29/10/2008 - 22:00

La Pegna moves on Bellissimo

29/10/2008 - 22:00

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ONE of Perth's best known restaurateurs Albasio La Pegna is to take over premises formerly occupied by the iconic Bellissimo Cafe which he founded almost two decades ago on Bay View Terrace in Claremont.

ONE of Perth's best known restaurateurs Albasio La Pegna is to take over premises formerly occupied by the iconic Bellissimo Cafe which he founded almost two decades ago on Bay View Terrace in Claremont.

The original Bellissimo outlet in Claremont and its newer sister operation in Mount Hawthorn closed their doors in September after an attempt to trade their way out of financial difficulty.

Mr La Pegna started the business with his family in 1991 and owned it throughout most of the 1990s and has since moved on to be known for fine dining outlets such as Zafferano in the Old Swan Brewery complex.

He said he is hoping to reopen the business, under a new name, before Christmas.

WA Insolvency Solutions partners Chris Williamson and Kim Strickland were appointed in July as administrators to the ailing hospitality group owned by Davvic Pty Ltd and Bellissimo Cafe and Pizzeria Pty Ltd.

David Briffa or his family controlled both companies, with Davvic taking over the Bellissimo trading name in 2004.

The administrators estimated in July that unsecured creditors could be more than $1.46 million, with around $487,000 of that being trade creditors.

The business lost $22,168 in the year ending June 30 2007 and then made a $61,625 loss for the nine months ending March 31.

Mr Williamson told WA Business News that the attempt to trade out of difficulties was too difficult with an already marginal operation at Claremont hampered by the poor takings at Mount Hawthorn.

He said Mount Hawthorn had traded reasonably when it started but council beautification work outside the store had badly impacted on the business.

"It went on for months and had a real impact on their turnover," Mr Williamson said.

Nevertheless, staff costs and supplies were rising and lease costs at the Claremont premises were likely to be doubled, a big problem when it came to finding a buyer for the business.

"When we went in there we had offers on the table but they (the prospective buyers) could not come to terms with the Claremont landlord," Mr Williamson said

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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