A popular Sydney cafe has declared victory in its battle to stay open after it was almost forced to close due to the venue’s “selfish” landlord.
Contessa Balmain in Sydney’s inner west has announced it will remain open, just a week after a notice was posted in its window announcing a possible closure.
Business owner Marco Adoncello posted the notice on Oct. 23, clearly placing the blame on the landlord’s “selfish actions.”
After being contacted by Daily Mail Australia, co-owner Rose Adoncello, Marco’s wife, expressed regret at the news as the couple were still trying to fight for the restaurant.
Now Ms Adoncello has announced that thanks to the overwhelming response, the cafe will remain open from October 27th Balmain community and beyond.”
Contessa Balmain in Sydney’s inner west is no longer facing closure after chef-owner Marco Adoncello previously posted a sign in the window suggesting as much
Co-owner Rose Adoncello, Marco’s wife (pictured together), has since revealed that the closure is no longer inevitable thanks to the community’s “overwhelming response”.
Contessa Balmain worked on Darling Street for more than ten years before Mr Adoncello posted the note in the window.
“For physical and psychological reasons, Marco is no longer able to keep the doors of Contessa Balmain open,” it said.
“Every attempt was made to keep the legacy alive but unfortunately the landlord’s selfish actions have dashed any hopes of this.”
After learning of the impending closure, locals and regulars of the restaurant began sharing their condolences on social media.
“Stunning. Marco greeted us in Balmain when we moved there by offering us orange cake. “I went there for religious reasons,” said one.
“So there will be another empty store on the main street,” said another. This was followed by a third question: “If Contessa can’t survive, who can?”
After a week of heavy hearts, a brave guest dared to ask “Is Contessa open again?” before the owners themselves received an answer.
“Yes, it certainly is,” the cafe replied.
While it remains unclear whether an agreement has been reached between the Adoncello’s and their landlord, Ms Adoncello said the support had “lit a fire” in her husband.
“It’s been a challenging year for Marco, but I can honestly say that all the love and support he’s received recently has lit a fire in him that I haven’t seen in a long time,” she wrote.
“People power is real and the people of Balmain are like no other.”
“Thank you for your love and support.”
A letter posted in the restaurant’s window accusing the “selfish” landlord of forcing the business to close caused an incredible outcry in the community
Ms Adoncello said the outpouring of support had “lit a fire” in her husband and made it possible to keep Contessa open
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Mayor of the Inner West City Darcy Byrne welcomed Contessa’s return, saying it was “great news” that her owners had found a way to survive.
“After the massive community response to the news of their closure, Marco, Rose and their team are reopening,” he said.
The possible closure of the popular restaurant comes at a time when hundreds of family-run eateries, cafes and shops across Australia are going under because of the cost of living crisis.
Australian companies are going bust in increasing numbers as employee wages soar, the cost of supplies rises and interest rate hikes reduce customer spending.
For example, Australians’ spending at restaurants and takeaways fell 16 per cent in the first week of August last year, according to ANZ data.
The figures also showed that spending on food and takeout fell below pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Contessa Balmain served there for more than 10 years and was a favorite of Inner West residents, and the mayor celebrated his return