POULSBO — March 29 is your last chance to enjoy Stella’s Pizza & Pasta’s signature chicken chop chop salad.
The Poulsbo restaurant, on 10th Avenue near Central Market, closes that night after almost eight years of business.
Reason: Owner Susan Baker and her landlord couldn’t reach agreement on lease renewal. So, her last dinner dishes will be served on March 29, and the staff will start packing March 30.
Baker said she’s sad that she’s closing. “I’m holding on to hope that Stella’s might pop back up somewhere else in Poulsbo, but I haven’t found that location,” she said. “I would love to be back in Poulsbo, but it has to be the right combination of location and a space that is pretty ready to be a restaurant. There are a lot of costs in opening a restaurant. I’m walking away from all the money I invested here, and I can’t do that again.”
Baker said Stella’s employs 20, of which “six or eight” are full time. She’s talking to some employees about working at her Spiro’s restaurant in Gig Harbor; her son and ex-husband own the Spiro’s in Silverdale.
“The restaurant’s done really well,” Baker said of Stella’s. “The overhead is really high for the amount of business I'm doing, but I’ve made it survive. I personally have done that. The business is growing, but so is all my overhead. I blame myself for that.”
What she’ll miss: “I have an absolutely amazing staff here,” she said. “All my wait staff has been here since the day I opened. Most of my cooks have been here since the very beginning. I have a wonderful staff and I like the customer base in Poulsbo.”
Stella’s: 19980 10th Ave NE, No. 104, Poulsbo. 360-697-4992. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Menu: Salads, entree salads, pizzas, pastas, subs, chicken parmesan.