The Callipari family opened a separate restaurant called La Rustica by the Lake in Kingston Foreshore.
The Callipari family opened a separate restaurant called La Rustica by the Lake in Kingston Foreshore. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Canberra's popular La Rustica restaurant in Kingston is liquidating, leaving behind at least $350,000 in debt almost entirely to the Australian Tax Office.

Documents obtained by the Sunday Canberra Times reveal the restaurant went into liquidation, under the administration of Deloitte, in July owing $370,431 to a number of creditors, including about $352,000 to the tax office and about $18,000 to several employees.

The restaurant was opened in 1990 by Dominic Celestino before being bought by his niece's family, the Calliparis, in 2004.

It was run by Peter Callipari and his sister Katrina Spadafora and her husband Giuseppe Spadafora when it went into voluntary administration.

Liquidator Eddie Senatore, of Deloitte, said there were no assets to be sold off in the previous premises, meaning any money to repay creditors would have to come from the owners themselves.

He said the Australian Security and Investments Commission had reviewed the confidential report provided by his company and found no need for further investigation.

La Rustica accountant Michael Papandrea said while the business was trading, the owners had all intentions to ensure debts were paid as and when they fell due.

"However circumstances beyond their control have forced the owners to place the company into voluntary administration, in particular as there was no future tenure in their old location in Kingston," he said.

The liquidation came about five months after the Callipari family had opened a separate restaurant called La Rustica by the Lake in Kingston Foreshore.

The new restaurant is in the name of Maria and Antonio Callipari, mother and father of the former owners of the now liquidated La Rustica, Peter Callipari and Katrina Spadafora.

Antonio Callipari said the liquidation had taken a toll on the family. "It's not a good thing to happen," he said.

Mr Papandrea said a range of factors outside the control of the Callipari family had led the Kingston business to this point.

The final $18,364 in debt was owed to employees of La Rustica, including members of the Callipari and the Spadafora families.

Mr Papandrea said the family was owed considerable amounts of money from the business, including employee entitlements, which they have foregone as part of the process.

A spokesman said the Australian Tax Office did not comment on individual cases.