4 April 2024

Stroke forces closure of The Italian Place Providore and Bottega; recently opened Botswana Butchery in administration

| Claire Fenwicke
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Tony smiles and holds a bottle of Sapling Yard wine.

Hospitality industry legend Tony Lo Terzo suffered a stroke four weeks ago, leading to the closure of The Italian Place Providore and Bottega. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Canberra’s hospitality space has been shaken yet again with the closure of one institution and an uncertain future for a new player.

The Italian Place Providore and Bottega closed its doors on Tuesday (2 April) after four years following a “great personal hit” regarding its owner, Tony Lo Terzo.

“Tony suffered a massive stroke four weeks ago and has been hospitalised since,” the business stated on social media on Wednesday (3 April).

“Over these past four weeks, Tony has been recovering from the stroke, which has left him paralysed down his left-hand side and is currently residing in a Canberra Rehabilitation Centre, working with therapists to try to regain some mobility.

“This has left Chef Francesco with the running of both businesses, and the difficult decision to close the Providore has been made this week as of 5 pm Tuesday, 2nd April.”

Chef Francesco Petrillo is continuing to run the business’s restaurant arm, The Italian Place Enoteca.

The company went into voluntary administration last year, but it’s understood the restaurant side has managed to trade its way out of the red and no staff have been left out of pocket.

RSM Australia liquidator Frank Lo Pilato has been appointed to assist with the closure of the deli.

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Shocked Canberrans expressed their sadness at the news and support of Tony on social media.

“I’m very sad to hear this news. Thank you for all the food you’ve provided me over the years, I will really miss it! I will also miss Tony as I pass the shop. His ‘buongiorno’ always puts a smile on my face!” wrote one commenter.

“While it is sad news to lose such a wonderful resource, it’s so important that you are all taking good care of yourselves. Tony needs to recover, and Francesco needs to sleep. Thank you for all your efforts, and see you in the restaurant soon,” wrote another.

Those close to Tony have thanked the community for supporting them during this time.

“We sincerely thank all of our loyal customers and producers for their thoughts and wishes over this difficult period, these have kept Tony in good spirits as he continues to recover,” the statement from The Italian Place said.

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It’s not the only Canberra hospitality business that has taken a hit in recent days.

Two months after its grand opening, Botswana Butchery has gone into voluntary administration.

Owned by Good Group Australia, the New Zealand outfit came to Canberra amid much excitement. At the time, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said its arrival was a “testament to our city’s appeal for innovative businesses” and that he looked forward to the “positive impact” it would have.

Its Sydney and Melbourne locations have also gone into administration, along with White & Wong’s Sydney, White & Wong’s Chadstone and Wong Baby Chapel.

Flaming steak on grill

Premium grilled meats restaurant Botswana Butchery’s Australia locations have all gone into voluntary administration. Photo: Botswana Butchery Canberra.

Andrew Sallway and Duncan Clubb of BDO Australia were appointed voluntary administrators of Good Group Australia and its subsidiaries on 31 March.

In a statement, BDO Australia said the voluntary administration didn’t affect Good Group’s New Zealand operations.

“The Administrators are undertaking an urgent assessment of the companies and, if possible, intend to continue trade with a view of facilitating a restructure or going concern sale process in due course,” it stated.

“The administrators will continue to work closely with Good Group Australia’s directors, management, staff, and creditors.”

All of the Australian Botswana Butchery restaurants are continuing to trade at this time.

Region has made multiple attempts to contact Good Group for comment.

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Best wishes for your recovery Tony. Thank you for so many enjoyable dinners and the freebies you would sometimes pour for us! Canberra loves classic Italian with a focus on food quality and service – it was clear that is what was in your heart. Your vision and hard work is appreciated by many!
Di & Bruce

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