Ramble & Spring Fling Restaurant to spotlight restaurants in downtown New Kensington
New Kensington is heading into spring with a whole new adventure.
Tickets are on sale until Sunday for the first Restaurant Ramble & Spring Flingscheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 26.
It will spotlight nearly a dozen restaurants on Fourth and Fifth Avenues in downtown New Kensington.
Retail stores will also be open and an art exhibit featuring Veronica Manzanilla of Kittanning will be on display at New Kensington Arts Center.
Tasting tickets are $30 and will not be sold on the day of the event. They are available online and at Voodoo Brewery, 956 Fifth Ave.
Only ticket holders will have access to special food and drink pairings that will be available at each participating restaurant, which have been divided into starters, main courses and desserts.
Taqueria El Pastorcito, an upcoming new Mexican restaurant on Fourth Avenue, was supposed to be one of the participating restaurants but won’t be ready in time, said Michelle Thom, chief operating officer of Voodoo Brewery. To make up for his absence, Thom said Voodoo will offer two offerings, a Beef Wellington puff pastry and a Panetta goat cheese crustini, both of which will come with a beer.
The event is a collaborative effort, Thom said.
“We wanted to focus on helping restaurants. Winter is notoriously tough on restaurants,” Thom said. “We had to come up with a unique idea to knock people off. There are many unique restaurants in New Kensington.
New Kensington has Sweet Alchemy, one of Westmoreland County’s only all-vegan bakeries, and Sweet Tillies, which only sells baklava, said Jamie Parker, owner of Sweet Alchemy. Many businesses are owned by women and people of color, she said.
“We’re always trying to revitalize the city and change the image,” Parker said. “You can literally spend the day here with all the different options we have. We have some very good niche businesses here.
Attendees will start at Voodoo Brewery, where wristbands and cards will be provided, Thom said. The map will include retail stores that will be open that day and may offer special offers for the event.
Where hikers go from there is up to them. Doug Pinto, owner of Steel Cup Coffee Roasters, thinks people will start or end their visit with the coffee he offers that day.
Pinto moved his coffee roasting business from Penn Hills to New Kensington in 2021, opening in late April. The move gave him more space and he opened a retail store.
“We are quite excited. We love that New Kensington is very community driven,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of support since we moved here. Fridays on Fifth was a great success. Lots of people in the neighborhood go out for these things. The other interesting thing is that it also generates outside interest. It’s been really good for New Ken.
Fridays the fifthan event featuring food trucks parked along Fifth Avenue, started last year and will resume this year on April 22.
Ashley Bodycombe is about a month away from the first anniversary of opening her restaurant, Ashley’s Kitchen, which specializes in stuffed breads, salads and soups. For the event, she will be providing a mini bun accompanied by a spritzer of spiked lemonade for adults and a flavored lemonade for those under 21.
“I’m excited for this. I think that’s such a cool idea,” she said. “People have talked about it, it’s great. They seem excited to try the new things that are opening up here.
“We’re all small businesses, word of mouth,” she said. “Hopefully we can all get more exposure and more customers will come back.”
Thom said they hope to make it an annual event.
“Get a ticket and come hungry,” she said.