Stephen Starr is an American restaurateur and former entertainment promoter based in Philadelphia. He owns the STARR Restaurants group of dozens restaurants. Starr has been recognized for his work receiving awards from the James Beard Foundation, among others.
Early life and education
Starr was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Woodbury Heights, New Jersey, where he attended Gateway Regional High School. He graduated from the School of Media and Communication at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1976.
Starr's first venue was the diner and comedy club "Grandmom Minnie’s" located in Philadelphia’s Old City. In 1977, Starr opened the cabaret "Starr’s"featuring emerging acts. In 1980, Starr opened the concert venue Ripley Music Hall. Starr founded The Concert Company which brought large-scale stadium acts to Philadelphia.[when?] The Company was purchased by Electric Factory Concerts in 1993.
As of 2017, twenty of Starr's restaurants are in Philadelphia, six are in New York City, four are in Florida, two are in Atlantic City, New Jersey, one is in Washington, D.C., and one is in Paris, France.
Starr won the 2017 "Outstanding Restaurateur" James Beard Award, and his restaurant Le Coucou with chef Daniel Rose was named 2017 "Best New Restaurant" by the James Beard Foundation. Starr has been named "Restaurateur of the Year" by both Bon Appétit and Zagat." Travel + Leisure noted that "Starr creates complete environments with an artistic, almost cerebral approach".
In 2017, the magazine Restaurant Hospitality placed Stephen Starr on their "RH 25" list of "The 25 most powerful multiconcept operators across the country." Restaurant Hospitality also awarded Starr the annual Richard Melman Innovator of the Year award in 2013 and cited his restaurants in Philadelphia as "arguably the key reason for the city’s revitalized culinary scene". The Harvard Observer recognized Starr "for making contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of restaurant hospitality over the whole of his career".
Film and television
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Bon Appetit magazine named Starr 'Restaurateur of the Year' in October 2005.
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