The new Santa Monica Summer House at the Pike & Rose development brought beachy California vibes to North Bethesda/Rockville when it opened in January, and now sister restaurant Stella Barra is opening next door in a connected adjacent space. Stella Barra has a very Cali vibe, too: the laid-back, rustic dining room is mean to evoke downtown L.A. Exposed brick, mismatched seating, and industrial touches are part of the dining room's urban look.
But the focal point of Stella Barra's decor is a wall-mounted Shinola Bixby-model bicycle, which was given to the restaurant by the brand. "The Bixby is both a nod to [chef Jeff] Mahin’s lifelong passion for cycling, and his deep admiration for fine craftsmanship," according to a press release. Bicycle-themed art also lines the wall near the bar.
Mahin, who also is the chef at Santa Monica Summer House, will offer unique pizzas like a pie topped with house-made pork sausage, mozzarella and fennel pollen, or butternut squash with taleggio, candied bacon and chilies. In addition to pizza, Stella Barra will serve seasonal small plates, salads and sandwiches. Lettuce Entertain You worked with local firm CORE on the space. Update: The opening is now scheduled for February 12.