With a changing roster of of rock, folk, indie and pop acts, Selina’s at the Coogee Bay Hotel is a lauded staple in the Sydney music scene. But unfortunately, earlier this week, The Daily Telegraph reported that the popular gig venue, and much of the surrounding pub, is facing demolishon – pending the local council's approval of a proposed $112 million development on the site.
A reliable rock venue throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Selina’s took off with the rise of live rock'n’roll concerts in Sydney in the ’70s. Its stage has been graced by the likes of David Bowie and Nirvana, and more recently played host to a secret show by the Killers in 2018 and Midnight Oil’s return to touring in 2017. But the promise of a smoko in the beer garden with its ocean views between the opener and the headliner looks set to be a distant memory.
If the council approves the proposed development, the 2,000-2,500 capacity venue will be demolished to make way for a five-storey residential building with 60 apartments, hotel accommodation with 29 rooms, a supermarket, underground car parks and a laneway filled with new restaurants.
“There was a time when rock and roll bands in Australia, could play six or seven nights a week in one city, and especially so in Sydney,” former band manager and producer Stuart Coupe said in an interview with Nine News. “It was a golden, wonderful time for both rock and roll bands, and rock and roll fans. And Selina's came to epitomise the pub rock era in Australia… If you were headlining at Selina's, you were doing very, very well.”
Venue owner Christopher Cheung told the Daily Telegraph that at is stage, there are no plans to re-open Selina’s in a new location: “In my plans moving forward, there is no room for Selina’s. 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.”
The Coogee Bay Hotel has not currently confirmed any information about the proposed redevelopment, and the website is still listing a gig slated for Selina’s in November with punk trio the Chats and support from Batpiss.