Coogee Bay Hotel’s historic music venue Selina’s to be demolished for new development, pending council approval

The likes of Nirvana, INXS, David Bowie and more have graced the venue's stage

Coogee Bay Hotel’s longstanding live music venue, Selina’s, will be demolished should local council approve plans for the hotel’s redevelopment.

According to an August 29 report by The Daily Telegraph, the club, along with much of the pub itself, could be demolished to make way for a potential $111million development should the local council approve the plans.

Selina’s has been a longstanding part of Sydney’s live music landscape, hosting performances from Nirvana, INXS, Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel, David Bowie and more over its 50 or so years in existence.

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At the moment, Selina’s “doesn’t have a place in the new development”, the hotel’s owner Christopher Cheung told The Daily Telegraph.

He said, “Times have changed with a lot of legislations like alcohol harm minimisation – it just didn’t allow for large venues so everything got smaller.”

“…In my plans moving forward, there is no room for Selina’s,” Cheung continued, “and even reducing Selina’s capacity wasn’t going to work for the venue.

“Unfortunately it’s coming to an end but I’m sure there’ll be another take on Selina’s down the track. Presently, Selina’s doesn’t have a place in the new development. We just need to move with the times and new legislations.”

NME has contacted Selina’s for comment.

No date has been publicly set for the demolition to begin should the plans be approved. However, Selina’s is currently set to host a leg of The Chats‘ forthcoming nationwide tour in November.

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Last month, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that some residents of the Coogee area have expressed their opposition to the proposed development, which would include a 60-unit apartment building up to six storeys, constructed above a new supermarket and shops, as well as eight new cafés and restaurants.

An earlier redevelopment was proposed back in 2010, but was eventually scrapped after opposition from Coogee residents.

In 2015, Selina’s was closed for a makeover, with Cheung saying he wasn’t sure if the venue would even retain the name ‘Selina’s’. Selina’s ended up keeping its name, and relaunched in September of 2016 with a focus on showcasing local talent.

In mid-2018, rumours circulated that the entire hotel, including Selina’s, was up for sale with an asking price of $250million. However, Cheung later quashed those rumours.

That same year, the venue received a grant under American Express’ inaugural $1million Music Backers Program, meant to help the local live music industry. The Killers played a free, intimate show at the venue to commemorate the occasion.

Hoodoo Gurus frontman Dave Faulkner spoke to The Daily Telegraph about the venue’s potential closure, saying it had played an important role in the band’s career.

“We played there a lot … we thought it was a bit like home base for us in Sydney,” Faulkner said.

“And I’ll never forget the sight of the heaving crowd, you know, slam dancing across the whole floor of that giant room there, the whole crowd heaving and sweating.”

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