Stephen Distler

Owner, elements  + Mistral

Born and raised in Long Island, Stephen Distler spent 25 years in the financial services industry before getting involved in the restaurant business.

A highly successful businessman with an impeccable eye for sound investments, Distler worked the majority of his career at Warburg Pincus, LLC, one of the world’s pre-eminent private equity investment firms, where he served as Managing Director and Treasurer.

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His success allowed for an early retirement at age 50 and provided him the time and resources to venture into the commercial development of Princeton real estate in the mid-2000s. After purchasing two substantial pieces of property, Distler utilized one to open the first community bank in Princeton since the 1980s – The Bank of Princeton. The other, an old auto repair garage, would become one of the finest dining locales in the area, elements.

Distler joined forces with highly acclaimed chef Scott Anderson (and much of the team from New Jersey’s Ryland Inn) to open elements. The idea was simple – provide Princeton with a new dining experience, one that blended Anderson’s masterful technique with the freshest, locally sourced ingredients and foods of the region to create “Interpretative American Cuisine” like none other.

In 2013, Distler and Anderson teamed up again to open Mistral. In Mistral, a restaurant featuring smaller plates and sharing options, Stephen and Scott provide guests the opportunity to create their own tasting menus based on their personal preferences and palates. In late-May, Mistral will expand its offering to include a full-service bar and cocktail program. Elements is in the process of developing its new home above Mistral at 66 Witherspoon Street, where it promises a heightened culinary experience for its guests. The grand reopening is expected for July 2015.

In addition to his Princeton restaurant collaborations, Stephen also serves on the Board of Directors of Apex Learning, Inc. and Teachers Support Network, Inc., two for-profit education companies, and was a nine-year member of the Board of Trustees of the University Medical Center at Princeton. Distler has served on the Board of Directors of The Bank of Princeton since 2007 and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Bank.