Stella Bleu Bistro celebrates grand opening, bringing more business to downtown Springfield

Stella Bleu Bistro co-owners, Chef Darin Mitchell and Jennie Osterholt during the grand opening of the new restaurant in downtown Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Stella Bleu Bistro co-owners, Chef Darin Mitchell and Jennie Osterholt during the grand opening of the new restaurant in downtown Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Stella Bleu Bistro celebrated its grand opening Tuesday, marking the start of another business in downtown Springfield.

The bistro’s owners are Shawn Osterholt and Darin Mitchell. Osterholt is a local physician and investor, while Mitchell served as an executive chef at both the Urbana Country Club and Coco’s bistro, in Dayton, in the years leading up to the two purchasing Stella Bleu.

“Good, happy, excited, nervous, I’m feeling about every emotion you can think of,” Mitchell said. “It has been a long, long journey.”

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Mitchell and Osterholt announced they would open the fine-dining restaurant in Springfield earlier this year, with an original plan to open in late March.

“We tore up carpet, we painted, we’ve put a lot of work in,” Mitchell said. “It’s really neat to see where we started and where we are now.”

The restaurant can seat as many as 85 customers inside, with a separate private dining space that can seat about 50, Osterholt said previously. Additionally, the restaurant will feature an outdoor patio that can seat an additional 75 to 100, however construction is not yet complete.

Mitchell said most of the food in the restaurant is made in-house, including the ketchup and mustard.

“I love food, so do the guys that work for me,” Mitchell said. “So we love to have fun coming up with a menu and different options.”

PHOTOS: Stella Bleu Bistro celebrates grand opening

The menus for both lunch and dinner feature a variety of dishes including steak, seafood, pasta and vegetarian options.

“It’s our trip around the world basically,” Mitchell said. “So say you wanna go out to eat and you want pasta and the person you are going out to eat with wants some steak or seafood, you can come here and have these different options.”

Stella Bleu Bistro is located at 20 N. Fountain Ave., and sits next door to several other businesses, most of which have only been open for a year.

Fountain Avenue includes Winans Chocolates and Coffees, Champion City Guide + Supply, Le Torte Dolci and Salato Deli.

Mitchell said those businesses are proof that Springfield is making strides in the right direction.

“I’ve been in Springfield most of my life, you can see the transformation,” Mitchell said. “Even from 10 years ago, never would I have dreamed that downtown Springfield would start to look like a bigger city.”

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In addition to the restaurants and shopping downtown, the Springfield City Commission has announced plans to move forward with the next phase of a roughly $7 million downtown parking garage project.

The garage will be at the corner of Fountain Avenue and Columbia Street. Construction plans call for a three-story structure with around 300 parking spaces, Springfield City Manager Bryan Heck said.

Construction on the garage could begin as early as July, and would be completed around the spring of 2020.

“Instead of people going out of town for things,” Mitchell said. “Hopefully they come downtown instead and decide to stay local.

Those interested in making a reservation at the Stella Bleu Bistro can call (937) 717-0478 or use the app Reso.

The Springfield News-Sun

The Springfield News-Sun is committed to covering the opening of new businesses across Clark and Champaign county.

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