Narrabeen RSL Memorial and Recreational Club, affectionately known to locals as The Razza, has gone into voluntary administration.
The three storey venue in Nareen Parade, North Narrabeen, popular for live music, bowls and bistro food, initially shut their doors on 6 February 2022. This came after a surprise announcement three days earlier on their webpage and social media profiles that the club would be “temporarily closing”.
However, despite patrons expressing optimism the 66-year-old venue would recover, on 10 March its Board of Directors made the shock announcement via social media that Narrabeen RSL had gone into voluntary administration. This is where a company’s directors relinquish control to an appointed administrator, who can assess all the options available, and (hopefully) generate the best financial outcome for a business owner and any creditors.
According to ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission – Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator): “the voluntary administrator has all the powers of the company and its directors, including the power to sell or close the company’s business – or sell individual assets – in the lead up to creditors deciding the company’s future.”
The administrator, according to Narrabeen RSL’s statement, is Setter Shepard Accountants in the city, described as ‘a specialist practice offering insolvency services and customised strategic solutions.’
The Narrabeen RSL statement said: “We have been overwhelmed with the concern and support from our local community and members in what has been a very challenging time for Narrabeen RSL.
“The board wishes to inform you that The Club has entered the process of voluntary administration, we appreciate your patience and understanding whilst this is undertaken….
“Whatever happens next The Razza will always have a place in our hearts and no matter what, our community will always be in our thoughts.”
Throughout February, the club relocated scheduled concerts from Narrabeen RSL to nearby venues, including Jackbotts (16 Feb, Harbord Hotel), Skegss (20 March, Dee Why RSL Club), The Hard-Ons (25 March, Avalon Beach RSL), and YouAmI (22 April Avalon Beach RSL).
We believe other concerts, such as Frenzal Rhomb in May, have not yet been rescheduled, whilst The Chats on 17 Feb were cancelled.
It is uncertain what led to the club’s closure, but their 3 Feb declaration of temporary suspension of activities revealed: “An ongoing pandemic, restrictions on singing and dancing, minimal government support as well as difficult landlord and rent negotiations.
“Narrabeen RSL has stood in this valley supporting and serving its community for over 65 years. It has been a privilege and an honour to be part of something that spans generations and captures the essence of both the past and future of Narrabeen.”
This journalist has attended and photographed many shows at Narrabeen RSL, such as Allniters, Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo), a benefit for returned servicemen, and numerous Northern Beaches bands like Rust, Chickenstones, Mezcaltones, 4Barrel Hemi and The Darrans.
The venue has been a popular community centre since its opening in 1956, when it was established in a forested glade at the end of a dirt track, away from housing. However, in recent years some new residents moving into the area filed noise complaints about the club’s live music, which angered regular patrons.
The 3 Feb announcement came the day after another long-established live music venue, The Landsdowne Hotel, on Broadway in the City, made the shock announcement they were closing their decades-old band room and converting it into more bedrooms for a youth hostel.
Narrabeen RSL Club was contacted for comment.