Local Business Spotlight: Stearns & Hill’s Bistro


This blog post was written by Tommy Callanan and Olivia Chen, who were interns in our summer intern program.

Stearns and Hill’s Bistro, located on 505 Main Street, has been a staple of downtown Melrose for more than 17 years. Founded by Michael and Amy Palmer, it was opened just three days after the birth of their first child. As well as being a full service restaurant serving “American Fare,” Stearns and Hill’s also features a bar and an upstairs lounge. This creates a great atmosphere for a wide array of events.

When asked about the success of Stearns and Hill’s, Mr. Palmer commented on the vitality of downtown Melrose, deeming it “one of the most vibrant and strong downtown designs for a business.” Moreover, a large percentage of the restaurant’s staff are from Melrose. Palmer puts it this way: “The business doesn’t run itself. It runs with a lot of hard work from the staff and the management. That’s the backbone of the business: The hard work.”

“I was always told that you needed to start from the ground up,” Palmer says. “My first job was washing dishes. I’ve scooped ice cream, I’ve worked in Knights of Columbus Halls, pizza shops. I’ve worked in San Francisco restaurants. I’ve worked in Boston city restaurants. Knowing and being willing to be able to do the job as well or better than everyone under your management, I think that’s the most important thing.”


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