Industry Weekly

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Crowd pleaser: Kick back at Sydney’s Coogee Pavilion

Coogee Rooftop fires it up.

It’s a party, bring the kids. No, really.

Everything to everyone isn’t usually much of a business strategy, but it feels natural enough at Coogee Pavilion. The triple-decker venue overlooking Sydney, Australia’s Coogee Beach multi-tasks as a date-night destination, casual café, family-friendly hang and hip-kid hot spot.

First opened as the Coogee Aquarium in 1887 (soon after the last British convict ship docked on Oz’s shores), the space housed the Beach Palace Hotel for decades before Australian hospitality giant Merivale transformed the grand, domed building steps from the sand into a thoroughly modern multi-hyphenate in 2014.

Downstairs, it’s set up like a food market with different stalls serving blistered pizzas, oysters on the half shell, single-origin coffee, cold-pressed juices and gelato. A full restaurant menu veers from mini lobster rolls to lamb tomahawk chops, and a game area offers oversized Scrabble and ping-pong.

Arriving sans offspring? Head upstairs to Coogee Rooftop, a Vegas dayclub’s chill Sydney cousin. The decor is “eccentric botanist,” heavy on vegetation with whimsical winks like an on-site greenhouse that hosts liquor pop-ups and private parties. There’s also a patio with ocean views, live music and a day-drinking crowd in its beach chic best.

This is a laid-back, loungey scene, where the pro move isn’t a bottle of Goose and some room-temperature cran, but a Pimms’ Cup pitcher or a carafe of wine. You might never want to move, but someone’s gotta buy the next round.

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Sarah Feldberg

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