Thanks to a reader for pointing out that I failed to update you as to the status of the Ambler tax increase, shame on me! Well, if you haven’t already heard elsewhere, the 2011, 13% tax increase was approved at the council meeting on December 21,2010. Thanks for keeping me on my toes 🙂
I snapped this photo at The Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop a few weeks ago. There are so many reasons why I love this place; the amazing cheese selection, a fantastic melange of other seemingly “essential” items, the staff who is patient and helpful, the music (on my last visit “Machine Gun” from Band of Gypsys, one of my all time favorite albums, was playing) and last but not least, this sign.
If you are familiar with Sweet Bytes Internet Cafe then you may be wondering what this Grand Re-Opening is all about. Yes, Sweet Bytes has been consistently pumping out delicious home cooked, comfort cuisine for several years now, but recently owners, Donna Mitchell and Lorraine Cuffey, have decided to take a new path. Their new venture, which officially kicks off February 1st, is Sweet Bytes Internet Cafe & Bakery. Yes, you heard me right, BAKERY! This is very exciting news as Ambler has been without a bakery for going on twenty years now. Locals undoubtedly remember Geotner’s Bakery on Butler Avenue, it was a sad day when they closed their doors. I’ve heard it said that a bakery is the heart of a small town, so it looks like we’re getting our heart back!
The initial focus will be on French and Italian pastries, cinnamon buns, cobblers, pies and Sweet Bytes’ signature cookies and cupcakes, all of which will be baked on premises. After measuring the response they will most likely add bagels, donuts and the like to the existing selection. During this transition Sweet Bytes will phase out dinner service and change their hours accordingly, they will still serve breakfast and lunch. For those of you who are in a panic right now, rest assured, Lorraine will still have her famous mac & cheese available. Sweet Bytes will be open Tuesday – Friday, 7am – 3pm, and serve an abridged hot breakfast, full lunch and a full line of baked goods. Saturday and Sunday they will serve their full breakfast menu, an abridged lunch and of course, all baked goods as well, 10am – 2pm.
As I mentioned, the new bakery officially opens February 1st, but do not miss the Grand Re-Opening on Saturday January 22, 9am – 2pm. This is your chance to taste the new baked treats for FREE! If you can’t make it to the grand re-opening be sure to stop in to Sweet Bytes soon; it is a quaint cafe with feel good food where you instantly feel right at home, Donna and Lorraine make sure of that!
28 N Main Street, Ambler
It’s a new year and a good time to announce my new site! For the past few years I have had a website, the standard, run of the mill, boring, virtual business card kind of site, and a blog.
What are your plans to ring in the new year on Friday? Sure there are tons of parties in the city, and fireworks, but who wants to drive into the city on a night such as this and overpay by two to three times what you would spend any other night of the year? Not me, that’s for sure!
It’s a great time to take advantage of our own hometown and celebrate New Year’s Eve in Ambler. Ok, we can’t compete with the fireworks, but some of the local restaurants are giving city hot spots a run for their money! Here’s the lowdown on what Ambler has to offer this year.
Dettera Restaurant and Wine Bar is offering a New Year’s Eve 4 Course Prix Fixe Menu featuring chef Jeffery Power’s specialties and holiday creations. The cost is $50/person, plus an additional $15 wine flight pairing from 5:00 – 6:00pm, from 6:00 – 10:00 the cost of dinner is $60 and the accompanying wine flight is $20 (tax and gratuity are not included). After dinner there will be a DJ, dancing and a complimentary midnight champagne toast.
Trax Restaurant & Cafe is also featuring a 4 Course Prix Fixe Menu with an impressive assortment of delicious selections. If you have not been (shame on you!) Trax is a BYOB so you have the added benefit of not only drinking a wine of your choosing, but saving the hefty markup. The first seating is 4:30 – 6:30 pm at a cost of $50/person, followed by the second and final seating of the evening for $60/person.
Shanachie Irish Pub & Restaurant will be kicking off the new year with a special menu, music by The McKendry Brothers, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight. For those of you that want to avoid the crowds they are serving an early bird dinner at 4:00 pm.
Bridget’s Steakhouse is going low profile this year, which is a refreshing change for many. They will have a special menu featuring goodies that aren’t typically found on their standard menu, the usual good tunage and will be ringing in the new year old school by watching the ball drop and celebrating with a complimentary midnight champagne toast.
Happy New Year!
Ambler’s Holiday Window Display Contest has come to an end; the winners were announced this past week and I must say, I’m a little surprised. Not to take anything away from the winners but it seems to me that the businesses who had the most ornate and festive displays were not among the top three. Oh well, I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Without any further ado, the winners are…
1st place- Pure Spa
2nd place- Jo Jo’s Java Joint
3rd place- Shear Supreme Hair Salon
Pure Care Medical
The winner will be announced tonight at borough hall. Who do you think should win?
Ambler Skate Shop went all out! I suspect Christian made this himself 🙂
Many of us are suffering in this dismal economy and the borough of Ambler is no exception. The borough is faced with considerably lower than expected revenue from 2010. The two biggest contributing factors are the lack of revenue from earned income tax as well as real estate transfer tax. You don’t need to be an economist to understand why these factors hit the borough so hard this year; the high percentage of unemployment contributed to the lack of income tax and the depressed real estate market has meant fewer sales, hence less revenue from transfer tax.
This shortfall must be made up somewhere, so Ambler Borough Council has proposed two options to help balance the 2011 budget. The first plan is to implement a new business privilege tax. The business tax has already been approved by Borough Council at the December 7th committee meeting. The new tax will impose a flat fee of $240 per year on every business within the borough, including owners of investment properties (rentals). This tax is required to be paid in full no later than the end of March 2011.
Although the business tax will help to cover the deficit, additional revenue is still needed. The second proposal is to raise property taxes by 13.72%. On the surface this sounds like an enormous increase but it actually translates to about $76 per $100,000 of assessed value. Don’t get me wrong, I know every bit counts, perhaps now more than ever, but it looks much better when you put it into perspective. This tax increase has not yet been approved, Council meets to vote on this proposal December 21st prior to the regular council meeting, I’ll keep you posted.