Bar Stellar is officially open on North Henderson.
Stellar has been remodeled and rebranded as Bar Stellar.
The space is designed to be social media-friendly.
Owner Francois Reihani was inspired by his hometown of Beverly Hills.
Bar Stellar uses dry ice for dramatic presentation.
Bar Stellar just might be the trendiest watering hole in all of Dallas. I suspected this before I ever stepped foot in the bar, but when I attended the pre-opening party, I got confirmation.
The Henderson Ave bungalow is decked out with posh furniture, palm leaf wallpaper, a cheeky neon sign, and a millennial pink side room. As we entered the Instagram Wonderland, the first thing to come out of my sister-date’s mouth was “so cute!” — a phrase that was ringing in the air throughout the night.
And then, the ultimate sign of trendiness in Dallas: a sighting of the former Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay. And yes, she was with her fiancé. There was also a Real Housewife in tow.
The bar, previously known as an exceedingly mediocre restaurant named Stellar, was recently purchased and completely overhauled by Francois Reihani. The 21-year-old entrepreneur and SMU student used his youthful expertise to direct the entire business towards social media. The exterior, the interior and the drinks themselves are all designed to be perfectly photogenic and Instagram-worthy.
We approached the bar top and ordered the two most dramatic-sounding cocktails. First came the Pinky Promise, a fruity vodka or gin concoction with Pop Rocks on the rim. Not as showy as I was hoping, but tasty enough. The second drink, Cloud Nine, delivered on all fronts. The bartender placed a wisp of cotton candy over a piece of dry ice and then melted it with a stream of vodka-spiked blueberry lemonade. It bubbled and smoked and looked cool in a Boomerang —which was exactly the point.
“As far as the drinks go, we’re really looking at the presentation and making the cocktail into an art, and something that you’d want to take a picture of,” Reihani says.
“I’ve directed everything towards social media.”
It might be the first bar in Dallas to blatantly build itself around social media, but it won’t be the last. Instagram-ability is becoming a legitimate factor in all businesses, and Reihani is simply acknowledging that. The restaurateur is currently working on his third project. He says he can’t reveal any details yet, but it will also have a heavy focus on social media.
“That is the future… that’s what kids do all day. In class they’re not studying, they’re on Instagram. So if you’re not ahead of the game on that, you’re going to fall behind,” he says.
Bar Stellar isn’t just focused on appearances, though. Reihani says he is donating 100 percent of proceeds from September 11 to 18 to the Red Cross for Houston. In the future, he plans to have a weekly charity night benefitting a different organization each month.
“The big thing besides social media that i’m going to incorporate in every one of my businesses is giving back,” he says.