Violette Restaurant was a dream-fulfilled for Guy Luck, a native of Strasbourg, France. He moved to the United States in the mid-1980’s with the hope of opening his own café. All his life, Luck had been drawn to the United States. “I was always raised like we owed something to America for saving us during the war (World War II),” Luck once told an Atlanta reporter. So when he and his then girlfriend, Violette, decided to go their separate ways, Guy thought it as good a time as any to set out for a new life in the U.S.
After considering several cities in the United States and Canada, Guy settled on Atlanta. During his early years here, he was renting his residence from a pizza parlor owner, whose restaurant was a former bank branch, located on the corners of Briarcliff and Clairmont Roads. When the man became unable to continue his business due to health problems, he offered the location to Luck. Consequently, in August of 1988, Violette Restaurant, named after Guy’s ex-girlfriend, was born.
Emphasizing authentic French cuisine at very reasonable prices, Violette quickly became a neighborhood favorite. Within several years, the restaurant outgrew its intimate yet confined space, leading Guy to design and construct (much of it with his own hands!) the restaurant’s larger, current location. The new Violette opened, quite patriotically, on Bastille Day, July 14, 1995.
After Luck’s untimely death in the summer of 2003, his friend and financial partner in the restaurant, Stephanie Belcher, decided to continue Guy’s legacy. She was able to do so with the help of Guy’s assistant chef, Stephane Picarda, another Frenchman, as well as their friend Erin McDonald. Ms. Belcher continues to own and run Violette, with the support of her daughter, Robin, as well as a loyal management team and service staff. Over 20 years after its inception, Violette Restaurant remains an Atlanta favorite!