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‘Have a coffee with Sisto’: Melbourne’s memorial for Sisto Malaspina revealed

Pellegrini’s customers will be still be able to have a coffee with the late Sisto Malaspina, thanks to a tribute to the much-loved Melburnian.

The City of Melbourne has today announced the tribute, after a long consultation period with the Malaspina family.

A memorial plaque set in a table will be installed on the footpath outside Pellegrini’s.

“It’s a place for people to stop and reflect, have a coffee with Sisto, still,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“It’s very reflective of Sisto and his hospitality and his warmth, and he did used to sit outside with a long black, have a chat to people and get them just to stop for a moment.”

The plaque, featuring a portrait of Mr Malaspina by local artist Oslo Davis, will tell the story of the Melbourne cafe pioneer’s last day.

“On his last day, 9 November 2019, Sisto was off to buy chocolates for staff to celebrate the birth of his third grandchild. His love lives on,” the memorial plaque will read.

The tribute comes after plans to rename a CBD laneway after Mr Malaspina were canned.

“The family, Vicki and David, have said that they think this is something they think is much more appropriate because it’s a place where people can actually stop and remember. They can read about Sisto, they can see his smiling face. That seems something that really epitomised him, and a great way to remember him, as opposed to a street name where people rush down and rush back,” the Lord Mayor said.

Mr Malaspina was killed on Bourke Street after seeing a burning car and going to offer help. He was stabbed and died at the scene, his killer, terrorist Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, was gunned down by police.

Press PLAY below for Neil’s full chat with Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

Melburnians farewell Sisto Malaspina at packed state funeral