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Sliema’s Stalwart Restaurateur And Esmeralda Yacht Incident Survivor Carol Calleja Passes Aged 80

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Respected restaurateur and larger-than-life Sliema personality Carol Calleja has passed away aged 80.

Calleja was considered a pioneer in the local restaurant scene and the man behind some of the island’s high-end restaurants including The Winston, The Medina, The Carriage, and Dynasty. He also opened one of the first restaurants in Valletta, Bologna. 

Those who knew Calleja would recall memories of him driving around Sliema in a pink Mini Moke.

According to Times of Malta, Calleja passed away unexpectedly on 6th April while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

A stalwart restaurateur, Calleja was also one of two survivors of the tragic Esmeralda yacht incident in 1991 which ended in the death of two men, former Chamber of Commerce president Wilfred Mamo and the yacht’s engineer John Schembri.

Calleja and businessman Manuel Grech were discovered two days after the yacht sank in a storm off the coast of Sardinia. 

Even in his twilight years, Calleja was involved in the restaurant business, most notably with the eateries his company oversaw at the Mellieħa Holiday Centre, including the Great Dane.

Calleja’s funeral will be held this Friday at 9am.

Rest in peace

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