Silver Lake restaurant to raise its Sunset Junction profile *

Cafe Stella, the French bistro tucked in the back of a Mediterranean-style complex at Sunset Boulevard and Sanborn Avenue is planning to double its seating by expanding into the corner storefront now occupied by Driftwood, a vintage and designer clothing and accessories shop.*  The cafe, owned by Gareth Kantner, is also seeking to expand its bar offerings beyond and beer and wine to include other alcoholic beverages. Kantner said the extra space would allow Cafe Stella (which now occupied less than a 1,000-square feet) to seat up to 99 diners, up from the current 40 to 50. “The menu will stay the same,” Kantner said. However, the restaurant owner was not willing to say when the larger cafe would be completed, noting that a public hearing on the expanded beer and wine license still needs to be scheduled.

Meanwhile, several blocks east in the 2900 block of Sunset Boulevard, the Thirsty Crow bar is seeking permission to add live entertainment, according to an application filed with the city’s Planning Department. The Eastsider has contacted the owners of the Thirsty Crow for more details.

* Update: David Browne, the owner of Driftwood, said his business will remain open as Kantner pursues his permits.


  1. No possibility of that seating 99 diners — with somme major construction to to up a story or two. Unless the laws of physics don’t apple to Cafe Stella.

    So, this story is incomplete. You better tell us where 99 people are going to fit. As it is, the already have taken over a large portion of the public walkway between their existing location and the one they will be taking over — just to get 40 in. It is not possible to fit 50 more into the space of that storefront they are taking over. You would be pushing it to fit 20. So,what’s the rest of the story?

    And where will they be providing parking space for 99 people? There is no such amount of parking in the area. And that place is pretty expensive — that’s not a place for casual strollers to grab a bite, but for people coming in from all around — and parking.

  2. A few years ago a group of neighbors fought the owners of Cafe Stella when they tried to turn what is now Intelligentsia into an after hours club- with a full alcohol license. (the fight had more to with the owner being a jerk then anything else). I can assure you, we will fight the expanded liquor license this time around as well.

  3. Ehhh, both those streets are permit and there’s already Le Bar right across the street so what’s the problem? I live on Hyperion, btw…

  4. Mark………. It’s not 99 dinners at the same time. It’s for the night. Before you get caddy, get the info right.

  5. the lot in the back can fit a ton of cars when stacked properly by a valet.

  6. Yes, by all means, let’s make a big deal out of this. We need to keep the neighborhood safe from people with a beautiful aesthetic, community pride, and a sense of civic responsibility.

  7. developing small businesses in the area is important- and correct me if Im wrong, but the owner of stella owns the entire sunsent junction complex…which houses more…small businesses…all of which make our little community a beacon of commerce and culture. without such character we would be another strip of suburban sprawl. why fight character building and tax dollars coming in

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