Throwback Thursday | The Ambler Cabaret + Exclusive and New Merch

Relive the glory days of the Ambler Cabaret with new merch available now in our store! We have added a tumbler, cutting board and have exclusive retro Ambler Cabaret tees.  Use promo code “Last Call” and receive 10% of your order through Sunday at 11:59pm EST.

It’s pretty safe to assume that most of us either have significant memories of going to the Ambler Cabaret to listen to our favorite bands , or have heard the stories about the great Ambler venue that hosted many local legends.

From 1980-1994, Steve Mountain owned and operated Cabaret,  a chain of nightclubs, one of which was the Ambler Cabaret located at 57 East Butler Avenue. Together, the legendary nightclubs hosted over 500 national acts per year, as well as several local bands. Some of the most recognized names in the industry like Buddy Guy, The Band, The Ramones, The Pretenders and The Red Hot Chili Peppers played the Chestnut Cabaret and 23 East (AKA the Ardmore Music Hall) – and local favorites like Beru Review, The Hooters, Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers, Robert Hazard and many more who mostly got their start playing at the Ambler Cabaret. had a chance to talk to Steve Mountain about the Ambler Cabaret and he shared :

Ambler Cabaret was a good incubator for up-and-coming and new local bands like: Johnny’s Dance Band, Beru Review and The Hooters to play before they moved onto bigger venues.  We would also find unknown talent like Junior Medlow from Texas, for example, and if we were unsure how they would do, we booked them at the Ambler Cabaret, see how they did, and if the band was spectacular, would move them onto 23 East or Chestnut Cabaret, where there were better acoustics and a bigger stage.  Ambler wasn’t a great room…the ceilings were too low and it had poor acoustics, but was a great testing ground for many unknown bands… but Ambler was good to us, it was a great community and an easy place to do business.


Beru Review seemed to always be on the calendar, and had a strong and loyal local following.  They earned their local fame by playing the club circuit in the 1980s.  Bob “Beru” McCafferty – lead vocals- is shown below on the Ambler stage.


Photo: Beru Review Ambler Cabaret February 7, 1986


During the 1980s, The Hooters played the Philadelphia club scene with their distinctive mix of rock & roll and reggae that defined their sound.  They played high schools at first and quickly moved onto the Cabaret circuit, also starting in Ambler, and then to bigger city venues. They soon became a huge success along their native East Coast and while appearing on local television shows and radio stations like WMMR, quickly made a name for themselves nationally throughout the decade.


Photo: Eric Bazilian and Tommy Conwell 





Photo: Tommy Conwell on the side bar at the Ambler Cabaret



Another local favorite, Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers often played at the Ambler Cabaret…we found this classic video ( below) on YouTube of one of their shows from September 5, 1986.

Ambler Cabaret tee shirts + more are exclusively available at the Store  as part of our Throwback Collection.