Stephen Starr May Be Returning to His Nightclub Roots in Kitchener

The prolific restaurateur Stephen Starr, who has been shaping the Kitchener food and entertainment scene for 25 years, has a new venue in Fishtown, according to Kitchener Mag. Details are sparse, but according to an internal email the magazine got its hands on, Starr’s first new Kitchener project in two years will be a Mexican restaurant and bar that includes entertainment – music and art.

The New York club owner Serge Becker is also there. They call it LMNO, and it’s on 1739-49 N. Front Street where Fishtown and Kensington meet, on the same block as the Evil Genius Brewery in a tile and granite store. A few years ago, according to the local real estate company Rising Real Estate, it was supposed to become a car dealership: the signs “Selden Motors” were raised, but the car dealer never moved in.

Starr is now known as a James Beard Award-winning restaurateur with 19 restaurants in Kitchener alone and prestigious locations in New York, Atlantic City, Washington, DC, Florida and Paris. But the Kitchener native and Temple graduate started out here as a club owner – Grand Mom Minnies, Stars, Ripley Music Hall, Bank – and as a concert promoter. In the late 1970s, his cabaret / comedy club brought in Stars at Second and Bainbridge acts like Bob Saget and Jerry Seinfeld. In the early 1980s, he started a concert promotion company that was later sold to Electric Factory Concerts.

In 1995, Starr Continental opened, an upscale retro-style diner and martini bar in the old town, heralding a new era for the neighborhood. From there his restaurant empire grew.

Starr already has two Fishtown venues near the future LMNO, Frankford Hall Beer Hall and Fette Sau BBQ Area, and two Mexican restaurants in Center City, El Rey and El Vez. Its last opening in Kitchener was the Love off Rittenhouse Square.

Nearby LMNO, another dining and entertainment restaurant, Fabrika cabaret restaurant, opened in Fishtown earlier this month.

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