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May 30, 2024

Meet Sofia, Part Time Lover’s sophisticated sibling

New Hutt Street European restaurant Sofia is a place for everyone from the Part Time Lover crew.

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  • Words: Claudia Dichiera
  • Pictures: Matisse Chambers
  • First picture from L—R: Stewart Wesson, Joshua Baker, Adrian Bernardi and Luke Turton

Sofia will be a place for everyone.

Born out of Part Time Lover, this crew has found a method that caters for all people, any time of the day.


16 Hutt Street, Adelaide 5000
Mon—Fri: 7am ’til late
Sat & Sun: 11am ’til late

Opening this Monday


Part Time Lover’s really dear to our heart,” Sofia co-owner Joshua Baker says. “And we find that style of business really suits us as a team.

“We like to call it a bistro. It’s not the traditional word of bistro, I think it’s the way that we interpret the word bistro.

“And that is that it’s not a café, it’s not a restaurant, it’s not a bar; it’s everything, it’s all of those things.”

Joshua says he loves the way Part Time Lover is suited for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“We’re wine heavy, we’re cocktail heavy, we’re coffee heavy – it’s just an inviting place for everyone at any time,” he says.


Co-owner Luke Turton says this style of business means the team can “learn about people” and “become a part of their life”.

“We’ve had people come in and grieve, we’ve had people come in to celebrate and everything in between,” Luke says.

“But it’s not about a celebratory place, but it can be. It’s about a place where you can feel a part of someone else’s life and for us as well, they become part of our lives.”

Co-owners of Part Time Lover – Joshua, Luke, Stewart Wesson and John Savva – asked the working managers Paul Lynch and Adrian Bernardi to come on board for new Hutt Street venture, Sofia.

Set to open Monday, Sofia will be the “older European sibling — the one with the tan” to Part Time Lover.

“A bit better looking, a bit more sophisticated, more comfortable,” Joshua says as the crew laugh.

“It’s a continuation of where we’re going in our journey in hospitality and it’s just an extension of Part Time Lover, but the European version.”

When designing the menu, Stewart says the team had regulars in mind.

“[At] Part Time Lover, we’re seeing so many people come in and trying the same thing, and falling in love with that. [We] really wanted to try to get away from that really structured set menu style of cooking, there will still be a set menu in some ways, but really giving people the opportunity to choose their meal,” Stewart says.

“If you’re coming back multiple times, which we encourage, it can be a bit repetitive. So how our menu is structured at the moment, the first section has about 25 dishes on there. We want to almost put the power back into the guests.

“I think this gets them coming back more often, gets them talking about it more, more opportunities to pair with different drinks and connect with the waiter a bit more.”

In terms of the specifics, Stewart tells us the menu will feature a signature sopressa that is made “just for [Sofia]”, Cypriot sausages and a one sheet lasagne that Stewart says is “gnarly and charry but really beautiful at the same time”.

The octopus with tomato and chilli oil


As for the wine list, Luke has chosen local drops along with Italian, Spanish, Portuguese options as he is “matching with the idea of Mediterranean-style food”.

“I also wanted the wine list to be really accessible, I didn’t want the wine list to be isolating,” he says.

“So the price list is very accessible. Half the wine list is really quite easy to get a couple of bottles and have fun and not worry about the cheque at the end, which is really important to me.

“It’s also really important that [we can] keep reaching out and being part of the fabric of society, where people can feel confident in coming in. But it’s something they can come in once a week or twice a week or once a month, rather than go there every six months and it’s an occasion because we’ve got to save up for it.”

The house made halloumi with persimmon


Matiya Marovich, director and architect of Sans-Arc Studio, says the initial space and building “wasn’t the most beautiful thing in the world” but his job was to “reframe and make it look interesting and relevant”.

Matiya took inspiration from Le Corbusier’s work in Chandigarh, India when designing the building’s exterior.

“He did these projects in a town in India, and they’re pretty fun, curved, textural [but] still drawing from like his modernist origins, but more playful,” Matiya says.

He also chose “natural” colours for the interiors, then played around with different textures to create the soft, welcoming feel of the space.

Textures and curves


Named after John’s late mother, Sophie Savva, the space will embody everything she was about.

“From what I know and remember of Sofia is that she loved cooking and she loved hosting, she loved having people at her house, and she loved food. Her kitchen was always open,” Joshua says.

John was instrumental in putting the deal together to secure the space on Hutt Street, and when it came to naming the spot it was a no-brainer.

“So when [John’s] mum passed suddenly last year and he put this deal together, and it was me and him that stood at the front, we both had a look at this building and he goes, ‘we’re buying this’,” Joshua says.

“And we both could see and envision where the bistro would sit and how it would sit.

“I reckon we had about four naming workshops that we were going to call this place, and then I was like ‘let’s name it after your mum’, and then it was this big lightning bolt [and] relief.”

Sofia is located at 16 Hutt Street, Adelaide and is opening this Monday.

Connect with the business on Instagram for more.

Sophie Savva’s portrait hangs in Sofia’s.

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