Demolition supervisor Dennis Lyons hard at work at the historic building yesterday.
Demolition supervisor Dennis Lyons hard at work at the historic building yesterday. Bruce Thomas

Historic Iguana Cafe demolished

COFFS Harbour is bidding farewell to a building which has undergone countless transformations in more than 80 years of the region’s history.

Locals may remember buying drinks and ice-creams from Coffs Creek Kiosk or eating at Iguana Beach Cafe but the building originally operated as a surf club.

The surf club opened in 1926 and people would catch the train to Coffs Creek, visit the club and walk to the beach and it is one of the oldest surf clubs in Australia.

In the late 1940s, the building was called Wingfield’s Store and sold general items to campers and picnicking families. The store changed hands in the 1950s and was run by Andy Mellitas, whose two sons still live in the area.

The council’s executive manager of business units, Colin Spring, said the building has been empty for about two years and is ‘structurally unsound’.

“The building has asbestos in it and cannot be refurbished, really it has reached the end of its economic life,” he said.

Mr Spring said the site does not have heritage listing and has not been recognised as culturally significant.

A demolition crew are dissembling the building and a sink, steel pipes, draining and the old Iguana sign sat among crushed red tiles surrounding the remaining structure.



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