The Pavilion in Union Square, that gorgeous, open-air concrete structure at the north end of the park, will soon be home to a pizza and bocce bar setting up shop for the summer. Later this month, Bocce will primarily serve pies from a Roberta’s-trained chef and summery spritzes, alongside one bocce court.
Owner Jason Leeds has taken over the space and brought in executive chef Tim Meyers to make pizzas such as a scampi version and one with pesto and market vegetables. As is the tradition in the space, ingredients will come from the Greenmarket right outside. Other dishes include a snap pea Caesar salad, orecchiette pasta with black walnut pesto, and crispy chicken with rhubarb agrodolce. Meyers learned pizza from Anthony Falco, Roberta’s original pizza chef, who also consulted on this restaurant.
Drinks center around the spritz, with several versions of the bubbly, light drink, as well as cocktails and Italian wines. A bocce court will sit alongside the bar for drinking games. At the end of the season, the restaurant will become delivery only.
The Pavilion is a historically tough space for restaurants: After six years of plans being blocked, dropped, and blocked again, a Greenmarket-focused restaurant finally opened in the space. It’s been operating ever since, but not particularly popular. Leeds got his hands on the building after forging a relationship with the NYC Parks Team and Union Square Partnership. Bocce will open later this month; stay tuned for more.