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May 4, 2022

Thirty Five Stirling opens in Thebarton

Thebarton's new backstreet brunch spot Thirty Five Stirling is a dream come true for first-time owner Jessica Clift, whose eye-catching eatery offers fancy food and swing seats.

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  • Words and pictures: Ben Kelly

Most children grow up with the typical aspirations of becoming teachers, firefighters, doctors or astronauts. Western suburbanite Jess Clift, however, grew up with modest hopes of one day opening a restaurant.


Thirty Five Stirling
35 Stirling Street, Thebarton 5031
Tues—Sun: 7am ’til 4pm


“I don’t actually know where that came from, but it’s something I’ve always wanted since I was a little kid,” says Jess, who practically learnt to walk among the rows of produce in her parents’ fruit and veg shop, Metro Fresh Findon.

“I grew up in the family business, they bought it just after I was born. I’ve been there since I was in a cot and I haven’t left, so it’s in my blood.”

Jess has enjoyed a real-life business education alongside her parents Michael and Enza Manov, and together they now run Metro Fresh and their adjacent floristry business, Lily West.

About two years ago, with both businesses humming along, Jess decided to pursue her dream of opening a restaurant with all-day brunch in mind.

“I love breakfast, it’s my favourite meal. If I’m going to go out for something, I want to go for breakfast. So, I thought, why not be on the other side of it serving the things that I love?”

Will and Co coffee encapsulated in an ES Ceramics vessel


About 18 months ago, Jess secured a lease at 35 Stirling Street – a heritage-listed red brick building that was formerly part of the University of Adelaide’s Thebarton Campus.

The industrial structure is within a stone’s throw of the River Torrens and linear park walking trail and is nestled amongst a hub of small offices and workshops.

The address is also home to the newly-opened Brightstar Brewing.

With the help of her parents, sister Andreanna Belperio and sister-in-law Elyse Manov, Jess has gone to great lengths to create an impressive fitout.

In a bid to stand out from the ever-growing crowd of local breakfast and brunch offerings, no punches were pulled with the choices of décor, furniture and crockery.

“We wanted it to have a point of difference so we invested in the business for the long haul, making sure we got it right from the very start,” she says.

“I think we’ve hit the nail on the head. We have some cool swing seats and different design elements to keep it interesting and different to other cafés in Adelaide.”

Jess began putting pen to paper for the menu before any tradesperson even entered the building.

In the kitchen, head chef Carmelina Clemente and her team create fun, eye-catching dishes including cinnamon doughnut French toast, which has been a crowd-pleaser during the first three weeks of opening.

This elegantly plated take on French toast is a decadent combination of jam-filled cinnamon brioche with mascarpone cream, strawberries and pistachio gelato topped with fairy floss.

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“A lot of effort has gone into the menu and I’m very happy with it,” says Jess.

“The apple crumble hotcakes have also been very popular. The dishes taste delicious, look very impressive, and they’re really big serves.

“We’ve made sure to put our stamp on all of the dishes. It’s good food with a bit of a fun twist – they look the part and are very fancy.”

Savoury favourites include smashed avo, eggs on toast, fried chicken burger, bao buns and a poke bowl. Meanwhile, the 78 Degrees-cured salmon bagel and the zucchini hush puppies are not lacking in creativity.

All of the meals benefit from Jess and her family’s decades-long connection to great South Australian produce suppliers.

“All-day menus are definitely the in-thing at the minute, so we’ve gone with a pretty extensive menu that’s an all-day brunch style but still has your hearty breakfast favourites, lunch options and everything in-between.”

Coffee comes from Bondi roasters Will and Co, with the name emblazoned on a unique glass-fronted coffee machine that allows a view of the internal boiler that fits with the industrial theme.

Another point of difference is the crockery and coffee cups from ES Ceramics which is located just a few blocks away.


“A wholesaler suggested I go to see Shane [Connery] at ES Ceramics, and the minute I walked into his showroom, I realised it was exactly what I had been wanting,” says Jess.

“It was awesome working with him to make all of the mugs, cups and saucers. Everyone that has come through has loved them.”

The quirky swing seats were one of Jess’ ideas, which came to life through Motyl Interiors who also custom-made the large timber front door.

The restaurant furniture was sourced through the Table and Chair Co.

“It’s been three weeks since we’ve opened and we’ve had an amazing response. We’ve had lots of people through the doors and that’s all I can really ask,” says Jess.

“To finally achieve this dream is pretty surreal – it’s a warming feeling that we’re here and it’s real.”

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