The only connection to its past might end up in the molé. The next project to put the last home of Dilettante after 41 years on Capitol Hill will be a Mexican restaurant and bar ready to put the giant space back into motion after a mostly empty year in the heart of Broadway, CHS has learned.
Anejo Restaurant and Tequila Bar is set to open in the nearly 3,000 square foot space in 2018. Restaurateur Edgar Pelayo tells CHS he wasn’t making plans for a Capitol Hill venture but the finished restaurant space Dilettante created in the Brix condo building was too good an opportunity to pass up. There is only one catch, he says.
“It’s large — which translates to expensive.”
But the big risk put Pelayo in place for big opportunity on Broadway as he joins an area along the northern end of the street that continues to fill in with bars and restaurants outside of party nightlife zone of Pike/Pine. “It’s a little farther from the craziness which is not exactly my style,” Pelayo says.
Capitol Hill-born Dilettante shuttered its Broadway “Mocha Cafe” in January as the company refocused its business away from the chocolate martini-inspired concept. The company has been using the space for its kitchen in the meantime. Dilettante remains as Anejo’s landlord but apparently not for long. The commercial condo unit in the Brix building has been on the market for $1.6 million and a sale is currently listed as pending. Dilettante’s parent company purchased the unit for $1.2 million in 2007, according to King County records.
Hopefully, the space will be back to life in a few months. When it is, Anejo will be an “homage to the flavors of the past” with a more authentic, more traditional approach to Mexican cuisine and drinks. Pelayo says he grew up in restaurants as part of the family behind the Viva Mexico restaurants in Des Moines and White Center. Pelayo also operates a restaurant in Dupont.
Be ready for something different on Broadway where Pelayo says he is excited to take a more contemporary approach — and meet the challenge of putting the big space to full use. The bones are all in place but there will be a new look when Anejo finally debuts — Pelayo hopes this spring. There should be room for plenty of tequila at the bar. Anejo’s extra room will also make it family friendly for people with kids in the surrounding neighborhood, Pelayo said.
Anejo is planned to open at 538 Broadway E in the spring of 2018. There is no website yet so stay tuned to CHS for details.