Inner West Whispers – 240

Stamolis storms home, community banking, Haberfield mystery, vale Alex

• Congratulations to Independent John Stamolis on winning the Leichhardt Council by-election in the Birrabirragal ward. Councillor Stamolis lost the seat to Liberal Candidate Melinda Manikas in the 2012 council elections. The results of the by-election (first count) were: Greens 1294, Labor 1436, Liberal 1172, Independent 2122, informal 95. Turnout was 67.7 per cent which was low but around what was expected.

• The closure of Haberfield’s Commonwealth Bank (which was the only bank in the suburb) has spurred the local business community to create their own bank to service the area. Haberfield Chamber of Commerce President Alfio Musumeci (Ray White Haberfield) and Vice President Mary Bonfante (Frank’s Fruit Shop), are trying to build support for a community bank underwritten by Bendigo Bank. (We note that the TAB in Haberfield is still in operation.)

• The old Italian restaurant in Haberfield (you know, the one next to Dolcissimo that has struggled to stay relevant since Il Goloso moved to the Post Office?) might become anything from Brunettis to a charcoal chicken shop. Locals have been speculating on what could possibly open in the 90-seat restaurant since a sign was put up simply saying “Opening Soon. PS. It’s NOT another pizza shop.” We’ve heard it might be a Lebanese-style takeaway or a Brazilian BBQ eatery. All that can be confirmed is that the last few ventures to take up residence in this spot have not lasted long.

• Alex Lind, owner of the Coopers Hotel Newtown, passed away unexpectedly aged 44, leaving behind his wife Leigh and three children Alice, Harrison and Fraser. Our thoughts are with the family.

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