La Belle Vie managing director Bill Summerville is leaving the restaurant in mid-May.

“There are some projects that I want to work on, although I’m not ready to release specifics right now,” he said. “The first project will be publicly revealed relatively soon, and others will evolve over the summer."

This much he will say: He's staying in Minneapolis, and in the industry.

Both he and chef/co-owner Tim McKee describe the split as amicable. The two have been friends for 20 years, and colleagues, off and on, for nearly that long, at both La Belle Vie and Solera (that's Summerville, left, and McKee, right, in the La Belle Vie lounge in a 2013 Star Tribune file photo).

“Bill is obviously one of the best in the industry,” said McKee. "We’ve worked together for a long time, and it’s hard to lose him, but there are so many opportunities out there right now. I'm really excited for him.”

Summerville, easily one of Minnesota’s top wine directors, has been a La Belle Vie partner since 2005, and was part of the team that opened Solera in 2002 (it was sold to Graves Hospitality in 2010). Matthew Anderson, a veteran of Solera – and La Belle Vie, during its Stillwater incarnation – will be replacing Summerville as managing director.

McKee and Summerville said that they have plans to collaborate on projects in the future.