There was much lamenting last month when owners Tom and Marna Sumners announced that they would be closing Cafe Star, at 3201 East Colfax Avenue, a restaurant I loved back in the days when Rebecca Weitzman was running the kitchen. But that was a long time ago, and Cafe Star had definitely dimmed in recent months -- until finally, the couple decided to turn the spot into a second location Trattoria Stella. The original Trattoria Stella, at 3470 West 32nd Avenue, was their couple's first restaurant, renowned for its eclectic and globetrotting, boisterous Italo-Mediterranean concept.
They hope the concept will work equally well on East Colfax, where the second Stella is now open. But when I talked to Marna this morning, the staff was still struggling to get all of this Stella's vital systems up and running. "We have a lot to do still, even though we're pretending we don't," she told me. At which point the phone cut out, bleeped, went dead, then cut back in again. "Sorry," she said. "The phone went out. I guess we have some work to do on those, too."
Stella had a "very soft" opening about a week ago, after a very fast transformation -- about a week, Marna said. "Tom has some good friends," she explained. And, apparently, his friends work fast.