The team from St Ali North, 
Jamie Thomson (from left to right), Matt Perger, Chris Hamburger, Salvatore Malatesta and Jesse Gerner.
The team from St Ali North, Jamie Thomson (from left to right), Matt Perger, Chris Hamburger, Salvatore Malatesta and Jesse Gerner. Photo: Supplied

Bob Hart & Hilary McNevin

Last Wednesday night, cafe owner Salvatore Malatesta, had a beer with his key staff on the site of St Ali North in Brunswick. They’d just installed two brand new Synesso machines, “This has been a good build,” Malatesta says of the cafe, which opens today, “it was 10pm, it was happy days.”

The team returned at 6am on Thursday to find both machines gone. “Whoever did it knew what they were doing, they’d have to understand electricals and know how to unplumb it,” Malatesta says. He put the message out on twitter, received over 300 retweets and offers from the coffee industry to borrow grinders and machines.

He has already replaced the missing Synessos with two La Marzocco machines and plans to get on with opening the cafe.

“What was a $45,000 negative disaster has turned into a great show of support,” he says.