The Kingston Alehouse: New name and family friendly

Subtle changes make a big difference to the local dining experience.

When Tony Clark and Kim Francisco-Clark bought the Main Street Alehouse, 11225 NE  Highway 104, Kingston, in December, they took the next six months to remodel, retool and restructure the building and menu, before reopening the local eatery May 6.

The changes they made aren’t always obvious to the casual viewer, but they are all designed to enhance the dining experience and reflect the couple’s attention to detail.

Take, for example, the name.

“It was called the ‘Main Street Alehouse’ before,” said Clark. “But it’s not on Main Street. And there are several Main Street Alehouses around the country. We realized people knew us as ‘the Alehouse.’ So we kept that and called it the ‘Kingston Alehouse.’”

A subtle change designed maintain continuity while signaling more attention to detail.

Equally subtle: in the dining room up front, there is now a pipe railing legally separating the bar on one side of the room from the dining area on the other. “By making this change, we can now legally serve people under 21 in the dining area,” Clark said. “This makes us more family friendly.”

In the back dining room, the five booths that used to be there are gone, replace by tables. This makes it possible to entertain larger groups, perfect for meetings and family reunions.

There is an all-new menu, too, designed by Executive Chef Andrew Bynum. “Our goal is to present an upscale menu at affordable prices, not just bar food,” Clark said.

The Alehouse will also start serving breakfast, too, starting Oct. 1.

All of this is part of the couple’s retirement plan.

Francisco-Clark has restaurant management experience. Three years ago, when they moved to Kingston, she was working in finance in Seattle and he was an IT consultant.

“We wanted to find a small restaurant-bar [to run] for our retirement years,” Clark said.

Now she ís the full-time on-site manager while he handles marketing and continues his consulting work.

Their ultimate goal?

“We want to be the place the locals come to.”