The iconic Balluta seafront corner property housing the popular Barracuda and Piccolo Padre restaurants is in the process of changing hands, as a deal between local developer Carlo Stivala and current owners WGC Group is close to being finalised.

Currently, both Barracuda, a Michelin Guide restaurant, as well as the popular Piccolo Padre, are housed on the lower floors of the iconic building. The management offices are housed on the upper floor.

Mr Stivala, who was approached by, confirmed he is planning to convert the first floor of the iconic building housing the popular Barracuda and Piccolo Padre restaurants into restaurant floor space, according to an application, bearing his name, on the Planning Authority website.

The application, submitted by architect Robert Musumeci on behalf of Mr Stivala, foresees alterations to the first floor to create dining rooms and a kitchen. There will also be minor alterations to the facade, although the total building meterage will remain the same.

When contacted by, WGC Director Denise Cachia confirmed that there is a deal in place, “which has not yet been concluded”.

Mr Stivala meanwhile explained that the deal will see him taking over the ownership of the building but not the operations of the establishments.

“Barracuda and Piccolo Padre will continue to operate as they do today. Our application to convert the first floor into floor space, if accepted, will allow us to present a new offering on the commercial real estate rental market, in a prime location.”

He further clarified that the deal, although not yet finalised, is not conditional on the application’s approval.

Late last year, Mr Stivala relinquished his shareholding in the prominent Stivala Group, which remains controlled by his three brothers. Stivala Group is known for its extensive holdings in Sliema and Gzira, where it owns and operates five hotels on The Strand. received reports that the building will sell for “over €10 million”, however neither WGC nor Mr Stivala could confirm the sum.

Main Image:

Read Next: Placeholder

Written By

Robert Fenech

Robert is curious about the connections that make the world work, and takes a particular interest in the confluence of economy, environment and justice. He can also be found moonlighting as a butler for his big black cat.