Restaurateur And Environmentalist Kate Powers Dies

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Restaurateur And Environmentalist Kate Powers Dies

Photo: Forbes Monaco

On Monday, the Powers family announced the sad news that Kate Powers, “co-founder of Stars’n’Bars and one of Monaco’s most beloved adopted citizens,” had died. She passed away Monday morning after fighting a brief but non-Covid related illness.

While details of the memorial service and donations will be announced at a later time, a MonacoUSA newsletter shared that Powers is survived by her son Shane Heminway, his wife Charlotte and her grandchildren Josephine and Stella in Monaco; her brothers Mike Powers in Monaco and Drake Powers in St. Louis, Missouri; her sister Rainey Fogiel in Dallas, Texas; and Stars’n’Bars co-founder Didier Rubiolo, her longtime partner.  

Powers, 68, was featured at one of the 2019 Forbes Monaco Entrepreneurial Women. Here is the excerpt of the original article.

Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, Kate Powers of Stars’n’Bars is crazy about the restaurant business and serving people.

Powers, who arrived in Monaco age 5 with her mother (a stateside friend of Grace Kelly) was kicked out of the house at a young age. With no support and little education, she worked her way up in the industry, from a waitresscashier- barmaid to chef and eventually moving into management. She returned to the Principality in 1986 to help her mom run a Tex- Mex restaurant, which was an instant hit, especially with Prince Rainier who named it Le Texan. It was here that Powers met her long-term business partner Didier Rubiolo.

Powers and Rubiolo recognized that despite a jet-set reputation, Monaco was also a community with working moms and dads looking for reasonably priced but quality family restaurants. In 1993, they opened Stars’n’Bars, turning an abandoned warehouse into a 3-story, 1,500-square-meter entertainment complex with one of the largest celebrity sports collections in the world, including Mika Hakkinen’s F1 racing car. They serve over half a million customers every year. “It’s a tough business. You don’t have much time for a social life outside of the restaurant,” says Powers, who became a naturalized Monegasque citizen in 2008.

The mostly organic menu leads locally in the vegetarian, vegan and nongluten departments. It was, the first restaurant to have its own urban vegetable garden, and to stop the use of plastic straws and nonbiodegradable throwaway coffee cups. 100% of the restaurant’s electricity is provided by renewable energy sources.

Powers started an “ecolution” in Monaco. Two years before Prince Albert set up his environmental foundation in 2006, she cofounded Monacology, a non-profit association dedicated to raising environmental awareness especially aimed at young people. This led to building a team of student volunteers, Eco Angels, who pick up plastic litter and cigarette butts along the port after major events like the Grand Prix and Yacht Show.

In 2016, Powers, cofounded EcoHub, a series of free monthly community events in theform of eco-workshops and conferences tackling social and environmental issues.

“Love what you do and the money will follow,” she shares. But more importantly, “Make a difference.”

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Nancy Heslin   Forbes Monaco

Nancy Heslin is an established journalist and lifestyle writer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Monaco magazine (bimonthly in English) , since the magazine's 2nd issue . Launched in November 2018, Forbes Monaco is part of the Forbes family, with its 7 million readers and 71 million monthly website visitors worldwide.