Stephen Starr did not want to be a restaurateur when he grew up. "My first aspiration was to be a disc jockey—I found that entertaining people was an amazing experience," he says. Though it’s in a slightly different field, the Philadelphia native is still grabbing our attention by cultivating experiences no one else can.
Starr got his start in show business at the age of 21 with Grandmom Minnie's, a converted diner serving food by day and comedy by night. He next opened STARS, a cabaret that featured then-emerging acts like Jerry Seinfeld and Pat Benatar, and later Ripley Music Hall, where U2, The Eurythmics, Cyndi Lauper and Bruce Springsteen took the stage. He founded The Concert Company to bring large-scale stadium acts to Philadelphia, orchestrating memorable shows from the likes of Madonna, Lionel Richie and George Michael.
After selling his concert business in 1990, Starr plunged into food and nightlife full-time, growing steadily into the celebrated multi-city mogul he is today. After decades in hospitality, he still likens dining out to a theater production, where the players, props, backdrops and lighting are integral components of an overall effect. When atmospheric drama is pairing with daring, delicious cuisine, dining out doubles as entertainment for the senses.