1st June 2016
FKG Group will cast the concrete slab to the 200 seat, aquatic themed restaurant and function centre as part of the new Cairns Aquarium & Reef Research Centre on Thursday, June 2, marking a major milestone in the construction of a unique Cairns culinary experience.
The 525 square metre restaurant, which upon completion will be one of Cairns’ largest dining venues, is anchored by its cold-blooded centrepiece—a 12.5 metre long and 3.3 metre high black tip reef shark tank, providing patrons with the memorable experience of dining under the unblinking gaze of nature’s most feared predator.
Cairns Aquarium Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Leipnik, believes the restaurant will be a valuable addition to Cairns’ culinary scene.
“Diners will be enjoying their meal between a Great Barrier Reef shark tank and an open plan layout providing a view over our recreated Daintree rainforest garden and a mesmerising up close experience with a school of fast swimming sharks, all within the heart of the Cairns CBD,” Mr Leipnik said.
Cairns Aquarium Co-Founder, Andrew Preston, feels that the new restaurant featuring reef sharks will become a great family outing and drive increased visitation to the CBD. “This architecturally and conceptually innovative restaurant exemplifies the commitment the Cairns Aquarium team has to bolstering the entertainment and dining scene in Cairns for locals and tourists alike.” Mr Preston said.
Several local restaurateurs are vying for the coveted leasehold of the premises, which are serviced by a double-sized commercial kitchen that will play host to a number of new local hospitality jobs, in addition to the local jobs created by the construction stage and operation stage of the new aquarium.
In addition, the restaurant will double as a function centre to serve as a unique venue for weddings, meetings, corporate functions and business events, which is hoped will further enhance Cairns’ reputation as an important destination choice for corporate hospitality events.
FKG Group Project Manager, Mark Pengilly, described the restaurant and function centre pour as a significant step forward towards the completion of the ground floor slab of the landmark $50 million project.
“The concrete pour is a triumph of local contractors and involves 340 cubic metres, delivered by approximately 70 truckloads of locally supplied concrete from Hanson, reinforced by 60 tonnes of steel from One Steel Cairns, and tied together by Barrier Reef Contracting, making this one of the major milestones in the restaurant and function centre’s construction,” Mr Pengilly said.
“The project has completed six months out of its sixteen month construction schedule and is continuing at a great pace. The restaurant and function centre will be a great boost to the local economy by offering new and innovative hospitality infrastructure.”
Upon completion, the Cairns Aquarium & Reef Research Centre and its aquatic themed restaurant complex is expected to attract over 500,000 visitors per year and create 80 full-time jobs in the Aquarium and 50 positions within the restaurant. The construction project remains on track for completion in April 2017.