New law forces Wellington food store to close

Morning Talk 29/01/2018

An Italian food emporium in Rongotai has shut down after a new law forced the owner to close up shop.

Antonio Cacace​, an Italian-born restaurateur owns two hospitality businesses in Wellington: La Bella Italia in Petone and Bel Mondo in Rongotai.

Mr Cacace joined Mark Sainsbury on Morning Talk to discuss why he had to close the doors on his Italian food store, Bel Mondo.

"It's all about this new law in regards of selling wine and alcohol, the on-licence and the off-licence under one roof. 

"When we renew it, [the council] asked us to separate the cafe and restaurant from the shop which killed the concept of Bel Mondo," he told RadioLIVE.

He says his mission with Bel Mondo was to offer an authentic Italian food scene, allowing shoppers to shop for Italian food and sip on a glass of wine.

[The council] is targetting the wrong people and business.

"I tried my best to let them understand that it's wrong and that it will affect the concept. But the law is the law and they told me to put this wall up. 

"And everything started going in a negative way. People don't like to pay at one till for one thing and go out and after go to the other side and do the shopping," he said.

Listen to the full interview with Antonio Cacace above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, weekdays from 9am-noon on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the ROVA app on Android and iPhone.