Best Business Restaurant: Stark’s Steak & Seafood

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Terri and Mark Stark have a slew of successful restaurants in Sonoma County with popular spots like Willi's Wine Bar, Bravas Bar de Tapas, Stark's Steak & Seafood and more.
“We’re just scrappy and we figure out how to pivot and get through the hard times.”—Terri Stark, owner
mark-terri-stark

Terri and Mark Stark have a slew of successful restaurants in Sonoma County with popular spots like Willi's Wine Bar, Bravas Bar de Tapas, Stark's Steak & Seafood and more.

Terri and Mark Stark could write the book on how to own and operate award-winning, resilient restaurants. They own and operate multiple successful restaurants in Sonoma County. Mark is the executive chef and Terri Stark runs the front of house in each restaurant.

Stark’s Steak & Seafood is located at 521 Adams St., Santa Rosa.

Their winning combination has earned them the love of our readers who voted Stark’s Steak and Seafood the Best Business Restaurant in the Best of the North Bay 2024 contest.

We spoke with Terri Stark about what it takes to earn that love. She says that part of the charm at Stark’s Steak and Seafood is the historic building. “The steakhouse has such a rich feeling about it,” she says. “It’s large and has a separate, really cool bar that accommodates a lot of people.”

Stark says that patrons enjoy the ability to have a cocktail before sitting down to dine in a separate area. “That’s very unique,” she says. “There’s no other restaurant around here like that. I think that the concept of a steakhouse also kind of lends itself to a business meeting.”

They’re open for lunch and Stark says they see lots of business meetings and power lunches taking place.

Chef Mark adds his own twist to a traditional steakhouse menu. They have their own dry aging room for the meat, and they do all butchering in-house. Starks also offers high quality USDA prime certified Angus beef as well as a large fish selection featuring local, sustainable seafood.

The Starks are one of Sonoma County’s largest employers and many of the employees at Stark’s Steak and Seafood have been with them since the restaurant opened in 2008. They’ve worked hard, remaining loyal to the Starks through thick and thin as Sonoma County weathered its many storms.

The Starks lost one of their flagship restaurants during the 2017 Tubbs fire but they’re resilient in the face of adversity and their award-winning restaurants are a tribute to that resilience.

“Because we have had so many years under our belt prior to the pandemic and we’ve been through hard times, like the fire, we’re just scrappy and we figure out how to pivot and get through the hard times,” Terri Stark says.

They’re pleased about being voted Best Business Restaurant. “It’s a very nice honor,” Stark says. “We work really hard and it’s always wonderful to be acknowledged for that hard work.”

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