Schenectady

Stella Pasta Bar & Bistro to reopen at former Van Dyck in Schenectady

John Reilly, left, and Chris Sule, co-owners of Stella Pasta Bar & Bistro, pose in front of its future location: The Van Dyke, in Schenectady's Stockade neighborhood.
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John Reilly, left, and Chris Sule, co-owners of Stella Pasta Bar & Bistro, pose in front of its future location: The Van Dyke, in Schenectady's Stockade neighborhood.

SCHENECTADY — The former Van Dyck and Mad Jack Brewing will be changing hands, names and menus.

The owners of Stella Pasta Bar & Bistro, which lost its lease in Burnt Hills earlier this year, are preparing to close on their purchase of the landmark in Schenectady’s Stockade neighborhood.

The dining side of the business will bear the Stella name while the brewing side will be called Seven Points Brewery and overseen by the same brewmaster who ran Mad Jack. 

The live music venue upstairs will be the Seven Points Lounge.

“We’ve been looking for a new spot since we found out our lease was not going to be renewed back in January,” said Chris Sule, co-owner of Stella with his stepfather, John Reilly.

They operated the restaurant for nearly six years at Fo’Castle Farm Country Store on Kingsley Road. They’ll have much more space in the Union Street location, enough for a cellar that will let them expand the wine list dramatically. And they’ll own it themselves, Sule said. 

Stella closed its doors March 12 and The Van Dyck stopped serving food around the same time, he said. More recently, Mad Jack stopped brewing, he added.

The reboot of Stella Pasta Bar & Bistro will feature the same menu with a few tweaks but with the same homemade pasta, bread and desserts. The reboot of Mad Jack will be deeper — the partners acquired the beer recipes along with the microbrewery itself, but plan changes to the lineup of beers and their names.

A hazy IPA and an Italian pilsener will be the first beers. Once they’re up to speed, house brews will flow from 10 taps.

“We’re very excited that the brewmaster at Mad Jack, Brian Conley, is joining Seven Points as our brewmaster,” Sule said.

As fans of imported beer will know, the name “Stella” is spoken for. 

So Reilly and Sule got creative.

Stella serves Italian food. Stella is “star” in Italian. The star on the restaurant logo has seven points.

And there you have it: Seven Points Brewery.

“It ties the two companies together,” Sule said.

“The Seven Points Lounge is what we’re going to be calling the upstairs. We’d like to bring it back to its roots” as a jazz club, he added, but it won’t be limited to jazz.

Sadly, one of the co-founders of Stella’s will be there in spirit only. Lisa Reilly, a big part of the restaurant when it operated in Burnt Hills, passed away in late 2020.

“We know she would love this place,” Sule said of his late mother. “A restaurant that was a part of the community was always her dream.”

The timetable isn’t firmed up yet.

Their closing on the sale is expected next month, the grand reopening sometime later this year, and the revamped live music venue in early 2023.

Categories: Business, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County

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