Ambler, PA - We stopped into the newly renovated KC's Alley in Ambler. Originally opened in 1999, KC's Alley is known as "Ambler's First Pub" and sits just steps away from the Ambler train station. Having undergone a recent renovation, we decided to stop in and see what was new.
The establishment has been refreshed with an all-new exterior façade new windows/ doors featuring large frosted glass lettering with KCS ALLEY across the front. Inside the establishment is fully outfitted with new furniture and fixtures. The décor is now streamlined and sophisticated giving the sleek wrought iron feel you would expect to see downtown to this neighborhood tavern. Gone are the warm wood tones, the gold leaf painted KC's Alley Sign which stood atop of the old doorway, and the "KC's Calendar" listing daily specials which encompassed almost an entire wall. Signs and saying have also been removed and replaced with a select few pieces of artwork or large oversized pictures. The seating is more orderly but tight, no more benches along the wall, just 2 and 4 person tables dot the room. The tables have a concrete color to them, chairs are now all black.
The menu is physically large and is tough to deal with in a crowded dining room and features only a few choices. We tried the crispy crab wontons, wings, French onion soup, and the salmon wrap.
The crispy wontons were delicious. These 6 wontons were crispy and came stuffed with warm crab dip. The accompanying dipping sauce was a perfect pairing.
The wings came out nuclear hot, nicely grilled, and covered in sauce. After they cooled just a bit they were delicious. I found the meat in the wings juicy and overall the wings were a good choice.
The salmon wrap was on the lighter side stuffed with spinach, tomatoes and red onion. The portion of salmon was certainly not overly generous, but overall it had a nice fresh taste and was delicious. The sauce, a whole grain Dijon mustard, was a nice touch to the wrap. The wrap was accompanied by pasta salad and sliced pickles, both nothing special.
The French onion soup stole the show, this soup was a delicious broth mixed with just the right amount of gooey melted cheese with thin bread that soaked up the broth perfectly without disintegrating.
Known for its quaint outdoor patio, this space continues to be available but it was late during our visit and a bit too chilly to be outside.
We would not recommend this place for families. This is clearly a spot for the after-hours crowd getting off the train or those business associated looking for a place to grab dinner. The dining room is tight and I could just see my kids when they were younger grabbing the person at the table next to use causing a big mess.
The overall recommendation is to keep KC's Alley for that nicer dinner out when you need a more sophisticated atmosphere that is above the neighborhood sports bar but below the steakhouse. The upscale sterile feel makes it perfect for the date night or business outing. The menu is a bit pricy, and some of that is to be expected after these businesses took a beating during COVID, but these prices seem a bit on the higher side. Clearly, KC's has grown up and so has Ambler, that is a good thing.
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Please note, at the time of this review KC's Alley was not a paid advertiser on our site. The meal was purchased and not provided or given in exchange for a review of any kind.