Family affair: Angelo Palozzi, Lily Payne, Tulia Palozzi, Angela Palozzi and Mario Palozzi with some of their best sellers. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTHE Palozzi family had prepared to bid an emotional arrivederci to their landmark Italian restaurant, but after a rollercoastermonth, they are poisedto stay.
Manager Angelo Palozzi, who operates Arrivederci with his siblings Mario, Mary and Lina – their eldestbrother Patrick passed away in 2006 –said the family received an avalanche of calls after they listed their Glebe Road building at The Junction for sale with vacant possession.
History: Patrick Palozzi, Lina Ravlen nee Palozzi, Tulia Palozzi, Angelo Palozzi, Mary McElhinney nee Palozzi, Mario Palozzi and Riccardo Palozzi grew the business.
“We had people say ‘how could you do this to us?’ and that they would find out where we lived so they could still come over for dinner,” Angelo Palozzi said.
“We’ve seen people propose here, hosted18thand 21stbirthday parties, even a wedding reception.
“We’ve had regulars come in with babies who are now coming in with their own babies, so we’ve become part of people’s lives.”
Mr Palozzi said the family had always planned if they didn’t receive their goal price at or after the December 16 auction to negotiateto rentthe premises and continue to operate the business.
He said they expected to exchange contracts in the new year with thebuyer –a party of three investors –and to sign a three-year leasefrom April, with a further three-year option.
“We were not in a real hurry to get out and all the siblings have agreed to stay on.
“It’s in our blood –15 of our 18 children have also worked here,” Mr Palozzi said.
“It hasbeen a big year –ourfather who held it all together passed away at the end of July and Mary’s husband Chad died too.
“We thought it may be time to go and look for a change after 33 years, have a holiday, but then realised it’s not meant to be now.We are happy to be here for a few more years.”
The Palozzis’late parents Riccardo and Tulia purchased the business from Riccardo’s nephew in 1984 and the building around1989.
Tulia Palozzi served her mother’s recipes,honed in her hometown of Villavallelonga, in central Italy.
“Mario was a crane driver and I was an apprentice boilermaker when they bought the restaurant and Mum taught us how to cook too,” he said.
“Her recipes continue on, even though she’s been gone for more than 20 years.
“We still make all our own lasagna, gnocchi, cannelloni and fillings. It’s all from the heart.”
Mr Palozzi attributed Arrivederci’s popularity to it’s “casual” feel.
“It’s not fine dining – peoplefeel welcome and like it’s a second home.”