Tributes Are Pouring In For The Beloved Melbourne Cafe Icon Killed In The Bourke Street Attack
Sisto Malaspina operated the iconic Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar for more than 40 years.
Tributes are pouring in for beloved Melbourne restaurant owner Sisto Malaspina, who was killed in the Bourke Street attack on Friday afternoon.
The 74-year-old Malaspina was fatally stabbed by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, in what has been described by police as a terrorist attack. Ali was subsequently shot by police, and died in hospital on Friday night. Two other men were injured during the attack, but are expected to recover.
Malaspina was the co-owner of Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar, which opened on Bourke Street 60 years ago and is credited with helping to kickstart Melbourne’s cafe culture. Malaspina took over the venue in 1974 with his business partner Nino Pangrazio, who told Fairfax he was “devastated” by the loss of his friend.
“We’ve been business partners since 1974 and we were friends for 10 years before that,” said Pangrazio. “He was just so happy go lucky and always with a smile. We hardly had a cross word in the whole time we worked together.”
On Saturday staff and customers erected a floral tribute to Malaspina outside of Pellegrini’s. Meanwhile, a number of prominent Melburnians have taken to social media to pay their respects.
Shocking, unreal and heartbreaking. I have been visiting Pellegrini’s since school. I just saw Sisto on Monday morning. He insisted I try a slice of his almond cake. He’s a Melbourne icon and a true gentleman. Impossible to imagine the devastation for his family and staff. https://t.co/CPziguJlpz
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) November 10, 2018
I am devastated. I’ve known Sisto’s smiling, beautiful face all my life. My first coffee, my first date, my Melbourne life. This man, this bar, this lane, this community is the heart of Melbourne – and it will always beat strong. #Sisto #Pellegrinis https://t.co/kIcB0KhfNo
— Virginia Trioli (@LaTrioli) November 10, 2018
Heart broken that we lost such a great man of Pellegrini’s and a friend to so many (including me) Sisto Malaspina , to a senseless act of violence in Melbourne. Sisto thank you for the love you gave us all, you will be missed mate. R.I .P pic.twitter.com/gjSAjgFV5I
— Anthony Field (@Anthony_Wiggle) November 10, 2018
The wonderful Sisto. Neckerchief. Coffee. Granitas. He should have lived out his days behind Pellegrini’s counter. My condolences to his friends and family. Such a sad sad day. #sisto pic.twitter.com/Gg862tfCzn
— Julia Zemiro (@julia_zemiro) November 10, 2018
I learned to love coffee at Pellegrini’s. Had many from Sisto over the years. This is just so sad. https://t.co/F82bLzVh5k
— Charlie Pickering (@charliepick) November 10, 2018
I was eating gnocchi at Pellegrini’s yesterday lunchtime and Sisto was behind the bar regaling customers from overseas with a brief history of the city. “Melbourne was founded in 1835, we’ve been here since 1954. We’re part of Melbourne.” His legend will live on. RIP 💔🍝 https://t.co/54XTqYbCn9
— Isabelle Lane (@isabellelane) November 10, 2018