New cafe has steak in old Gasworks site

LAUNCESTON'S Gasworks building has resumed operation, this time as a popular steak house and saloon.

The iconic building, which dates back to 1858, was the setting for the opening of Tasmania's second Hog's Breath Cafe on Tuesday night.

Diners on arrival were able to see some of the mechanics of the former industrial site, with its coal heaters and buckets made into features in the 200-seat restaurant.

Franchisee Rod Williams has been working with Launceston business partners for the past 18 months to bring the Queensland-based franchise to Northern Tasmania.

The finishing touches of the building's renovation were applied this week after up to six months' construction work, which saw the vertical retort house and carburetted water gas building renovated and brought together by a new building.

Launceston-born Mr Williams said he remembered the building well as a child and watched it slowly deteriorate after production stopped in 1996.

"It has been incredible to be involved in and see the building and restoration of the building," he said.

Mr Williams said the new restaurant would operate seven days a week. Forty-six front-of-house and kitchen staff have been employed.

Mr Williams said Hog's Breath Cafe filled a gap between fast food and fine dining in Launceston.

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