Stearns & Hills Bistro, named after the proprietors of the original apothecary located at 505 Main Street, in historic downtown Melrose opened it’s doors on July 6, 1999.  Michael & Amy Palmer opened up the Bistro just three days after the birth of their first child.  The Bistro took over “The Victorian Restaurant” previously owned/operated by Marc DeFabritis. 

The decor for the first seven and a half years was maple floors, solid oak bar, black chairs and wainscoting.  Then in the summer of 2007 a failed sprinkler head forced a complete renovation of the space.  The property was not in compliance with the new building and handicapped codes which resulted in the need to take over the adjacent retail space occupied by “Sweet’s Stuff”, owned and operated by Ed and Nancy Sweet.  Ed and Nancy were a fixture in downtown Melrose offering penny candy, baseball cards and other collectibles & memorabilia. 

The original Bistro which was approximately two thousand square feet and sat one hundred people, had to be closed for thirteen months to renovate.  The new Stearns & Hill’s Bistro, which opened late in 2008, now occupied the full thirty two hundred square feet and gained approximately thirty additional chairs.  Stearns & Hill’s Bistro now features Brazilian Cherry Wide Board Flooring, mahogany stained wainscoting and a traditional bar with exposed brick walls.  Patrons  sit comfortably in sophisticated black booths & chairs and are surrounded by the exceptional detail of  the tin ceiling, antique glass panels, solid woods and heavy draperies. 

The menu has remained primarily the same, though subtle changes are continuously being made to better serve the clientele.  “An everyday steak house” featuring the freshest seafood is how we like to describe Stearns & Hill’s.  Our menu has been designed to welcome all types of diners, from families looking for a good value to couples looking for a quiet evening. 

Plans have been submitted to the City of Melrose to extend the Bistro to the second floor of the 505 Main Street building.  The second floor, previously housed four apartments has been architecturally re-designed into an elegant dining and private events room.  The second floor includes a second kitchen and bar, as well as additional bathrooms.  An elevator will be installed to allow for handicapped accessibility.  The renovation will allow the Bistro to minimize a long wait for a table on weekend evenings and allow its clientele an elegant option for private events, such as showers, birthdays, etc.  The second floor expansion is anticipated to be completed by  2012.

Over the past years, the proprietors had opened: The Swanton Street Diner, Winchester; Neno’s Market, Winchester; Pastazza Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, Winchester, and The Tanner Tavern, Woburn.  All of which have been sold and are now being operated by new management.  In May of 2009, the former “Wayside Bazaar” building at 107 Main Street, Reading was purchased to be the next big venture.  The new eatery, Sam’s Bistro, opened its doors July 6, 2010.  Sam’s is an acronym for three of the owner’s children.  The new restaurant features the same menu as Stearns & Hill’s.  Please visit our affiliated restaurant, SAM's Bistro, located at 107 Main Street in Reading MA

With the addition of a fourth child, the owner  has promised  another restaurant.  Only time will tell.....

©2011 Stearns & Hill's Bistro
Stearns & Hill's Bistro, 505 Main Street Melrose, MA 02176 (781) 662-9111

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