Locals fight plans for “adult lifestyle meeting place” on City Rd

Locals fight plans for “adult lifestyle meeting place” on City Rd
Brendan Rees

Thirty residents and business owners have objected to plans for an “adult lifestyle meeting place” to be established in South Melbourne, labelling the proposal as “inappropriate for the area”.

A planning application from the Pine Bar has been submitted to the City of Port Phillip seeking to convert a two-storey building at 427 City Rd into a “burlesque bar” that would operate seven days a week.

According to the plans, the applicant Emanuel Cachia of Pine Bar has proposed to have a main ground floor area that would host live entertainment events including live music, DJ, comedy, cabaret, and burlesque.

The application, which proposes to have a limit of 200 patrons, has also sought an “sex on premises venue exemption” but the plans maintain it would not be operating as a brothel.

Local business owners and residents have objected to the plans with concerns that it was inappropriate and would impact the amenity of the area.

The proposed venue would be located between York and Ferrars streets, which is near the South Melbourne Primary School and about 50 metres from nearby residences.

Among those objecting to the proposal is Tony Baenziger, who owns architectural business Baenziger Coles on City Rd.

He said that despite the applicant’s claim that they had “spent a great deal of time considering the best location for their business and preparing their permit application, there still seems to be a lot of unresolved issues”.

Mr Baenziger said the venue would also “serve to detract from employment generating uses along City Rd and would also “raise safety and security concerns for local businesses should evening workers be present”.

He also questioned how loud noise would be controlled and “there is no guarantee that the amenity of properties in the area will be protected from intoxicated patrons during late or early morning hours”.

Angus Wallace, a resident and business owner in the City of Port Phillip, said a “swingers club like this is not innocent, or funny or harmless; it poses a high risk to personal safety”.

“My wife and daughter have both been hassled and followed on City Rd near the other ‘massage parlours’ in more than one instance. I’m grateful that other people were nearby to actively protect my wife in one scary incident, to prevent something worse from happening,” they said.

“These types of experiences are not something that can be brushed off and they have left my family feeling unsafe in our own neighbourhood, in our own street.”


If you allow a new business to operate and attract the same people that plan sexual encounters with strangers, what do you think will happen?


The plans state that the venue would not permit walk-ins from the street, with all patrons having to pre-book to attend.

Live music would be played until 12am while liquor would be served until 1am. The venue proposes to close at 2am.

Objectors are also baffled why a website called “Pineapples Lifestyle Bar” is promoting the City Rd venue despite the plans still being considered by the council.

According to the Department of Health website, sex on premises venues “are venues where persons are required to pay an admission fee to enter for the purpose of engaging in sexual activities with other people who have entered the venue on the same terms and who did not receive payment for engaging in sexual activities”.

Port Phillip Mayor Heather Cunsolo confirmed the council had received the application.

“The planning application has been advertised within the surrounding area and has received approximately 30 objections. The applicant is reviewing the objections,” she said.

“Council will make a decision about the application at an upcoming council meeting.” •


Caption: An adult lifestyle meeting place” has been proposed for 427 City Rd, South Melbourne.

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