Saturday, September 30, 2023

EatingOxford: New Restaurant Opens Tonight at 208 S. Lamar

Johnny and Cindy Kirk will open a new restaurant, called Stella, in the space where 208 used to be.

The paper is off the windows, the tables are set, and the doors are opening tonight at Stella Restaurant & Bar at 208 South Lamar Boulevard.
The restaurant, owned by Johnny Kirk, a seasoned restaurateur and recipient of a James Beard Rising Star Award, has been under wraps for the past several months.
When I noticed the lights on in the restaurant last night, I stepped in and had a chance to chat with Johnny’s wife, Cindy, about the menu and the opening.
“We’ll be opening at 5 p.m. Wednesday night,” said Cindy. “The menu is being finalized and includes American favorites such as steak and fish. The menu will expand in the coming months.”
If the name Stella sounds familiar, the Kirks also owned Stella in Downtown Memphis several years ago.
Over the last few months, I’ve received questions about the 208 space through, one of which was about the space’s noise level.
When I asked Cindy if measures had been taken to eliminate some of the noise caused by the high ceilings and exposed wood within the space, she showed me how the wall between the bar and dining area has been outfitted with padding to help absorb some of the sound. She said she’s hoping it will help, as they want everyone to be comfortable and have a good time in the new restaurant.
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Liz Barrett Foster is the EatingOxford editor for, an award-winning business journalist and author of the recently published Pizza: A Slice of American History. Liz ran the popular restaurant information site from 2009 to 2015. Liz can be reached at