Kelch's Casual Chic Dining
by Cate Murway

A wooden “Friends and Family Gather Here” sign hangs in the entryway, aptly announcing the cozy atmosphere in the Kelch House Eatery dining room. Warmly painted walls, the color of fresh clay, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors and cherished family pictures everywhere, entice the hungry customers to “come in, take a seat, and share a meal with us”. The eclectic design, enhanced by the antique wood chairs, novel lighting fixtures, one of which was created by Marion Powell, Bristol Riverside Theatre’s set designer and builder, and blooming fragrant flowers in vases, provides a homey atmosphere for the capacity seating of up to 65.  A Delaware River and Historic Bristol Wharf view is an added plus to the 101 Mill Street and Radcliffe Street Kelch House corner location.  The staff, bearing homegrown tomatoes, often arrives to work early, to ready for the day. Obvious pride in the high quality of the food and its presentation permeates the home-charm ambiance created by Dawn Kelch and her amazing team. Head chef, John Branstetter, who “lives and breathes his work”, honed his culinary skills in several upscale Philadelphia restaurants. Chef John provides “intensely prepared foods with no fear in the cooking technique” along with his brother, Dan, the breakfast and lunch chef. Together they create the daily innovative  “dining masterpieces”.  All the meals, complete with their own artfully prepared accompaniments, are among their offerings, as well as nutritious soups, heavily stocked with fresh ingredients. Each Saturday evening, Bill Wible “tickles the ivories”, enhancing the warm, pleasing atmosphere, while coaxing classic and standard music selections from Grandmother Catherine’s piano.

“I am ready for success” adamantly states owner Mrs. Dawn Kelch, a Penndel resident, and graduate of Neshaminy High School and BCCC.  Dawn always wanted to own her own restaurant. Her early career endeavors include employment as a hostess, a bartender and a waitress in the De Grand Diner and Restaurant, the Langhorne Country Club and The Northeast Hilton. Dawn’s husband, Charles Kelch, her staunch supporter, is a crane operator involved in the construction of the Comcast Center Building, soon to be the tallest building in Philadelphia; daughter, Dena, a recent Neshaminy grad will be entering BCCC this Fall; but it is daughter, Jenna, a Junior Fashion Merchandising major at Indiana University of PA, who shares Dawn’s passion and love for the restaurant, while working closely with her mom during school breaks. The family focus includes Dawn’s sister, Theresa [Terry] Carroll, who very professionally hostesses The Kelch House Eatery, along with a long-time close family friend, hostess, Janice Rhodes.
All the meals are freshly made to order, as well as Chef John’s very cost conscious $15.00 nightly specials. This week he featured a baby back rib plate with homemade macaroni and cheese, and a crab cake dish with peppercorn mashed potatoes and a recently picked vegetable.  Also, an 8:00 A.M. to Noon Breakfast is served on weekends and the Specials can include outrageously delicious choices of Blueberry and Ricotta cheese pancakes or Apple Stuffed French Toast. Reservations are required for the weekends and are highly suggested for the weekdays. The Kelch Eatery provides a non-smoking environment, special children’s meals and is prepared to host small parties; most recently providing the perfect atmosphere for good friends and patrons, Margaret and Jim Phelan to celebrate Jim’s 60th Birthday. 
You can “savor the flavor” of the unique meals with homemade soups and hearty grain or cinnamon raisin bread in your own home also.  Stop in “The Bread Box”, the Kelch annex, right next door, and purchase a meal for take-out.  Call ahead and your meal will be ready when you arrive! 215.788.3850. All major credit cards are accepted.
Street parking is available and the restaurant is Handicapped Accessible. 

The Kelch House Eatery is opened Tuesday to Thursday 11:30 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Friday 11:30 A.M. to 10:00 P.M., Saturday 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. and Sunday 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. They are closed on Mondays.  B.Y.O.B. and partake in a truly enjoyable, delicious, relaxed dining experience.

Business Spotlight? e-mail


Good eats and doo wop in Bristol

Four restaurants on the 100 block of Radcliffe Street in Bristol Borough known as “Radcliffe 100” are continuing their summer series of theme nights with outdoor live entertainment in Bristol’s charming downtown. 
Enjoy “Doo Wop Saturday Night” featuring the “Gary and Sonny Doo Wop Show” on Saturday. Make reservations early for alfresco dining while you enjoy the fabulous oldies with Gary Tosti and Sonny Mosco. “100 Radcliffe” is an association of four restaurants on Radcliffe Street who have joined together to generate more walking traffic and a higher profile for Bristol’s downtown by hosting monthly theme nights.  

For more information and reservations call: 

Annabella’s (fine regional Italian cuisine), 215-788-2929 

Cannolli (coffee bar and gelateria), 215-788-8899 

Kelch House (casual new American cuisine), 215-788-3850 

King George II Inn (fine elegant dining), 215-788-5536 

August 27, 2008 11:54 AM 

Super Singer Showcase
by Cate Murway

Lights!  Cameras!  Action!
A night to remember was SOLD OUT!!!

The point of the evening was music, 
particularly the voice.  The variety of voices and musical genres brought home the message that one can keep rediscovering:  that the world is bountiful with talent!  
Katt D'Ambrosio and Dawn Kelch, proprietress of the Kelch House, have offered a unique solution for singers looking to make a major presence with their vocal performances. The rich talent pool in the 3rd Super Singer Showcase highlighed megawatt singing star power and included the owner herself. All of the performers put their personal stamp on their very captivating and entertaining music!

Dinner was served.
Chef John Branstetter, who “lives and breathes his work”, prepared the menu. John honed his unsurpassed culinary skills in several upscale Philadelphia restaurants and consistently provides “intensely prepared foods with no fear in the cooking technique”.
Attorney Marc Stolle and his wife, Mariana thoroughly enjoyed the dinner and the show.
“The chicken was fabulous!”
The menu choices included Chicken Cutlet Parmagiana with Pasta Marinara; Crab and Salmon Stuffed Tilapia; Bourbon Barbecue Pork Chops; John’s Yankee Pot Roast and Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Rosemary Mushroom sauce. All of the entrées included garden fresh string beans and rice pilaf or creamy mashed potatoes or potatoes au gratin.

Everyone’s appetite was satiated. Even “Birthday Girl” Carol Mignoni Ferguson required “no substitutions”. 
Happy Birthday, Carol!

Those with room for dessert could choose from Dutch Apple Pie, NY Cheesecake, Bread Pudding with Crème Anglaise, Dark Side of the Moon cake, Carrot cake or Chocolate Chip Banana Walnut Pound cake. Or, maybe Carol could choose to share a slice of her perfectly decorated birthday cake……… 

Show time!
MC Ryan Taberner introduced each uniquely talented singer whose tremendous flights of singing accurately captured the spirit and the heart of those in the crowded Kelch House.
The faces were all smiles as they listened to the voices. It was a great pleasure to attend the show staring the owner, Dawn Kelch!

Ashley Nicole Vitale, HST ‘08/WCU graced the audience with some of her original music. Her plans are to pursue a career in music and become a recording artist. She has been singing since she was 3 and started out in a church choir, which she still does today. Ashley has performed in many musicals at Truman H.S. including their rendition of the groundbreaking Broadway musical "Rent". She has sung the National Anthem for the Camden Riversharks baseball team and the Trenton Titans hockey team.

Dawn’s turn. 
Her vocals claimed, “You belong to Me”. But she wanted to know “Why did I have to go on after that good girl?” Ashley just smiled.

Entertainment manager, Katt who is also a voice/piano/music theory teacher is convinced Dawn has tuned her pipes quite well but that “she acts like Carol Burnett”.

When the clapping subsided after her song, Dawn shared her dream. 
“I have a vision about a wonderful place across the street, “The Waterfront Grill”. 
She admitted that she had given up her search for a partner. Only because she’s found one… Mike Rose, “an accomplished businessman, a Philly boy and we share the same vision. We’re really, really excited.”

Proving that no song is “out of his league”, the entertainment continued and Victor Padilla sang the 1987 hit pop/rock “She’s like the Wind”. 

Next, Midge Spencer, a certified teacher, sang the lullaby  “Summertime”. She put her sensational spin on the American “folk opera” from George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”.

Look out world; the singers are showcasing their songs.

 “One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky”

Keyboard, pianist Scott Gurney accompanied his dear friend Katt, “an excellent singer and performer”. His “Scott Gurney Trio” performs at private parties and weddings.

Katt D'Ambrosio has her own trio featuring Howie Thompson on bass and Bill Schilling on piano and they appear at Mt. Fuju Asian Bistro in Newtown. But Katt loves Bristol and she performs at the Kelch House on two Fridays every month.
“I love it here. It’s so quaint and homey and everybody knows each other. I really enjoy doing it here.” 

This was Katt’s 3rd “Super Singer Showcase”.
“Actually, it’s not an original idea. I used Bob Egan’s idea from Odette’s. It’s quite successful and a lot of fun!”
Bob opened the Cabaret at Odette's back in 1987 hosting a variety type cabaret show with six to eight performers each night. Dawn thought this was a great idea!

The music, the mood, the menu- all incredible!

“I'm so glad we had this time together 
Just to have a laugh or sing a song 
Seems we just got started and before you know it 
Comes the time we have to say, 'So long’.”

Recommend a "spotlight": e-mail