IT IS hoped that a raft of new cafes and restaurants opening in the Launceston CBD will encourage more people to visit the city centre.
Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Maree Tetlow said yesterday that the new hospitality businesses would provide patrons with reasons to visit the city other than for shopping.
``We want it to be vibrant . . . and that means having various uses,'' she said.
``Retailing is still going to be the major underpinning, but the way other cities have evolved is that they become destinations in their own right.''
Ms Tetlow said the fact that some of the new restaurants catered for different dietary restrictions was also a benefit.
``It's great to be able to offer them a wide variety of different foods, meet their dietary requirements, and people do enjoy eating out so it's nice to be able to cater to them,'' she said.
One of the new businesses is KiaOra wood-fired pizza in George Street. Owners Cindy Hollings and Kevin Barnett decided a bricks and mortar operation would be the next step to expand their catering business.
``Every time we'd be at an event people would say `this is great, where can we come and get a pizza during the week?' and we'd have to say we only do them at events,'' Ms Hollings said.
Mr Barnett said opening the shopfront was a practical decision.
``We find every year that our private catering side of things keeps growing, so part of creating this place, I guess, was to have a base . . . so that we can then expand our business in private catering,'' he said.
``And of course we just wanted to create something beautiful, and show people you can have good quality wood-fired pizza at a street price, basically.''
Some of Launceston's new businesses include . . .
● M & B Bar for smoothies and organic coffee.
● Red Ted’s Tavern specialising in English pub food.
● Saffron Cafe.
● Shots on Wax music and coffee shop.
● KiaOra for wood-fired pizza.
● Gluten Free Room for 100 per cent gluten free food.
● Steve’s Grill reopening in the former Centennial Hotel.
● The Batman Faulkner reopening soon.