Sadly, Avro is closed.
Truth be told, I really liked the New Haven Meatball House, which served delicious food at unbeatable prices. Open for lunch and dinner, the core dinner hours were packed with happy, satisfied patrons, but the location was just a wee bit too far for lunch to be that busy as well. Blink, you might have missed the transformation in early-February from the Meatball House into a dinnertime gastropub named for a World War II British airplane, Avro Kitchen & Bar. The meatballs have been upsized into full-fledged burgers, the sides still full-flavored, and the drinks creative in look, taste and name.
Owner Bob Potter has always been interested in aviation. Avro is a longtime British manufacturer of planes, with the Lancaster being its most famous, WW II heavy bomber. His Scottish father was in the Royal Air Force and trained in Avro planes during the War. When it was time to rethink the Meatball House, Potter chose a gastropub theme and then did a bit of private word association, connecting gastropub to pub to England to his interest in British warplanes. In honor of the Avro, there is a chalk rendition of the Lancaster on wall.
Avro is still in the early days, and an executive chef will come on board soon to continue to shape the menu. Currently, the emphasis is on flavorful burgers and craft cocktails. Potter, the owner of C.O. Jones and Prime 16, creates burgers that are not just plain ol’ beef. At Avro, the eight-ounce burger is a proprietary blend of chuck, brisket and sirloin. The Avro burger has delectable additions such as bourbon-poached pear and brie, served on a sweet-potato roll. And you can build your own burger if you like.
Thirsty? Potter has put on his staff Adrian Alvarado, a mixologist who has shifted gears from professional acting (you may have caught him on General Hospital) to a creator of specialty cocktails. The same cozy atmosphere of the Meatball house remains, and now with a juicy burger and a tasty cocktail, it’s a great new gastropub in town.
• The Detes: 1180 Chapel St., New Haven. 203-772-3360. Sunday through Thursday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m, Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
• Price Range: Appetizers $5-13, salad $8-10, burgers $11-16.
• Style of Food: Gastropub
• Favorite dishes: Avro burger, mussels special.
• Drinks: full bar with craft cocktails
• Vegetarian: yes