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Exclusive Photos: Ambrosia Plans Expansion Into Adjoining Townhome
Ambrosia, the much-loved neighborhood restaurant, is expanding into an adjoining townhome.
The expansion will make it easier to get a table at this neighborhood hot-spot, which has been tight on space for years. “Every day is booked,” said co-owner Fredi Loka. “Even Mondays are always fully booked.”
With the extension, Ambrosia will add capacity for 40 more diners, adding to the current capacity of 45 inside and 30 in their sought-after outdoor booths.
The new extension will feature a first-floor indoor dining area, complemented by alfresco tables set amidst a backyard garden. Folding walls will connect the entrance to the garden, providing an uninterrupted flow throughout the space. Ambrosia worked with local architect Carl Massara to realize the design.
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It will also relieve pressure for diners in another way: “Right now we only have one bathroom, and it’s a problem,” Loka said. The extension will offer three additional bathrooms.
Aside from the dining space on the first floor, the extension will house an expanded kitchen in its basement, and Ambrosia offices upstairs.
In the future, the upstairs will also become a private banquet space. “We have a lot of requests for holiday parties,” Loka said. “And so many times, we can’t [accommodate them]. We’re going to have a room for Christmas parties, engagements.”
Patrons routinely ask to book a space for 30 people for 3-hour blocks. “We cannot give them that. But once we have the extension, we can,” Loka said.
Most of the heavy construction is done. “Now we’re doing the interior plumbing and electrical,” Loka noted. The extension was supposed to open in December 2023, though the Ambrosia owners are now eyeing an early 2024 opening.
Loka never considered moving to a ready-built bigger space in a different location. “I’m very happy with where I am. I like this neighborhood. I like that it’s really quiet. It’s peaceful. I like the neighbors.”
Loka has long been enchanted by Fitler Square. Upon relocating from his native Albania to Philadelphia in 2011, he reminisced, "I would frequently jog by the river here. This neighborhood has always captivated me."
In 2017, Loka and his business partner, George Profi, took over the space that had previously been occupied by the restaurant Sandy’s. They dedicated two intensive years to renovations, finally opening Ambrosia in 2019.
As Ambrosia gears up for its next phase, the early 2024 debut might just mean fewer waits and more available seats at this neighborhood favorite.