Tributes continue to pour in following the tragic passing of cafe icon Sisto Malaspina on Friday.
The Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar co-owner on Melbourne‘s Bourke St was stabbed to death at about 4.20pm by terrorist Hassan Khalif Shire Ali.
Hordes of regulars, friends and staff visited the cafe on Saturday to pay their respects with flowers and cards or online via social media.
In what was a horrific scene, Malaspina, 74, initially ran outside to aid Ali, believing the Somali-born attacker was the victim of a car accident.
Tributes have poured in for murdered coffee maestro Sisto Malaspina (pictured) who was stabbed to death on Friday
Mourners paid tribute to co-owner Malaspina outside Pellegrini’s cafe on Bourke Street with written messages and flowers
He was labelled by many as the ‘Godfather of coffee’ after bringing the first espresso machine to Melbourne in the 1960s
HEARTFELT TRIBUTE POSTED BY STAFF IN FRONT OF THE CAFE
Thank-you for making us your staff members as part of your life.
You always looked after us like family.
You always said to have fun at work because we all worked so hard.
Pellegrini’ s was your life.
We will never forget all that you have done and given us all.
We will love you forever and ever in our hearts.
REST IN PEACE.
Condolences to Malaspina family.
Always loved, never forgotten.
A frenzied Ali attacked the elderly man, who died in the street next to a pool of his own blood.
Ali went on to attack two more victims, who survived.
Twitter user Tony De Bolfo said Malaspina offered ‘Italy in a cup’, while another tweeted the elderly gentleman added to the ‘fabric of the city’ due to his cheerful persona.
A third described Malaspina as an ‘icon of Melbourne’ with Mary Sullivan stating his passing was a ‘tragedy for family, friends and Melbourne.’
Another wrote that Sisto taught their husband, Frank, his own recipe for spaghetti carbonara and was ‘such a legend’.
Malaspina was a co-owner of Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar, a popular institute for Melburnians.
The coffee shop was closed on Saturday with floral tributes displaying in the window, accompanied by a heartfelt message from his staff.
Mr Malaspina emigrated to Australia from Italy in 1963 and took over Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar 11 years later with his business partner Nino Pangrazio, and maintained its original 1950s decor.
Melbourne residents were quick to pay tribute to Sisto Malaspina, who was stabbed to death on Friday by a terrorist
Malaspina was called the ‘Godfather of coffee’ by some of his customers, who are seen lining up to pay their respects
A tribute posted by staff in front of the shop, calling Malaspina ‘the best boss’ and thanking him for treating them like family
Politicians have joined the public in remembering Malaspina.
Keysborough MP Martin Pakula shared the last time he saw Malaspina.
‘The last time I saw Sisto we took our coffees & a bit of cake up to the landing above the loo,’ he wrote.
‘He grabbed me a kitchen chair and a milk crate as a table.
‘He sat on the step, told me about being a “nonno” (grandfather) and how he might get a city pad. Then he wouldn’t take my money. A beautiful man.’
Opposition leader Bill Shorten shared the sentiment, saying Sisto was a ‘true gentleman’.
‘Shocking, unreal and heartbreaking. I have been visiting Pellegrini’s since school.’
Opposition leader Bill Shorten (pictured) was among many Melburnians paying their respects, saying he’d been to Pellegrini’s since he was a schoolboy
Twitter user Tony De Bolfo said Mr Malaspina gave patrons ‘Italy in a cup’ and wrote ‘goodbye, dear friend’ in Italian
One tweeted she is ‘shedding a tear’ following the attack while another said he added to the ‘fabric of the city’
Many called Malaspina’s death a ‘tragedy for his family, friends and Melbourne’. Malaspina was also deemed a Melbourne icon
Many wrote they weren’t surprised Malaspina ran to the aid of the terrorist, whom he believed was a victim of a car accident
A sign on the door said the cafe would be closed until Monday, with police standing guard outside.
The cafe, with its heritage-listed neon sign, became a popular haunt for urban professionals, tourists and even politicians like former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
His murderer died on the operating table at Royal Melbourne Hospital on Friday night within a few hours of being shot by a junior police officer.