Barista legend and boxer Luigi Coluzzi dies
In a world awash with coffee, few realise Luigi Coluzzi was one of the men who introduced the espresso to Sydney.
In 1957, espresso machines were as common as hen's teeth and the Rome-born barista presented the joys of Italian food culture to the bohemian and theatrical crowd who clustered in warrens around the ABC offices strung along William Street in Kings Cross.
Passion: Rome-born barista Luigi Coluzzi. Photo: Jon Reid
Mr Coluzzi and his wife Eleni opened Bar Coluzzi in an old milk bar in William Street. When the building had to make way for the overpass in 1970 they moved around the corner to Darlinghurst Road and their bar became a Sydney institution that has lasted for seven decades.
Mr Coluzzi died on Sunday after a short illness. He was 84.
He came to Australia as a boxer in 1954 and met Eleni Fonini Stratulatos a Romanian of Greek background, who had arrived as a displaced person four years earlier.
She went to watch him fight Clarrie Grogan at the old Sydney Stadium in Rushcutters Bay. He won the fight and her heart.
A year later Mr Coluzzi became the Australian middleweight champion. He had been a barrister in Mussolini's Rome during the Second World War and, to stop him boxing, his wife found the milk bar and named it in his honour to cash in on his fame.
"It worked. Dad was a lovely, open, charismatic man who people admired and loved to be near," one of his daughters, PaolaColuzzi, said on Monday.
Famous people came running, including boxers like Rocky Marciano, and singers like Nilla Pizzi and Domenico Modugno, who wrote the song Volare, actor Danny De Vito and comedian Billy Connolly. Overseas visitors came for the cooking. But the likes of Sir LaurenceStreet, David Hill and other corporate types also came to adopt Bar Coluzzi as their hang.
In 1999, the family sold Bar Coluzzi Darlinghurst and opened Bar Coluzzi Randwick. The outlets have now all been franchised but their youngest son, Luigi Junior, has recently opened a new Bar Coluzzi at Circular Quay.
Eleni Coluzzi died in 2011. They are survived by their children Paola, Elizabethand Luigi Junior. An older son, Jimmy, died in 1970.
EURO RESULTS By Per-Ake Persson March 19, Haarlem, NTH: 4x3, h: Willy Kyakonye, KO 1 Gino da Fonseca, Nth March 19, Barcelona, SPA: 4x3, sm: Arturo T...
EURO RESULTS By Per-Ake Persson Mar 12, Bologna, ITA: sm: Pavel Zgurean, Ita, W 4 Emanuele Zagatti, Ita sl: Arblin Kaba, Ita, W 4 Lorenzo Calì, Ita Mar ...
Life Saving Hand Held Infra-Scanners Introduced This Weekend at UK Boxing Events London, UK – 10th March 2017 – In February the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) announced that they were set to...
Lou Duva, Boxing Promoter, Manager and Trainer, Dies at 94 By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN - nytimes.com Lou Duva, front left, a trainer for Evander Holyfield, after Holyfield captured the heavyweight titl...
EURO RESULTS By Per-Ake Persson March 4, Berlin, GER, Camp 1, Charlie Podehl, bdb c: Nenad Pagonis, W 8 Giulian Ilie, Rom 8x3, w: Daniel Hartvig, Swe TKO 6 Nicolae ...
Turner & McConville In KO Form, Gallagher & Kennerdale Score Impressive Victories Ringside Report by Gianluca Di Caro Photos: Col Armstrong On Friday evening, just 24 hours before local hero To...
Keith Thurman beats Danny Garcia in welterweight unification bout bbc.com Keith Thurman (left) remains unbeaten in 28 fights American Keith Thurman beat compatriot Danny Garc...
Fight Report Ringside report: Gianluca Di Caro Photos courtesy of: Joe Ibbotson It may have been extremely windy and absolutely bucketing down with rain in Bradford on Sunday evening, but even the ridi...