AN ICONIC Ipswich eatery is on the verge of making a comeback with plans for a top-class restaurant to revitalise the Bakehouse Steakhouse.
The now vacant red-brick building on the corner of West and Darling Sts is in the possession of new owners with ambitions to see the former restaurant flourish again.
The historic building has been empty since construction began on the $30 million Aspire apartment tower.
A spokesman for the owner said it was their vision to have a business operating from the Bakehouse Steakhouse and to maintain this historic Ipswich building among the developments occurring in the Ipswich CBD. They are searching for a restaurateur to make the old building their own.
"The building is ideal for a quality restaurant, with many Ipswich residents having a strong sentimental attachment to the venue from the many years it operated as the Bakehouse Steakhouse," the spokesman said.
"It is in an ideal location to service guests from the adjacent Oaks complex and future residential developments in the Ipswich CBD.
"The location is central to the Ipswich CBD and riverfront redevelopments that are underway."
Ray White Ipswich principal Warren Ramsay said the historic building would add to the CBD's growing reputation as a location for quality restaurants.
"It is, and if you notice the Top of Town is becoming the eating address of Ipswich," he said.
He said the once-established restaurant held a special place in the hearts of many of Ipswich's older generations.
"There will be a lot of 75-year-olds that came here on their first date," he said.
Councillor Andrew Antoniolli said a regenerated Bakehouse Steakhouse would add to the already growing scene of trendy restaurants calling the CBD home.
"It is great at this particular time, we have got a number of restaurants coming into the CBD," he said.
"I think it will add value to that part of town. It continues to add to the dining experience."
The building was originally the home of the Halley's Bakery, established in 1916.
The bakery remained in business until 1964, when the building was sold and bakery closed down.
It reopened in the 1970s as a restaurant and function centre.