Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

cafe Ici has closed


Update 13 August 2013: Ici reopened last week.

Original post: The seemingly sudden closure of Ici was a genuine surprise. I was only in there last week and it seemed to be business as usual. The notice in the window suggests that they were not paying the rent and the landlord has reentered the property.

Backstreet Eating across the road, and other cafes nearby like Min Lokal and Breakfast Thieves, are sure to benefit from the reduced competition. The notice suggests that the cafe continued to trade for almost a month after being told to depart, and therefore that the business may have been trading while it was insolvent, which is illegal.


In news on another business with an uncertain future, I have an update on the Burlesque Bar on Johnston St. A raving nutcase emailed me regarding the bar’s impending dissolution, caused by being insolvent.

I noted in my previous post that the bar’s social media presence suggested that it was continuing to operate as usual, despite the legal proceedings, which could be interpreted as indicating that the business was trading while insolvent.

The nutcase, who I will call Tim, emailed me without any friendly introduction or explanation to say, while linking to the insolvency notice, ‘Isn’t it illegal to do that’ – meaning (I assume) that it is illegal to trade while insolvent. He then said ‘Why crack it at me for saying it on Facebook when it is also here?’

Of course I had had no contact with him on Facebook and had no idea what he was talking about. He seemed to think that I was the owner of the bar and that I had, according to a subsequent email he sent that provided more information, sent him a threatening message demanding that he not discuss the issue. That wasn’t me.

I appreciate tipoffs and feedback from readers. But nutcase accusations in defiance of common sense are unwelcome. If someone has some sensible analysis of why small business owners continue to trade when it is obvious that their businesses have failed and they are insolvent, that would be helpful. Otherwise, keep your crazy to yourself.


  1. sign in the window says they are re-opening week commencing the 5th after being closed for renovations.

    I did see a bit of work being done to the roof of the building immediately after they closed, which I presumed was the building owner preparing for a new tennant

  2. ICI is back open, I chatted to Bill and a few regulars as I have been going across the road after my swim at the Fitzroy Pool. Seems like a long ugly tale about renovations, builders and landlords doing the ugly thing, which happens in old buildings. But main thing is he is back and some of the staff have hung on through it all. Word is Bill is thinking dinner menu and its nice to have my spot in the winter sunshine back.

  3. ALL of the staff are back .. just not all sighted yet as they ramp back up to full production. You can imagine it takes a week just to create all the prep ingredients for that fairly diverse menu and it’s all handmade right down to the jams..

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