The “breakfast alley” in Somerville’s Ball Square is set for a shake-up with the addition of Avenue Kitchen and Bar, a gastropub-style eatery slated to open in mid-March. The neighborhood joint will serve American fare with a contemporary twist, such as Detroit-style pizzas and hearty vegetarian bowls.

“I was really inspired by the food that I love cooking,” says executive chef Kenny Schweizer, formerly of Ward 8, Bodega Canal and Nahita. “Upscale bar food, that’s the food that I like to go out and eat. When I saw the location and that it had a big fire-pizza oven … it just made sense.”

DINNER TIME! Avenue Kitchen and Bar’s menu will include pizzas and bowls.

The upstate New York native first slung pies at a friend’s family’s pizzeria and, while he’ll tap a similar dough recipe, he’s looking to the Motor City for a dose of inspiration.

Moving into the 58-seat space formerly occupied by Italian restaurant Pescatore, Avenue sports a U-shaped bar, as well as an enclosed patio— with an additional 20 seats—that will be decked out with trellises and string lights during the warmer months.

The kitchen will serve daily dinner with plans to expand to lunch and weekend brunch in the future. “There’s going to be a little bit of everything for everyone,” Schweizer says of the mix of healthy and not-as-healthy options, ranging from shareable appetizers like maple chili duck wings to bowls, such as a beet, kale and quinoa salad tossed in a lemon hemp seed dressing. There will be five crispy, cheesy and deep-dish pizzas to choose from, including a beef barbacoa iteration topped with braised short rib and pico de gallo and drizzled with a red wine beef jus. The drink program will feature a tight wine list, eight draft beers—mostly lagers—and cheeky craft cocktails like the Oops I Did It Again… with Bully Boy vodka, apricot brandy, sake and grapefruit juice.

Schweizer hopes a well-rounded dinner and drinks menu will give him an edge over the nearby dining spots that have dominated the landscape for more than a decade.

“They call it ‘breakfast alley’ over here, with Sound Bites and Ball Square and Kelly’s,” Schweizer says. “We definitely want to offer something a little bit different as far as what the other three offer—not so much a diner.”

Avenue Kitchen and Bar 158 Boston Ave., Somerville

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