Acclaimed rustic Italian spot Ava Gene's is undergoing a kitchen expansion that will require the Southeast Division Street restaurant to close for six weeks beginning April. And when it reopens, several things will be different.
In addition to a revamped dinner menu, the 6-year-old eatery will begin serving brunch, featuring "morning versions of some of Ava Gene's most popular dishes," according to a press release. That includes a Borlotti bean pane, seasonal toasts and a granola cereal chef and owner Joshua McFadden made famous at Roman Candle, Ava Gene's former next door neighbor.
Speaking of, McFadden's restaurant group, Submarine Hospitality, has also taken over the lease of the space that previously housed Roman Candle and will be turning it into a sister restaurant. The building has sat empty since Holiday—the health food cafe run by Duane Sorenson, Ava Gene's original owner—announced that would be moving downtown this spring.
The incoming restaurant, Cicoria, is described as a casual "pizzeria and bar" that will serve small bites along with a thin-crust pizza "merging the tavern-style pizza of [McFadden's] youth in Wisconsin with the crispy pizzas found in Rome." The two restaurants will share the expanded kitchen.
Ava Gene's will go dark following a final dinner service on
March 31 March 30, with reopening targeted for May. Cicoria, meanwhile, is scheduled to open this summer.
Related: Restaurant Guide 2018: Ava Gene's.