PhillyDeals: New Main Line pizza restaurant is a team effort

Avero pizzeria co-owners Scott Morrison (left) and Vince Schiavone have found "community partners."
Avero pizzeria co-owners Scott Morrison (left) and Vince Schiavone have found "community partners." (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer)
Posted: August 24, 2013

It takes a network, it seems, to open an up-to-date restaurant in places like Wayne and Wilmington these days.

Scott Morrison, a veteran Main Line restaurateur whose more successful partnerships include Nectar in Berwyn, and software entrepreneur Vince Schiavone, who lives near Wayne but commutes every week between his two companies, ListenLogic, in Conshohocken, and Akuda Inc., in San Jose, Calif., have taken on "community partners" in their new restaurant and bar, Avero.

Schiavone immodestly calls the place the first "good pizza restaurant on the Main Line."

The "community partners" the pair have recruited to support and popularize Avero include, for example, David Braxton, whose family owns Braxton's Animal Works in Stafford. Others include the owners at R.A. Kennedy & Sons, the Aston glaziers who provided Avero's wide windows, and brothers Chris and Rob Buccini, the Wilmington developers behind just about every state- and city-funded project there in recent years.

Morrison is a big believer in personal promotion in everything from free food to texting thanks to patrons who post pictures of Avero pies on social media.

Morrison's ties to the Buccinis extend to their part-ownership of two additional restaurants Morrison has opened in Wilmington: Ernest & Scott, the bar at the art deco former Delaware Trust Co. apartments on Market Street, and the nearby Chelsea Tavern, with its elegant beer and wine list.

A lot of high-end restaurants don't last long in Wilmington, where bankers, lawyers and DuPont Co. professionals flood downtown by day but drive back home to Greenville for dinner. By bringing the Buccinis on board, Morrison says, he has cut his overhead.

Morrison plans to meet with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell Friday to talk about revitalizing Wilmington's downtown Market Street.

"They've got to do something with Rodney Square," said Morrison, regarding the park surrounded by DuPont headquarters, two bank towers, and two big law firm buildings. Currently, the square mostly functions as the city's main point for bus transfers for city residents commuting to suburban retail jobs.

Schiavone's most recent tech start-ups - his day job - include ListenLogic, which sorts vast piles of social media data and reports them to corporate clients, and "hypercomputing" provider Akuda.

Schiavone's father was a dentist. His mother founded the Philadelphia charity meal provider Aid for Friends. Schiavone says he caught the start-up bug at Temple University, where a freshman interdisciplinary course encouraged him to see the world through math, history, and English - "just like a CEO has to do."

"A restaurant is like any other start-up: There are a million details that all matter, starting with slicing the salami," Schiavone says between gulps of paper-thin slices with capers and white mozzarella. Morrison busses the plates away and returns with a Serrano croquette in pepper sauce - "based on something I had in Southampton last weekend," Morrison said.

Schiavone is a food fan but no cook. "I don't write software either, but I know things about management, banking, finance, and hiring people who are good at what they do," he said. "Any start-up is like pushing a big rock up over a mountain before it rolls back and kills you."

Schiavone's hope for Avero is that it becomes an enduring neighborhood place - "where everyone I know goes there too."


Contact Joseph N. DiStefano at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215-854-5194.

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