Ashley’s Kitchen brings stuffed bread to New Kensington

About Ashley’s kitchen
Address: 400 Ninth St., New Kensington
Opening: April 2021
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week

Ashley Bodycombe’s hashtag is “collect, eat, laugh”.

She hopes people from New Kensington and beyond will find something to do at her new Ashley’s Kitchen restaurant, which opens in downtown New Kensington in late April.

The new business was born at home in her kitchen.

“I like to cook. It’s my passion,” said Bodycombe, 34, from New Kensington. “I like making people happy with their bellies.”

While her menu includes homemade soups, salads, and desserts, the stars will be her filled bread, which she compared to a rolled stromboli. Packed with things like buffalo chicken, meatballs, spinach, Italian beef, and more, it doesn’t promise empty ends.

“I’m determined to give everyone in New Kensington a filled loaf,” she said.

On Ninth Street and Fourth Avenue, Ashley’s Kitchen is located at a gateway to New Kensington that leads downtown from New Kensington Bridge. The building previously housed Walt’s Deli, which was closed after a massive fire destroyed three adjacent buildings in September 2018.

“It’s amazing this place survived,” said Ashley Bodycombe.

It was one of several buildings that Mike Malcanas, President of Olde Towne Overhaul, bought. While most of the buildings Malcanas bought as part of his mission to improve downtown New Kensington are on Fifth Avenue, he said he bought this building because of its prime location in the city.

Malcanas said the building was not damaged by the fire, only soaked from fire fighting efforts.

“The only reason it survived was because they poured water over it. That’s why it was so wet, ”he said.

Malcanas said some mold remediation was needed along with drywall repairs and brick repairs.

“It was actually much better inside than most of the buildings,” he said.

While the exterior has been decorated with rusty metal barn roofs and some red accent paint to match their signage, the inside got all of the new flooring, Malcanas said. The counters on the windows are made from reclaimed barn wood.

Malcanas said he plans to have apartments on the upper floors of the building at some point.

A mural covering the Fourth Avenue side of the three-story building from sidewalk to roof is expected to be installed in April. Residents helped paint panels for the mural.

According to Tim Holler, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Pittsburgh in Greensburg and Director of the Community Arts & Reintegration Project.

The mural will be installed the week before the cleanup, provided the weather cooperates, Holler said. If the cleanup used their rainy date of April 18, the mural’s dedication would be changed for that date as well, he said.

Bodycombe and her husband Joe, also 34, have been dating since they attended Burrell high school together, where she graduated in 2004, and he did in 2005. They have three children, Nolan, 11, Brycen, 8 and Lillian, 7.

Joe Bodycombe, who is finishing wood at West Interior Services, takes care of the books, but Ashley’s Kitchen is all Ashley’s.

“It’s all her,” said Joe Bodycombe. “All of your hard work and dedication and determination.”

Ashley Bodycombe said her dream is for the business to be so successful that they can pass it on to their children.

“You see us working hard, then you will want to work hard,” she said.

The Bodycombes met Malcanas like many of his tenants in the voodoo brewery that he also owns. Through him, they take the leap of turning a home business into a business.

“It’s great what you are doing. I hope it changes everything, “said Ashley Bodycombe. “There are so many amazing things going on in all of these small businesses.”

While working in and running restaurants this will be her first business.

“I don’t know what to expect,” she said. “I’m very excited, but also very nervous.”

Ashley Bodycombe said they looked at six spots and picked the old Walt’s Deli spot. It wasn’t Joe’s top pick, but she could see it there.

“I already have a following,” she said. And where they are, plus with the huge mural: “It’s not difficult to find us.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701,, or on Twitter.

Local | Valley News Dispatch

About Ashley’s kitchen
Address: 400 Ninth St., New Kensington
Opening: April 2021
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week

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