FIRST it was Orange, and now fast-food chain Oporto has set its sights on opening a restaurant in Bathurst.
The sales and leasing agent for The Gateway in Kelso, Steve Burke, has confirmed that discussions have been occurring with Oporto regarding a site within the commercial development.
"There has been discussions with Oporto, but nothing has been confirmed yet," he said.
"I spoke with Oporto Monday. They're still talking with potential franchisees."
While nothing has been confirmed, Mr Burke said there is definite interest on the part of Oporto and that the developer is also keen to have the fast-food restaurant as part of The Gateway.
"It would be great, it's great for the area," he said.
Among those who want to see Oporto come to Bathurst is councillor Alex Christian.
He had heard rumours that there was interest and said, similar to Taco Bell, he would support any new business that offers jobs to locals.
"I think Bathurst is a growing regional centre. I welcome any business that wants to come to Bathurst," he said.
"... It shows that Bathurst is an attractive prospect to these big businesses."
He also likes the potential location, as it would give more options to people in Kelso and ideally prevent further congestion closer to the central business district.
If Oporto does move into The Gateway, it won't be the only fast-food restaurant there.
A new KFC outlet has been confirmed for the development and construction is anticipated to start soon.
I think Bathurst is a growing regional centre. I welcome any business that wants to come.Bathurst councillor Alex Christian
It will join a Shell petrol station, which is close to completion, along with a childcare centre.
"The childcare centre is in the final stages of construction. The Shell service station is nearly completed, but the KFC has been delayed," Mr Burke said.
"It was supposed to be opening at a similar time to the Shell, but for some reason that has been delayed.
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"It's gazetted to happen, but when we're not sure. It was supposed to have been this month, but it has been delayed."
A couple of other businesses have been confirmed for The Gateway, including a food wholesaler from Blayney and a motel, while discussions are ongoing with other potential businesses.
Mr Burke said there are six sites still available within stages one and two of the development and, due to the zoning, a wide variety of businesses would be suitable.
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