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Stella’s is back, and this time it’s all about family


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The doors closed and business ceased, but that didn’t stop the former general manager of Stella’s Blue Sky Diner in Urbandale from reaching her lifelong dream.

Instead, former general manager Kerri Foster followed that dream and bought the defunct Stella’s, reviving it into a family business and renaming it Stella’s Diner.

“This is what I’ve always wanted my entire life, to own my own restaurant,” said Foster, who now enjoys the title of owner. “I’ve been in the restaurant business for many, many years, so this is for my family’s future. They’ll always have a place to go to work, to feel safe and just to do something worthwhile.”

Stella’s has gone through a couple of ownership changes, dating back to its first location on the skywalk level of Capital Square, when it was owned and operated by Linda King and the late Rich Murillo. Under their ownership, Stella’s opened a second location in Urbandale in 1995 and then both restaurants closed abruptly in 2002.

But that wasn’t the end of Stella’s. Instead, in 2003 Piers Plaskitt reopened the Urbandale restaurant and asked Foster to come on board as general manager.

“When we launched it in 2003, it was amazing, it was a go,” Foster said. “But the thing about owning your own restaurant business is, you’re married to it; you have got to be there. You have to coddle it and help it along, and teach it to walk. You have to love it, and if you don’t, then you’ll never survive.”

Unfortunately, Stella’s took another nosedive and closed the doors in November 2007.

So crossing her fingers and hoping “the third time’s the charm,” Foster consulted with her family and decided to buy the restaurant in June, and opened the doors for business July 7.

“We took it back to the basics,” Foster said. “There were some things on the menu that didn’t fit in with the ’50s-style diner, so those were removed.”

With a revamped menu and a new, family-oriented approach, Foster said she has felt tremendous support from the community, and even has plans to reopen a skywalk location within two years.

“We want to take it back to its origins,” she said. “Stella’s is a landmark. We aren’t going anywhere.”

Stella’s is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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