A RESTAURANT owner has paid tribute to his younger brother after his body was found on Hove beach in the early hours of Tuesday.

Fabio Lauro said his brother Andrea “could not do enough to help others” and had been pivotal in building the family’s venues, Six, Wolfox and Food For Friends, across the city.

Andrea, a 36-year-old father of two, went missing on Sunday morning after taking a kayak out from Hove Lagoon.

On Tuesday, police confirmed a body had been found which was “believed to be that of a kayaker reported missing”.

The Argus:

“He was just one of the kindest people,” Fabio said.

“Speaking to people over the last few days, kindness is the word they have all used to describe him.”

The 37-year-old said he discovered a letter which had been addressed to his brother following his death on Tuesday.

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The message thanked Andrea for “giving me a room when I was homeless”.

“Even if he didn’t know who you were, if you had a problem he would pitch in to help,” Fabio said.

The Argus:

“When something needed doing, or if something was broken, there was only one name you would think of – Andrea. He would do anything to help people.

“Across our businesses we are a big family and he was the link.

“He would always be getting to know people, making coffee and telling jokes. He knew everything about everyone.”

Andrea was the property designer and builder for a series of projects which the brothers worked on and ran together, including the Six restaurants in Western Road, Hove, and a new venue in Brighton’s New Road.

The Argus:

He was also key in shaping the Wolfox Coffee sites across the city as well as Food For Friends in Prince Albert Street, Brighton.

He was also in the process of designing and building a new Food For Friends site in Hove, a project he was extremely passionate about.

Fabio said: “In Brighton all of our venues are very popular. Customers always ask, ‘where did you get this from’ or ‘who did your design’.

“It was all him. He wanted to build everything himself. He made the impossible possible. Without his input I would have never have had the vision and uniqueness that he had.

The Argus:

“When we were kids we used to play in the countryside and we would build houses made of boxes and car tyres.

“I would go inside and change things around but he was always the builder.

“We were building a new Food For Friends site in Hove near where he lived, which he said was going to be his masterpiece.”

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Andrea lived in Hove, having moved from Lake Como in northern Italy with his family when he was 12. He had two children, Courtney, 14, and Lucy, 11, with a previous partner, and a girlfriend.

Fabio said: “His girlfriend was meant to meet him on the beach on the day he went missing, after her shift.

The Argus:

“She called me when she couldn’t find him. She was devastated, I couldn’t understand what she was saying so I got in a taxi and ran down. The police and everyone was there looking for him.

“I felt that until a body was found, we would go down to the beach every hour. And, when I did, there was always someone else there looking – a supplier or someone who knew Andrea. They were there for my brother. Until the body was found, there was an underlying hope that someone might call from the hospital.”

Police confirmed his body had been found on Hove beach early on Tuesday morning.

His family now plan to finish the new Food For Friends Hove site, which Andrea was so passionate about, in his honour. Fabio said: “We are going to finish that for him, but I don’t feel it will be the same again.”