Stella’s on 16th had all the makings of a fantastic restaurant and hang out. Brian Cohen, who owned 2-restaurants before this and has 25-years experience in the industry, came out of semi-retirement to run it. It had a quirky-yet-sprawling interior with a market, coffee and juice bar, breakfast and extravagant pastries. There was also the 120 person patio with fire pits of which was perfect for quick, summer time work lunches. Stella’s opened up at the start of 16th Street in an area with hundreds of businesses and even more condos and apartment buildings opening by the day. Not too far from Union Station, you’d think the foot traffic alone would be enough to drive sales. There was even an all-star cast in Executive Chef Tran and Pastry Chef MJ Szymanski as well as being voted Westword’s top-10 up and coming restaurants.
But alas it wasn’t enough and Stella’s abruptly closed August 3rd, 2017. One of my favorite things to eat there were the Macaroons with cake batter gelato on top of it. As I walked up to Stella’s this past Friday, there was a sign that said it was closed for maintenance. I thought this was odd given we were going into the weekend but my disappointment that I wouldn’t be able to stuff my face with a creamy macaroon over powered this obvious clue. I walked off begrudgingly going back to work without satisfying my sweet tooth.
Stella’s will surely be missed. I can’t help but think that if it had been given a little more time, it would have thrived. The market was convenient and much needed for people working in the area who wanted a quick snack. The employees were helpful and welcoming while the pastries were Instagram click-bait worthy with the right filter.
At the same time, in such a competitive restaurant market, it’s not all that surprising. There are so many places opening up it’s unrealistic to think that the city could sustain all this new food. Even the best places are at risk to go out of business.
We’ll miss you, Stella!