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With champagne popping, Mistral chef back in the kitchen as Capitol Hill’s Chavez becomes Violet

Chef Belickis has been busying himself with pop-ups but now his attention shifts to Violet (Image: Violet)

By our calculations, you have about eight years to enjoy Violet, the new William Belickis project set to take over 12th Ave’s Chavez and hit the ground running with a champagne party Friday night.

The $45 a pop — ok, you get three glasses — soiree marks the takeover of the Durango-flavored Mexican restaurant by the Seattle veteran chef whose creativity stretched around eight years at Mistral in Belltown and another eight years at Mistral Kitchen in the Denny Triangle before its early 2018 closure.

Starting this weekend, 1734 12th Ave turns Violet.

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16+ years of culinary excellence creates a fan base and many have been waiting to see what Belickis would be up to next. Violet, we’re told, will offer the chef a “much more intimate” setting for his New American cuisine with a “more hospitable,” more cozy experience than his previous projects.

For Chavez, the sale marks the end of four years on 12th Ave after its January 2015 opening. The project from the Cantinetta family of restaurants paired head chef Gabriel Chavez with Trevor Greenwood and Wade Moller, owners of the Wallingford Italian restaurant. The owners later split up their business holdings and now Moller has found an exit with the sale to Belickis. CHS reached out to Moller about the decision and will update this story when we have a chance to talk with him more about the sale. UPDATE: Moller clarifies that he will remain part of the ownership of Violet.

A Chavez twin on Western Ave has also reportedly closed.

The introduction of Violet represents a relatively rare new $$$-scale opening on Capitol Hill amid a wave of new options more typically aimed at the $$ to $$ and a half end of the spectrum. Is this the right move for a chef-driven, upper scale concept? Ask us in eight years.

Meanwhile, if Belickis and company beat you out and you, too, are looking for a Capitol Hill kitchen to take over, maybe we can interest you in 19th Ave E’s Vios. We checked in with ownership and we’re told the family-friendly Greek eatery remains on the market.

Violet’s opening, meanwhile, continues a trend from last year of mergers and acquisitions in the Capitol Hill restaurant and bar scene and goes to show that, when it comes to looking forward to what comes next in Capitol Hill food and drink, you had better be ready for a few surprises.

Violet is located at 1734 12th Ave. You can learn more at


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One thought on “With champagne popping, Mistral chef back in the kitchen as Capitol Hill’s Chavez becomes Violet

  1. I’m sad to see Chavez go! I always loved their bar and the bartenders, who really had passion for their work. The atmosphere is also lovely. I hope Violet doesn’t change up the decor too much, and that they’re just as gracious.