Stanley Street Cafe
Patrick Asmar admits it was risky to start a breakfast cafe in a car park off a suburban street, away from the crowded laneways of St Ives Shopping Village. The legacy of the Asmar family name might be an important reason for Stanley St Cafe’s success. Patrick’s father, Alf, ran Wahroonga’s Cafe Laurella for 20 years until it closed, and is still a recognised face in the community.
The cafe took the empty shell of a bookshop demolished by an electrical fire and turned it into a fresh-faced coffee stop.
The menu is comfortably Australian – you’ll find smashed avocado, a bacon-and-egg roll and a big breakfast. There is also a Middle Eastern influence: the poached eggs with labne (Lebanese yoghurt), and the Phoenician eggs with hummus, spiced lamb, pita and sumeht (Middle Eastern spice) are the cafe’s two most popular meals. The feel of the place is slightly grungy: tasteful, not overdone. Furniture follows a copper-pipe theme with a dark wooden finish. A bicycle hangs from the ceiling honouring the regular weekend cyclists on the Akuna Bay loop, and a huge monocle-wearing, cappuccino-drinking pug guards the cafe.