Merivale will open the refurbished ground floor of the former Coogee Palace in less than a month’s time.
The new venue will cater to a broad range of tastes and budgets and will be geared towards family get-togethers, weekend breakfasts, coffee dates, light snacks and catching up with friends.
The menu will feature local seafood, a dedicated raw bar, oyster bar, Dan Hong’s famous cheeseburger and a dedicated kid’s menu.
Chef Danielle Alvarez from San Francisco’s famous brunch restaurant Chez Panisse will man the burners for the breakfast rush and later in the day, punters can hit up Vincenzo Biondini’s wood-fired pizza, a ‘Love Juice’ stand, fresh flower stall, Will And Co coffee cart and cocktail bar.
In a nod to the venue’s seaside playground heritage, Merivale will sell souvenir merchandise including aprons, napkins and crockery.
The venue will have a games area featuring a nostalgic collection of childhood games, a library filled with vintage books about the sea, a giant hand painted scrabble board, old school arcade games, chessboards and three refurbished 1950s ping pong tables. Visitors can play pétanque, watch movies in a small theatrette and even have their hair cut by the in-venue barber.
Architecturally, the façade and internal structures have been pared back to expose the raw character and history of the building and the styling elements have been inspired by Coogee’s history as a place to watch whales migrate including a 2.5 metre custom-built whale-shaped light. The ground floor will also showcase work by Australian crafts people including weavers, knitters, woodworkers and metalworkers.
The remaining levels of Coogee Pavilion will undergo extensive renovation and re-open in stages over the coming months. During this time, the first floor will be offered as a community space that can be used by locals for meetings, performances and exhibitions. Further details will be announced shortly.
Coogee Pavilion ground floor was conceptualised by Merivale CEO, Justin Hemmes, and brought to life by a design team including Kelvin Ho of Akin Creative, Amanda Talbot, Justin and Bettina Hemmes.