Piccolo Bar, Kings Cross, closing after 65 years

Piccolo Bar, Kings Cross, closing after 65 years
Piccolo Bar, Kings Cross, closing after 65 years

The Piccolo Bar, just off the main strip in Sydney’s Kings Cross - which recently featured in the ABC-TV series Rake - is closing its doors after 65 years.

“It is very sad,” says its longtime owner-operator Vittorio Bianchi, 82, who came to work as the barista in the tiny café as a 29 year old in 1964.

He said the Cross was so quiet now - blaming the lockout laws and the ban on smoking inside, and outside, cafés for the likely end of the Cross's oldest coffee bar.

"The politicians have done a good job of killing the place,” he told Fairfax Media

The Piccolo Bar, on Roslyn Street, had a clientele that’s included prime ministers from Gough Whitlam to Malcolm Turnbull.

There were the screen stars like Mel Gibson, Judy Davis and Jeremy Irons, artist Brett Whiteley, writer Dorothy Hewett and murdered activist Juanita Nielsen.

“We used to be open 24 hours,” says Italian émigré Bianchi. 

His café is now up for lease through agent Ron Danieli with hopes that someone will keep it running as a coffee shop.

The lease is around $500 per week, plus GST and outgoings.

The café opened first in the 1940s and in its current form as the Piccolo Bar in 1952.

After Bianchi suffered a heart attack, a triple by-pass in 2014, and then suffered a bout of cancer last year, his niece-in- law Tina Newton-Carra took over the cafe.

Bianchi still dropped in regularly to chat to his regular loyal clientele, and take a turn on the coffee machine.

Now she wants to work full-time on her new business, creating a same-sex online wedding directory, OneLove Wedding Directory.

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Kings Cross Cafe

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