Blue Star Group to open Stellina Pizza Cafe in former Willamette Market & Deli

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Coming around May, tentatively. - COURTESY BLUE STAR GROUP
  • Courtesy Blue Star Group
  • Coming around May, tentatively.

After 22 years in business, including 19 at its South Tejon Street location, The Blue Star shut down in late 2017 to open again somewhere downtown by sometime in 2019. That was according to The Blue Star Group at the time, and today by way of update, chief of brand and strategy Sarah Mishler says they’re still not sure when “version 3.0” will occur.

Meanwhile, they have plans to add a new entity to their portfolio, which includes the Principal’s Office and La’au’s. Look for Stellina Pizza Cafe to open around May, tentatively, in the former, short-lived Willamette Market & Deli and longtime Little Market & Deli spot at 749 E. Willamette Ave. BSG owner Joseph Coleman co-owns the building, and the name, says Mishler, translates to “little star” and “pays homage to the Little Market and Blue Star Group.”

Construction is underway — and hey, they even found a matching dumpster. Who knew? - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Construction is underway — and hey, they even found a matching dumpster. Who knew?

Former Blue Star chef Will Merwin will create and consult on Stellina’s menu, as well as train its staff, says Mishler, noting Merwin and Coleman spent time in Italy recently to study up. They fell in love with square-shaped, Roman-style pizza, and are working to perfect a dough recipe. “It’s something people here won’t be used to,” she says, adding “the goal is the authentic, simplicity of Italian food, with fresh and few ingredients.”

Disaffected youth please apply. ... I'm kidding, but bothering to illustrate this employee down to the tattoos is hilariously awesome. Kudos. ... Anyhoo, expect counter service. Ahem. - COURTESY BLUE STAR GROUP
  • Courtesy Blue Star Group
  • Disaffected youth please apply. ... I'm kidding, but bothering to illustrate this employee down to the tattoos is hilariously awesome. Kudos. ... Anyhoo, expect counter service. Ahem.

Stellina will also serve homemade pasta, gluten-free risotto, seasonal soups, salads and appetizers, with gelato (not house-made) for dessert. It will offer counter service, and has a liquor license. Look for half a dozen wines and three or four cocktails and beer varietals each, all on tap, as part of a sustainability effort to avoid packaging waste. To that end, they plan to compost (in support of the nearby Middle Shooks Run Community Garden) and install solar panels. In respect of the residential area, Stellina plans to close by 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 on weekends, and encourage biking and walking in.



Note page 8 on the renderings below, where this red door gets reused as an overhead fixture. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Note page 8 on the renderings below, where this red door gets reused as an overhead fixture.

See more renderings of the business here:
See related PDF Stellina-Renderings-Share.pdf

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