More on The Rossi Closing

For the record, Ian Heydon just sent me these reminiscences of The Rossi:
I'm sure there will be a huge party before the doors close. There is a petition from locals but can't imagine that doing much good. Very sad really - to me it is the heart of Vila - the only place with a similar 'vibe' I have found is Trader Jacks in Avarua on Rarotonga. From early morning to late night it can take on many faces. The 'Table of Knowledge' has the same regulars every morning having coffee/breakfast before work, presided over by commodore Ross Wilson at the head... around 10:00am the table is taken by Australian defence and police advisors - if they meet in their offices the ni-Vanuatu staffers think they are being excluded and being spoken about behind their backs, which is probably true but it looks okay to be doing it over morning tea break. Throughout the day various tables will have locals talking business or hatching plans... mums meeting for coffee and snacks while their children play freely on the lawn... couples and workers dropping in for the plat du jour lunch... the place teeming with tourists wanting the seafood platter when the cruise ship is in... locals and tourists meeting for the sunset (the only place I have seen the 'green flash' on the horizon)... weddings and wedding receptions (we've never had a complaint)...private meetings in the boardroom... Rossi to Rossi swim and triathlons...Christmas parties (there'll be no 'black' Santa this year)... seafood night first Saturday in the month, Sunday roast night, Thursday curry night, fundraisers... And it certainly serves Vila's best coffee (a blend of Tanna and imported) served with iced water and slice of lime - or perhaps just a refreshing lime juice capable of causing 'brain freeze'... staff like Alex and Jonathon have been there for ten years or more and know their regulars - a handshake, smile,"the usual?"... and gone will be the wall of graffiti signed by the crew ofthe final Fairstar visit around the handwritten dress code - 'i nogat shoes, i nogat servis'. I guess we'll know the place's future soon...

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