Melbourne mourns hospitality icon

The Melbourne hospitality industry is mourning the loss of Sisto Malaspina, widely credited with kickstarting the city’s café culture, after his death in the Bourke St terror attack. Flowers were left outside Pellegrini, the restaurant Malaspina owned and ran for over four decades, and a note from the restaurant’s workers paid tribute to “the best boss”.

“Thank you for making us staff members as part of your life,” it said. “You always looked after us like family. You always said to have fun at work because we all worked so hard.  Pellegrini was your life, we will never forget all that you have done and given us. We will love you forever and ever in our hearts. Rest in peace.”

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews acknowledged the impact that Malaspina had on Melbourne, even going so far as to offer the family a state funeral. The family is yet to make a decision.

Vespa Club Melbourne president Julie Pond, who organised a ride-by in honour of the hardworking Italian immigrant, said that he had “touched everyone’s heart”.

“Members have been coming here for drink and food and every time they park their Vespas here he came out. He loved the Vespas.”