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- Chavez, the perpetually-packed Mexican restaurant on Capitol Hill, will soon become Violet. The new spot will be a reboot of sorts of Mistral Kitchen, the sprawling downtown fine dining restaurant that closed a year ago. Former Mistral Kitchen chef William Belickis is now at the Chavez helm, and he’s gradually transitioning the menus to reflect his cooking. The transition will be complete by Valentine’s Day.
- Some changes are afoot at Manolin, too, where head chef Alex Barkley is moving on and Elizabeth Kenyon will be serving as executive chef, with sous chef Alvin Tsao promoted to chef de cuisine. Meanwhile, owners Joe Sundberg and Rachel Johnson have a new project in the works: a Sri Lankan bar called Rupee, in Ballard. Their goal is to open later this year.
- Vietnamese counter service spot Sizzle and Crunch is adding a second location, this time in South Lake Union. Like the University District original, the new restaurant will allow patrons to customize their rice bowls.
- A tipster tells Eater that Birch, the fine dining restaurant with a view of Lake Union, has closed. According to the website, that looks to be temporary. The restaurant says it’s on “spring break” and promises to resume service this summer. The Opentable site for the restaurant says something similar: “Birch will be offering pop-up Happy Hours & Dinners throughout the Spring! We will be open on Friday & Saturdays for Dinner from June through August!” Eater reached out to owner Jeffrey Kessenich for clarification but did not receive a response by press time.
UPDATED, June 23, 2019, 7:26 p.m: An earlier version of the second item misstated that Alvin Tsao had taken over for Alex Barkley, not Elizabeth Kenyon. That has since been corrected.