Melbourne espresso bar Pellegrini's is open again, serving Sisto Malaspina's favourite coffee all day for free

Darrian Traynor/Getty ImagesMourners lay floral tributes outside Pellegrini’s in Melbourne’s CBD on the weekend following the stabbing death of co-owner Sisto Malaspina.

  • Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar in Melbourne will re-open today, four days after its co-owner Sisto Malaspina was killed in the terrorist attack outside the premises last Friday.
  • The cafe will serve a long black, Malaspina’s favourite coffee order, to customers free all day. Staff said the long black “was Sisto’s favourite and will be in memory of him.”
  • There will be a state funeral for Malaspina next week after an offer from the Victorian government.

Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar in Melbourne’s CBD has reopened today without its beloved co-owner Sisto Malaspina, who was killed on Friday afternoon in a terrorist attack.

His death shocked the city and nation, as few who encountered 74-year-old during his 44 years of running Pellegrini’s forgot meeting the Italian-born charmer who many regarded at the CBD’s beating heart.

Floral tributes have piled out outside the restaurant, which released a statement saying it was humbled by the response from the community.

They will serve Malaspina’s favourite coffee, a long black, for free to customers today.

“It was Sisto’s favourite and will be in memory of him,” staff said.

“Our lasting tribute to Sisto will be to continue to serve the people of Melbourne and others from around the country and other parts of the world with whom we have shared much happiness over the decades and now share our grief.”

Pellegrini’s has requested that in lieu of more flowers, people who want to pay tribute should make a donation to The Salvation Army nearby in Bourke Street.

The business has been serving Vittoria Coffee since it first opened in 1954. Malaspina bought the business with his friend Nino Pangrazio.

Vittoria managing director Rolando Schirato called his longstanding customer “a beautiful man. An icon of the Australian hospitality industry.”

The Victorian government offered Malaspina’s family a state funeral next week, which has been accepted.

“He was a distinctly recognisable figure in his colourful choice of clothing and his flamboyant personality. To us he was just a beautiful man, a loving husband and a doting father,” the family said in a statement.

“Each customer of Dad’s was given the same respect and service regardless of their standing in society.

“To him everyone was special. His love and passion for his customers remained the same for over 40 years. To him it was a joy to go to work every day.”

The family thanked everyone for the flowers, gifts and condolences paid to their father and recent grandfather, saying they were deeply moved.

“To the people of Melbourne, your heartfelt tributes have shown us why our Dad loved this great city so much,” the Malaspinas said.

Melbourne City Council is also looking at renaming the adjacent laneway to Pellegrini’s in honour of Sisto Malaspina.

William West/AFP/Getty Images)Sisto Malaspina as many will remember him, entertaining customers at Pellegrini’s Expresso Bar in Melbourne, in 2010.

Here is the family’s full statement about Sisto Malaspina:

We would like to thank Dad’s friends, customers, and all the wonderful people that have come forward to pay their respects and show their love and support. We are deeply moved by all the flowers, gifts and condolences.

To the people of Melbourne, your heartfelt tributes have shown us why our Dad loved this great city so much.

To the emergency services personnel, our gratitude and appreciation for all your hard work and efforts.

Especially the first responders and police that put themselves in harm’s way to protect others — your bravery and heroism is a representation of the strength and solidarity of our community.

Dad was a larger-than-life character and his natural generosity made every individual he met feel welcome and important.

Each customer of Dad’s was given the same respect and service regardless of their standing in society. To him everyone was special.

His love and passion for his customers remained the same for over 40 years. To him it was a joy to go to work every day.

In honour of Dad’s memory the wonderful staff at Pellegrini’s are determined to continue his legacy with the same passion.

He was a distinctly recognisable figure in his colourful choice of clothing and his flamboyant personality. To us he was just a beautiful man, a loving husband and a doting father.

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