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Luigi Coluzzi Snr (and friends), 2004

by Sahlan Hayes

Luigi Coluzzi Snr (and friends), 2004

colour photograph
Courtesy of Sahlan Hayes and the Sydney Morning Herald

Luigi Coluzzi snr set up one of Sydney ’s first espresso bars forever changing café culture and the nation’s coffee drinking habits. Coluzzi, an Italian athlete, came to Australia in 1956 to fight and win the Australian Middleweight Championship. The following year he opened Bar Coluzzi with wife Elena in William Street introducing Sydneysiders, brought up on instant coffee, to espressos, macchiatos and freshly ground coffee. Thirteen years later the café relocated to Darlinghurst where it continues to attract a cross section of customers from truck drivers to politicians, university students and property developers. Coluzzi retired in 1999, but still drops by to catch up with regulars and help out daughter Paola at Bar Coluzzi in Randwick. He feels he has a gift for coffee – “Even as a boy in Rome I could make a good coffee”.