History & Vision
Kennett Cafe originally opened its doors to the Queen Village neighborhood on July 4, 1924, and served the neighborhood until in 1986. Current owners have reopened as Kennett Restaurant, which features wood-fired pizza and sustainably and locally-sourced food for vegetarians and omnivores, sixteen local craft beers on tap, twenty fine wines by the glass, local musicians on the sound system, and living wages for a family-oriented staff. The owners also hope to make Kennett the city’s first bar and restaurant to achieve certification through the Green Restaurant Association.
They look forward to being an active participant in the Queen Village community for a long time to come.
Johnny Della Polla: Managing Partner
Johnny is a Philadelphia native with a twenty-year history in family business and in opening and managing restaurants in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Hope, and Manhattan. Most recently, he could be found opening and running the tasting room at Philadelphia’s own Yards Brewery. Passionate about giving back to the neighborhood he loves and lives in with his wife and a coterie of animals, Johnny says, “Kennett is a comfortable place where your family could have a lunch on the weekend afternoon, you and your partner could have a great night out, or you and your friends can stop by after work to enjoy locally- and sustainably-oriented food and spirits…and then you cand take short walk back home.” Della Polla is determined that his restaurant will benefit his neighborhood by not only providing a nourishing gathering place, but also a place of employment where folks can earn a living wage.
Ashley Bohan: Owner
Originally from Toms River, NJ, Ashley now lives in Center City and has worked front-of-house positions for two of Stephen Starr’s most renowned bistros. She truly understands that scrumptious cuisine and a cozy ambiance alone do not guarantee that first-time customers will become regular patrons: immpeccable service is the other key ingredient. “We have an atmosphere where customers feel welcomed and cared for,” Bohan says. “The focus is on a gracious and attentive staff that will help Kennett customers to have the best possible dining experience.”
Brian Ricci: Executive Chef
Brian is also a resident of Queen Village, where he lives with his wife and son. He’s worked and trained across the country, including graduating with honors from the world-class French Culinary Institute in New York City, and mostly recently worked at Philadelphia’s Django, Supper, and Pub & Kitchen (if you missed him there, you might know him as the chef from Southwark Community Garden’s latest end-of summer potlock). He is also a talented artisan baker and specializes in seasonal cooking. “I am looking forward to creating fabulous meals using locally-grown ingredients,” says Ricci. The kitchen will serve Ricci’s inventive snacks, charcuterie, burgers made from lamb, beef, and veggies; wood-fired pizzas adorned with Ricci’s own ricotta, squash and onions or prosciutto, figs and goat cheese; and entrees of fish, fowl and roasted vegetables, all sure to satisfy just about any palette. The beverage program will focus on local craft beers, great wine, and old-fashioned cocktails.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who helped bring our vision to life; especially our family and friends, the Queen Village Neighborhood Association, David Bohan, Carrie Shingleton at ENV Interiors, Lisa Schwartz at Catalyst Marketing, Tom Kehoe and the entire Yards crew… and a very special thank you to Walt Wilby, without whose Herculean effort we would have not gotten from there to here.