Richmond District date nights, meet Violet’s: A new bar and tavern from the team behind Fiorella. Owners Boris Nemchenok, Brandon Gillis, and chef Dante Cecchini are bringing their talents (and Cecchini’s popular Tuesday night burger at Fiorella) to the new business at 2301 Clement Street (at 24th Avenue), which Nemchenok says will be “an extension of what we started with Fiorella.” It opens next Thursday, June 21, in the former Ernesto’s pizza space.
Nemchenok loves that “at Fiorella, families come in twice a week,” and he hopes Violet’s can fill a similar neighborhood niche. With later hours, sparkling wine from around the world, and an inviting cocktail list from bar consultant Patrick Poelvoorde (Park Tavern, Benjamin Cooper), the new spot could be a very literal extension of a meal at Fiorella, which is just down the street.
Rather than Italian as at Fiorella, Violet’s menu (below) emphasizes American classics like fried chicken with cheddar biscuits, ribeye with fries, and Parker House rolls. Seafood is a specialty, with grilled and raw oysters, platters, house cured anchovies, and a shrimp louie roll. Desserts include a “90’s style” molten chocolate cake — for a throwback, Nemchenok says.
The menu also nods to the the neighborhood’s (and Nemchenok’s) Russian heritage with a dish of chilled borscht. In the ’70s and ‘80s, immigrants from Soviet Russia (including a three-year-old Nemchenok and his parents) settled in the Richmond.
Melinda Turner, whose cheerful design at Fiorella was a hit, is also behind the somewhat darker atmosphere at Violet’s. Replicating the success of Fiorella’s Instagram-friendly patterned wallpaper would be difficult to do, but the team did commission more from Brooklyn-based Flavor Paper, this time wrapping the rounded ceiling at Violet’s with a “peacock” marbled wallpaper.
Violet’s color of choice carries over to the cocktail menu, where creme de violette can be found in drinks like the Violet Skies, a mezcal, gin, and brandy cocktail that’s available for one or a group in large format bottles. Another cocktail, the Trans Siberian Tea Service (Suntory Toki whisky, St. George California Citrus vodka, Choya plum wine, Oolong tea, hibuscus, honey, and Peychaud bitters) is served warm for cooler evenings in the Avenues.
Starting Thursday, June 21 Violet’s will be open for cocktails and dinner from Sunday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. A weekday happy hour is available from 5 to 6 p.m, daytime menu on weekends is ahead.