The story so far....
Word soon spread and Sydneysiders were coming to Stanley Street in droves to enjoy value for money, wholesome Italian food and our amazing coffee. The term “cheap and cheerful” owes its heritage to the early 70’s. Bill & Toni’s made it famous and still does today.When it comes to Italian cafés and restaurants, Bill & Toni’s is an iconic Sydney landmark, known around the world.
Stanley Street Darlinghurst was the centre of Sydney's original Italian community in the 1950s and 1960s and was subsequently Sydney's first "Little Italy". From inexpensive to expensive, Stanley Street’s Italian cafes and restaurants catered to one and all and some still exist on the street today.
Guglielmo (Bill) Chiappini first opened the café on Stanley Street in 1965. At the time it was known as the San Siro Coffee Lounge.
Bill decided to open a restaurant above San Siro. In the early 1970’s Toni de Santis and Adolfo Fasciani commenced selling authentic Italian food to many of the inner-city Italian immigrants and others hungry for good food. They all agreed on a simple name, Bill & Toni’s Café and Restaurant although the name San Siro is still referred to as testament to the past. Bill managed the café downstairs while Toni and Adolfo managed the restaurant upstairs.
In the mid 1980’s Bill retired, and Cesare Zucaro came on board to run the café. Toni, Adolfo and Cesare worked hard to continue the tradition that had been built over the past twenty years.
Bill & Toni’s world-wide reputation for good food, great coffee and an atmosphere that made everyone feel “at home” grew. It became, and still is, a home away from home for many people.
Continuing the Bill & Toni’s legacy was the next generation of owners. Australian born Italians Domenic Zucaro, David, Robert and James de Santis worked hard, as their parents did, to ensure the tradition continued. Adolfo’s niece Eva Santilli also joined the café in 1986 showing her passion both in the kitchen and love for making amazing coffee. Eva learned from the best, developing her skills making coffee side by side with Bill and then Domenic. Her passion for good food was instilled in her by her mum (Adolfo’s sister) who also worked in the kitchen upstairs for many years perfecting those sauces and schnitzels.
In 2007, the de Santis brothers needed a change. Domenic was now the owner of the café and restaurant. Nothing changed. Bill & Toni’s continued to offer great coffee and tasty, well priced Italian food.
Homestyle cooking and value for money pricing made Bill & Toni’s everyone’s favourite place to eat. Stanley Street had changed. Foods
from around the world now dotted the famous eatery strip. But good, authentic, Italian food and great coffee kept Bill & Toni’s alive.
In 2013 a new owner Robert Domabyl and General manager Claudio Tropea gave a new lease of life to Bill & Toni’s. The new owner, a long-time patron vowed to keep the tradition going. Great food, great coffee, and value for money was still the creed. With the job done Robert, Claudio and Eva left in 2016 and a new owner was on board until 2020.
Having gone full circle, Claudio Tropea and Eva Santilli returned in 2020 proudly bringing back their traditional Italian heritage and continuing the rich family history.
Together with happy staff and quality suppliers, our customers keep coming back, again and again. We are proud to be serving five generations of Bill & Toni’s customers. Sometimes all at once! We are extremely proud to still be serving Sydney’s best coffee and tasty Italian cuisine to customers who first set foot in the place in 1965. The Bill & Toni’s legacy continues.