Stars Bistro & Bar has closed it’s doors effective the end of their Valentines Day service.
This place began life as Mimi’s American Bistro and was for years a popular haunt for people in the arts community, especially the performing arts. Mimi’s had singing servers every night of the week – but not just any singing servers. These were real professional performers and students in the performing arts (opera, musical theatre, MFA, etc.) making a little extra money while entertaining the crowds. Looking at some of Mimi’s original goals, you can see why it was such a good place for the arts community.
- Mimi’s American Bistro supports the careers of emerging artists by hiring vocally-talented waiters and waitresses who perform show tunes and opera arias during dinner.
- Mimi’s also displays visual art created by local artists, and sponsors play readings in the restaurant to foster the careers of emerging playwrights.
- At least once each month, Mimi’s closes its doors to the general public and turns over its entire facility to an arts organization for a fundraising event. It provides food, beverages and personnel for these events, and donates 100% of the proceeds to the organization. Among the organizations that have benefited are The League of Washington Theatres, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Arena Stage, Signature Theatre, The Bethesda Academy for Performing Arts, and many others.
A couple of years ago, the establishment changed hands and then was required to change it’s name due to a trademark infringement claim by a chain of restaurants called Mimi’s Cafe. Nonetheless, the newly-named, newly-led Stars Bistro & Bar continued the tradition of good food, singing servers and a relationship with the arts community – including hosting open mics for the DC Cabaret Network.
It’s a shame to see this place go. It will be missed in the Dupont Circle neighborhood and in the arts community around Washington, DC. Best wishes to all the management and staff as they look for and settle into new challenges.