Former La Strada premises in Potts Point bought by Peter Metzner

Giovanna Toppi Lists La Strada

The former La Strada premises have sold.

Hospitality industry entrepreneur Peter Metzner has bought the former La Strada premises in Potts Point. The landmark restaurant space was sold by Giovanna Toppi, matriarch of the acclaimed restaurateur family.

Toppi’s 322sq m Macleay St corner property last sold in 1979 for $348,000, with the elegant restaurant opening soon after with her late husband Walter. Until its 1996 closure, the restaurant was the place to dine for all visiting international stars.

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The celebrity diner photos, including Mick Jagger, Elton John, Syl­vester Stallone, Sammy Davis, Rod and Rachel Stewart and Shir­ley Bassey, were hung in its discreet ­Hughes St entrance. It also saw the new generation of diners including Michael Hutchence and Kylie Minogue.

Giovanna Toppi with daughter Caterina (28), owners of Machiavelli Resturant in the city. 

Giovanna Toppi with daughter Caterina.

The black-vested waiters, Ricky Spinelli and Franco Perez, served countless steak Dianes and crepe suzettes to regulars, ­including Kerry Packer and other colourful Sydney characters.

La Strada took its name from the 1954 Federico Fellini film ­released around the time Toppi arrived in Sydney from Naples.  

She came by herself, with ­little money and no English, starting as a dishwasher and working her way up to head chef at Buona Sera. She went on to own and run O Sole Mio, Giovannas, La Strada and, of course, from 1988, Machiavelli with daughters Paola and Caterina.

Estate agent Alison Coopes marketed 95 Macleay St as “an opportunity never to be ­repeated” pitching to “astute investors wanting to value add.”

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Cleo Glyde and Peter Metzner. Pic Chris Pavlich

Peter Metzner, the owner of events and fashion PR company The Arc Factory, and who was a youthful two-time Cleo Bachelor of the Year contender, has a passion for undertaking inner city transformations of sites into boutique apartments above commercial space. He and wife Rose intend to take an apartment. The marketing gave a six storey infill concept ­plan with double storey eaterie. Its present annual income sits at $293,145, with Coopes advising “minimal cost to ­improve”.