A forthcoming wood-fired pizzeria from the founders of Somerville’s Bronwyn opens later this month — hopefully next week, pending final inspections — in Union Square. T&B Pizza, named for owners Tim and Bronwyn Wiechmann, is located at 251 Washington St., Somerville, just a couple doors down from Bronwyn.
With a longstanding presence in the neighborhood since opening Bronwyn six years ago, the Wiechmanns are happy to keep their feet firmly planted in Union Square with this new project.
“Absolutely one of the reasons we want to do this one is we’re not a really large corporation, and we are hands-on owners,” Tim Wiechmann previously told Eater.
Keeping their restaurants so close together helps the Wiechmanns to give special care to every detail for the new place, which takes the wood-fired theme beyond pizza: Tim Wiechmann made much of the furniture himself, using wood salvaged from the demolition of the space, and he employed a Japanese method of charring wood — also salvaged from the space — for a main piece of art that is on display.
The Wiechmanns have procured a wood-fired pizza oven from a Skowhegan, Maine, company called Maine Wood Heat Co. that is partnered with French company Le Panyol. This is the same type of oven used at a couple other local wood-fired pizza gems, including Area Four (whose counterpart A4 Pizza left a wood-fired pizza hole in Union Square when it closed in 2015) and Brewer’s Fork; the company came in to carefully assembly it piece by piece on location.
The pizza options at T&B will revolve around a multi-day fermented dough, and there will be two distinct styles: Neapolitan and thicker, square Roman-style (al taglio). While Neapolitan-style pizza is getting easier to find around the Boston area, not too many places serve pizza al taglio; a short-lived Newbury Street spot called Scissors & Pie featured it a few years back but closed quickly. Meanwhile, Michael Schlow plans to serve Roman-style pizza at one of his two stalls at the forthcoming Time Out Market Boston food hall in Fenway, and Rome’s famous Bonci might eventually expand here.
There will be several options for pre-set pizzas in each style, and the Wiechmanns plan to highlight artisanal New England cheeses as much as possible. Customers will be able to build their own Neapolitan-style pizzas, too, starting with a base of tomato, mozzarella, romano, and basil and choosing toppings such as mortadella, burrata, raclette, and more.
In addition to pizza, there will be a few other dishes, including seasonal salads and cheese and charcuterie boards.
While T&B will serve cocktails, wine, and draft beer, don’t expect a replica of the menu at Bronwyn, which will remain the source for German beer in the neighborhood. Jason Kilgore (Backbar, Catalyst, Uni) developed the cocktail list, which focuses on classics like martinis, Old Fashioneds, and Negronis.
T&B will have about 50 seats, with a mahogany bar overlooking an open kitchen and the restaurant’s eye-catching pizza oven.
Nearby in Cambridge, the Wiechmanns previously ran an acclaimed fine-dining destination, T.W. Food, before revamping it into Self Portrait and ultimately closing it in late 2017. (T.W. Food alums took over the space and opened Talulla there in 2018.) The Wiechmanns also briefly operated a casual Balkan-inspired sandwich shop called Playska in Inman Square.
For a time, they considered opening a second Bronwyn, but the availability of the space so close in Union Square afforded the Wiechmanns room to grow in the way they wanted.
When it opens, T&B Pizza will likely operate five days a week, at least to start, serving dinner only; stay tuned for exact hours and an opening date.