Conversations with Roslindale Business Owners: Chris Lin, Seven Star Street Bistro
Seven Star Street Bistro owner, Chris Lin, joined the April RVMS Economic Development Committee meeting to share updates about his business and his experience as a small business owner in Roslindale. As a business at the entrance to Roslindale Village with an innovative approach to their menu and space, we were excited to talk more with Chris.
Chris and his wife, Michelle, opened Seven Star Street Bistro six years ago and recently adopted a creative three-in-one pop-up style concept. Chris said they are getting a lot of good feedback about the new model, which includes Astro Diner and Rozzie Ramen. Rozzie Ramen in particular has taken off, based on word of mouth marketing alone. “I’m a ramen junkie and used to drive all over to find good ramen,” said Chris.
Seven Star continues to grow, and recently hired one of their long-time part-time staff as a full-time event, catering and pop-up manager. They are excited to cater and host more events in their space, like rehearsal dinners and graduation parties. And with the big news that they got Boston’s first BYOB restaurant license, Chris said the BYOB is a selling point because it brings event costs down.
BYOB opens up a lot of possibilities for Seven star and Chris is looking at collaborating with Craft Beer Cellar Roslindale and Solera, a Shrine to Wine. He said he’s excited about the opportunity to “integrate so many things at once…when you go out to eat and get a glass of wine, that’s one thing, but with BYOB, you get to touch four or five businesses.” He’s even interested in partnerships with places in JP and West Roxbury to draw people from neighboring areas to Roslindale.
Chris’s pride for Roslindale was evident during our discussion. In developing signage for upcoming catering and other events, he made sure the materials very clearly said “Roslindale,” and he sees these events as a way to get a “Roslindale product out there.”
When we talked about what it’s been like for him and his family to own a business here, he said, “Roslindale is an unbelievable community; once you have word of mouth and support of the community, it is undying.” And to be in business long-term, “you need a light at the end of the tunnel and be willing to put in blood, sweat and tears at the beginning. You will always get to a point where you question, ‘should we stop or continue?’ and to continue always comes with risks.” We talked about resources businesses like his need, and RVMS and the Economic Development Committee will continue that discussion moving forward.
Follow Seven Star Street Bistro, Rozzie Ramen, and Astro Diner for updates about BYOB, collaborations and pairings, and events like a pop-up at Trilium Brewing in June. They’ll also be attending the RVMS Annual Egg Hunt April 15th.