Jansci (John) Schiffer moved to Sydney from Hungary in 1957. He was surprised that there were no outdoor dining options given the favourable climate. Seeing this opportunity, he imported one of the first Italian espresso machines and set up Twenty One in the then sleepy suburb of Double Bay. The cafe was an instant success and the business flourished. It became a central meeting point for many of Sydney’s best known characters and families. Jansci is no longer with us but his legacy carries on through his son George and grandson Michael, who bring the same energy and warmth to the establishment.
George grew up at 21, and then forged a career for himself running a ladies clothing business. Unfortunately the restaurant sold after his father's passing, and when the opportunity came to buy the business back together with his son Michael - the time was right to take back his father’s legacy. George enjoys hosting customers he’s known for more years than he cares to remember, and also the new customers who visit 21.
Michael lived in Europe for 8 years while working in finance. A few years after moving back to Australia he left finance to take over his grandfather’s business with his father George. He remembers eating in the restaurant as a child, and working behind the bar as a young adult. He loves running his own business and the social aspect of being a restaurateur.