SOLD: After 963 days on the market, a commercial riverfront precinct, home to The Rock Bar and Grill, has been snapped up by Bundaberg Regional Council.
SOLD: After 963 days on the market, a commercial riverfront precinct, home to The Rock Bar and Grill, has been snapped up by Bundaberg Regional Council. Mike Knott BUN110418THEROCK4

SOLD: Council buys popular riverfront restaurant's building

AFTER 963 days on the market, a commercial riverfront precinct has been snapped up by Bundaberg Regional Council.

The building, home to The Rock Bar and Grill, was first listed for sale in July 2015 at a starting price of $850,000. In March, more than two-and-a-half years later, it sold for $680,000 - $170,000 under the original asking price.

Planning and development portfolio spokesman Ross Sommerfeld said the site was "identified as a strategic land holding".

"A council decision to purchase land at 1A Quay St will enable strategic initiatives as outlined in the Riverside Masterplan to be progressed," Cr Sommerfeld said.

"The purchase of this land gives council control of a broad area stretching from Rowers on the River to the River Cruz Cafe."

NEW BAR: Steve and Courtney Evans ready for bookings at the Rock Bar and Grill.
Photo: Paul Donaldson / NewsMail
NOT WORRIED: Owners Steve and Courtney Evans said The Rock Bar and Grill would stay open after the council bought the building. Paul Donaldson BUN301616ROCK1

Co-owner of The Rock, Courtney Evans said the council had yet to approach her or husband Steve, who together opened the successful restaurant in June 2016.

"We would've thought they'd have spoken to us but they haven't told us anything yet," Mrs Evans yesterday told the NewsMail.

"We knew it was up for sale but we don't know what their long-term plans are so we're just playing it by ear.

"But we want our lovely customers to know we are not going anywhere any time soon."

The mother of five said because The Rock was a "brand new business, (they) had not been immune to worrying about the future of the restaurant".

"Obviously it does cross your mind that you've been working hard for two years and now it's like, well, what's the long-term future of The Rock?" she said.

"But you learn in these times that you can't really stress over anything you don't have control over."

Cr Sommerfeld said while there were no immediate plans for the site, the council would honour the Evans' existing eight-year lease, which is up for renewal in 2024.

"Options now exist for the future development of a rowing and tourism precinct, which is identified as part of the Riverside and CBD Masterplans," he said.

The masterplan was signed by Bundaberg Regional Council in November 2017 and set out a long-term vision for the central business district and its surrounds.

The plan's goal is to connect the CBD to the river and broaden its appeal as a commercial and tourist destination.

The Rock owners, born and bred in Bundaberg, said they had made an offer on the building but it was not accepted.