& 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.
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 &
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.
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.....