing my staff are starting to feel a little more normal.”

Outdoor dining is one of many touch ups for the venue, with minor facelifts given to both its main bar and dining area during shutdown.

“I’m a little beside myself with what we’ve achieved during COVID-19 to be honest,” Mr Hill said.

“A few of us were going a little bit crazy but we’ve really come out of it okay, we’re doing a lot better than most so we’ve very thankful for that.”

Bookings for both lunch and dinner alfresco sittings can be made by contacting The Criterion Hotel Motel on (07) 4922 1225