By James Wells
In an exclusive interview, Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes has revealed the concept behind the new Coogee Pavilion and why the community-driven venue is a natural progression for his company.
Hemmes told Spice the Coogee Pavilion is not a pub but a venue tailored to the local community and a destination for different types of occasions.
“It’s such an iconic building in one of the most remarkable positions. We’ve renamed it the Coogee Pavilion and we’re treating it as this beautiful iconic heritage building on the beach on the most beautiful coast in the world,” he said.
Even though a wide variety of food and beverage offerings are the cornerstone of the venue, there are also a number of cultural and social experiences for people to enjoy.
“It’s three levels; we’re just about to open the ground level and it’s got very much a market feel to it. There’s numerous different food offerings,” he said.
“We’ve got an oyster bar, a coffee cart, a sashimi section, a cold pressed juice cart, we’ve got a little florist going in, a barber shop, a little theatrette, a petanque court, a ping pong area, we’ve got a huge scrabble board up on the wall, we’ve got shuffle board, there’s a seafood section; a little cocktail bar, there’s a pizzeria and there’s a grill section and the main bar – all within the ground level.
“So [there are] lots of different experiences. You can sit wherever you want you can do whatever you want, you can eat, you can drink, you can just walk around. We want to open up the space to everyone.
“You can come in in your speedos, your bikini, you can be playing volleyball here and come in for a cold pressed juice, you can be coming on a date, coming with your family, lots of activities for kids – very kid friendly.
“We have a whole dog parking area on the outside, you can park you dog there and there’s drinking bowls for them while you go in and grab something to eat. We do lots of takeaway as well.
“My girlfriend said to me – this is what you actually do on weekends, you eat great food, you have a drink by the ocean, you’re swimming and this is how I like to live.
“So it is a natural progression for Merivale, what we’ve been doing and we’re just continuing our direction in food and beverage which is a new way of eating and drinking I believe – it is a very social way of eating and drinking.
“Every venue we do is tailored to the area or the community we go into and in this instance we are going into a beachside community that is heavily focused on family values, there’s a lot of young families here, the community’s marvellous. We are tailoring the offering to what they want,” Hemmes said.
Click play on the video above to see the exclusive video interview with Justin Hemmes.