Out of the ashes, a tale of camaraderie has emerged.
Shortly after Ollie’s Deli sandwich shop opened in Footscray, a fire broke out at its premises.
Footscray Traders Association president Stuart Lucca-Pope and his partner Liana Lucca-Pope, who own Littlefoot Bar, came to the rescue and offered their kitchen for use.
“They had a fire with the wiring in their wall so they’re out of action for two months,“ Mr Lucca-Pope said.
“Our kitchen was available because Littlefoot was not trading due to lockdown.
“We felt Nhat and the boys’ pain as we understand how much effort goes into starting a business.”
Ollie’s owner Nhat Tran said he was lucky Stuart came to his aid.
“We’ve set up a pop-up, seven days a week, with Stuart while he’s not trading,“ he said.
“Once Dan [Andrews] gives us an idea of what can and can’t be open, we’ll still be here until our shop’s fully set up.
“From now until that time we’ll be running fully Ollie’s Deli lunch trade, so we’re open from 9 o’clock to 3 for our regular sandwiches, and then once we get notification from government if bars can be open again Stuart will be back on board and he’ll have his bar operating from 3 or 4 after we close.
“We opened up about five weeks ago and it’s just been absolutely crazy with the community support.
“All the locals have come out on a day-to-day basis – like, we sell out every day.
“Weekends have been berserk.“