“Renovated with respect for history and vision for the future.”
Blue Bell Inn has a rich history of welcoming guests since 1743. One of the original patrons was George Washington himself. The Inn was marked as the “White Horse Inn” on military maps that led his troops to the historic Battle of Germantown. The room Washington slept in was later used to display military memorabilia from the Revolutionary War. In 1796, the Inn’s name was changed to “Blue Bell Inn” when a distinctive bell was hung outside the building so all would be able to recognize the famous Inn. In 1840, the surrounding area once known as Pigeontown, was renamed Blue Bell because the Inn had become so renowned. The original bell is still prominently displayed.
In April 2013, after changing ownership, Blue Bell Inn closed its doors and underwent extensive renovation and redesign for over a year. In an effort to preserve historical significance, various aspects of the Inn were kept intact and enhanced through thoughtful restoration. An exposed rock wall from the original 18th century edifice was refurbished and is a focal point in the main dining room. Antique glass and old-fashioned bottles reclaimed during construction were repurposed into striking pieces of art throughout the restaurant. A more spacious floor plan was developed and quintessential indoor-outdoor spaces now encourage seasonal dining. New materials such as Italian porcelain tile, black marble and solid white oak were introduced to create a unique rustic-meets-modern ambiance. Today, Blue Bell Inn serves as a stunning architechtural mélange spanning three centuries.
Scott Dougherty began his career as a busser at the historic Blue Bell Inn in 1990. He quickly worked his way up to become its Maître d and Manager by 1992 and spent the following nine years working at Blue Bell Inn and with the Lamprecht family. In August 2004, Scott joined forces with Kevin Clib, signing on to assist in the planning and opening of Bridget’s Modern Steakhouse in Ambler. As General Manager, Scott guided the front of the house while Kevin oversaw the kitchen and his group of talented chefs. Bridget’s opening received rave reviews. In 2008, Scott was promoted to M2K Restaurant Group’s Director of Operations and he began to oversee KC’s Alley as well as Bridget’s. Scott purchased half of M2K Restaurant Group in 2011 and continues his strong partnership with Kevin Clib. Poetically returning to the place where his career began, Scott eagerly anticipates the community’s new experience at Blue Bell Inn.
Kevin is responsible for establishing two of Ambler’s most popular restaurants: KC’s Alley and Bridget’s Modern Steakhouse. “I’ve known since I was twelve or thirteen that my destiny is to make people happy through food,” says the entrepreneur and restaurateur. Kevin opened the tavern in 1999 and the upscale steakhouse in 2004. In doing so, he revitalized a prominent block of buildings on West Butler Pike. When presented with the opportunity to reinvest in the future of the Blue Bell Inn, Kevin was certain that it was meant to be his next exciting challenge.
Leah Kaithern Patterson
Although originally from the wilds of rural South Jersey, Leah Patterson’s restaurant history has been a tale of two culinary cities. After completing a degree at the Culinary Institute of America in Poughkeepsie, New York, Leah began her career in the kitchen at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. She soon moved on to front-of-the-house roles for critically acclaimed restaurateurs Marc Vetri, Chip Roman, and Stephen Starr. Love and ambition took her to New York City. There, Leah helped launch Lincoln with Jonathan Benno and landed a role at Anita Lo’s Annisa. She also worked with the Starr Organization to manage Caffé Storico, Buddakan NY and commuted to Washington D.C. to unveil their new Le Diplomate. During her time in New York City Leah was named one of Zagat’s Top 30 Under 30. Upon returning to Philadelphia, Leah resumed her work with Chip Roman as Director of Operations, helping expand and brand the Roman Restaurant Group. Leah’s work included significant infrastructure updates, the launch of a corporate catering program, and opening two additional properties. Leah and her husband John Patterson (chef de cuisine at Fork Restaurant) live in Old City, Philadelphia. They enjoy Flyers games, cheese steaks and chasing champagne and foie gras around the city of Brotherly Love.