James Stump knows the restaurant industry inside and out. The Table, his neighborhood eatery in Willow Glen, opened in 2012 to rave reviews, as did his oyster bar and kitchen, Forthright, four years later in Campbell, and his cocktail lounge, The Vesper, also in Campbell.
His latest project began to take shape when The Table’s neighboring juice bar closed its doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Stump saw the opportunity to exercise his culinary chops yet again.
Lamella Tavern, named for its crosshatch roofing — will be Stump’s fourth independent undertaking, along with partner Michael Mulcahy: a raw bar offering a selection of ceviche, oysters, and crudo reminiscent of the Spanish Mediterranean coast, where, perhaps, a couple waiting for their table next door can sit down for a martini and some marinated muscles before dinner.
At 2,000 square feet, Lamella Tavern will have major retro lounge energy, with a long, wood-top bar, a rich, blue ceiling, tiled floors, and lush banquettes. Eventually, Stump plans to build a parklet for outdoor seating, but for now will offer outdoor seating on the sidewalk.
Chef Robert de La Mora, who has run the kitchen at Forthright for the last four years, will helm the menu, which should also include some cooked options in addition to the raw bar — maybe some salted cod fritters inspired by the tapas-friendly streets of Sevilla, or a crowd favorite garlic aioli lobster roll.
“I love a fun restaurant,” says Stump, who also has plans of opening a 5,000 square foot American brasserie called Shepherd & Sims in Los Gatos this summer. “A place where the energy is high, but the food is serious.”
Stump plans to open Lamella Tavern within the next three months, at 1109 Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen. I mean, is there a better or more sophisticated mid-summer snack than a bowl of ceviche and a martini? No, of course there isn’t.