The popular Marine Hotel in south Melbourne has suddenly closed, blaming a cocktail of council headaches, rising costs and NIMBYs.

The robust Georgian-style pub has operated since 1856. In 2013 sale of the freehold fetched $13 million, sold at auction to a “well-known Melbourne hotelier” that operates one pub and leases out others, which came to include the Marine.

Holding 50 EGMs, the title sold on a sharp and unprecedented yield for a gaming investment of 3.8 per cent.

Addressing the challenges of COVID, the operators undertook a significant renovation, re-opening April 2021. They have continued to engage the local community, hosting events such as a Superbowl Party, in February.

Images: Facebook

However, pressures largely beyond its control have taken the toll, and administrators have reportedly taken control. Last week the operators posted the announcement on social media, explaining that “with heavy hearts” the Hotel would be closing immediately.

“After the rigours of (re-)opening and surviving in COVID, the Marine has been eternally grateful for the incredible support over the last two years from the local Bayside community.

“Unfortunately, in the face of continual neighbour complaints, ongoing council challenges and escalating costs led by extraordinary rent increases, we’ve had to make the tough decision to end our tenure.”

Locals and supporters rushed to comment, most expressing they were “absolutely gutted” by the news.

The Marine had been due to host a Father’s Day event over the weekend, and the proprietors apologised to any customers with bookings for that or in the future, declaring that they intend to repay all deposits and ensure all staff are paid correctly.

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