A Somerville restaurant has closed down after 13 years operating in Ball Square, but the space won’t remain vacant for long as a new restaurant could debut there in a couple months. Pescatore Restaurant (158 Boston Ave.) closed on January 11, with owner Anna Buonopane sharing a message of thanks on Facebook that included a teaser for the forthcoming restaurant.
Taking over for Pescatore will be Avenue Kitchen and Bar, an American gastropub-style establishment led by chef Kenny Schweizer (previously of Ward 8 and Bodega Canal, and currently at Nahita) and general manager Gino DeLuca (currently at Florentine Cafe and a rep for Ruby Wines). They’ve been looking for a place of their own for quite a while, according to Schweizer. Now that they’ve secured the necessary operational and liquor licenses, they’ve begun work on the restaurant (with a contractor starting this week) as they finalize the menu.
Pizza will definitely be on the menu, Schweizer told Eater. “I’ve already bought a couple of those pans for the Detroit-style pizzas,” he said, which will use double-rise dough for a thicker crust. This thicker-cut, crispy style is not often seen in Massachusetts, with only a handful of other local establishments attempting the specialized pizzas: Otto Pizza makes its own version at some locations, including Brookline, and Tapestry in Fenway has dabbled in the style, in addition to its Neapolitan pizzas, while Volo Craft Pizza on the North Shore serves sheets of classic cheese and pepperoni.
But pizza won’t be the sole focus at Avenue Kitchen and Bar: The rest of the menu will pull in American dishes, including burgers, steak, and chicken and fish dishes. Schweizer said he’d like to run a farm menu alongside the regular menu, with the former consisting of a few items sourced from local farms. He plans to finalize the menu after getting the setup of the kitchen squared away.
The restaurant spans about 2,000 square feet, and the Avenue team plans to replace the current small bar with a larger one that seats about 15. The dining room will seat about 58, with an additional 20 on an enclosed patio. Avenue has a full liquor license and will serve cocktails, beer, and wine. A few months after opening, it will add weekend brunch.
The timing of the opening will largely depend on building and health inspection approvals, Schweizer said, but he’s targeting an opening in March.