Here’s what’s happening at the Lehigh Valley and beyond.
Il Gaetano Restaurante held a ribbon cutting Friday at 665 Columbus Ave., Phillipsburg, location. The restaurant is under new administration and has a new menu including salads ($7 to $9), pasta ($15 to $23) and a range of appetizers, chicken, veal and fish dishes from $15 to $25.
Easton has a new gym: home fitness at 444 Cedarville Road in Williams. The gym offers personal training, semi-personal training, golf training, boot camp, performance training and nutrition training.
Trading Post Depot at 401 Northampton Street, Easton, the grand opening took place on Thursday. The rustic furniture shop makes custom dining tables, work tables, conference centers and more.
“The tables are really becoming a talking point,” the store’s website says. “This is both a work of art and really functional furniture.”
Each table is handcrafted from Pennsylvania wood.
The network so coveted by many Lehigh Valley residents is yet to arrive in the region. I.e Trader Joe, California grocery brand that sells gourmet, vegetarian and organic products, as well as fancy imported goods. Some places sell alcohol, including Charles Shaw, the so-called “Two-Buck Chuck” wine. The Two-Buck Chuck costs $3.99 at Trader Joe’s near Princeton, New Jersey, but originally cost $1.99 when introduced in California 20 years ago.
The chain has no plans to open a local store at this time: “Unfortunately, the new Lehigh Valley store is not on our list,” the company said in a statement.
Pub Keystone in Bethlehem, at 3259 Easton Avenue, has reopened after a lengthy and costly renovation. The 216-year-old building has a new bar, more TVs and a new layout.
Carbon County tastes Brazil Wye Brazilian BBQ at 315 Lehigh Ave. in Palmerton. UAI offers “rodizio” or “all you can eat” style meals for $39.99 ($19.99 for kids ages 7 to 10) with Picanija meat offerings, ribeye, New York Strip, pork, chicken and sausage, which are brought to the table and cut.
There’s a $17.99 buffet with black beans on rice, cabbage, plantain, bacon, carrots, eggs, chicken salad, potato salad, tomatoes, and lettuce, as well as a few Brazilian offerings. At the buffet, meat can be bought for a pound and divided. Brazilian-style sandwiches and burgers are available for $8 to $13.
Owners Meirian Pessoa and husband Solini from Whitehall have no restaurant experience, but they do have Brazilian experience. They chose “wai” for the name because in Portuguese (the language of Brazil), “wai” is an exclamation, something like “wow” in English.
Uai Brasil is located on the site of the former Papa Al Pizzeria, which moved to 346 Delaware Ave.
Common dollar wants to increase its presence in Schuylkill County. The discount store chain wants to open a store at 201 Pottsville Street in Port Carbon, near the Mechanicsville border. The developer wants to waive the parking requirement by asking for 34 spaces instead of the required 45. A zoning hearing will take place June 1 at 6:00 pm at the Schuylkill County Courthouse to consider the request.
Another former Bethlehem Steel Corp. the property is getting a new use, but it’s across the country. HR, the company formerly known as Restoration Hardware took old Steel offices overlooking the San Francisco Bay and turned them into a restaurant with two wine bars and a home furnishings showroom.
Former Steel property has been reused locally for SteelStacks warehouse, industry and entertainment center, and in Baltimore as a huge logistics center. In Bethlehem, the site of the former Martin Tower will be converted into a retail, residential and office complex.
shift4, A Lehigh County-based financial technology company is taking over payment processing at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Shift4 will process online payments and in-person payments in the home of the 76ers and Flyers. More than 250 events are held at the arena every year. The event level space will be called Shift4 Club. Shift4, founded in 1994 by Jared Isaacman, is based in Hanover Township, Lehigh County and processes over 3.5 billion transactions annually.
In Reading, a Christian school has received zoning permission to open in the former St. Mark’s Evangelical and Reformed Church at 211 W. Greenwich Street. Arrow Christian Academy plans to open in August about 20 disciples from Kindergarten through fifth grade from Mennonite churches. The school’s goal is to expand to grades K-12 with a maximum enrollment of 100 students. If enrollment exceeds 50, the Shooters will have to return to the city to test the impact of growth on the area.
Brothers who just make gutters not a new venture, but they are opening in Allentown at 1302 N. 18th St. The Brothers and Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold a grand opening on Friday, June 3 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, with a ribbon-cut at 3:30 pm. You can register on the website of the Chamber. The business – the name says it all – will have music and a food truck at the grand opening.
Academy of St. John Chrysostom, The Orthodox school, which teaches grades 1-9 starting this fall, held a grand opening on its campus of the St. Francis Center in Bethlehem on Wednesday. The school intends to add a class annually until it serves high school students. “Students will be immersed in a culture that places love of learning and love of God at the center of all academic pursuits,” the school said in a statement. Saint John Chrysostom was an early church father who served as archbishop of Constantinople. He died in 407.
The digital financial world is moving forward and traditional branches are closing. Tea Wells Fargo bank branch at 541 Main St. in Slatington is due to close in August. 3. The nearest branch is in Sneaksville, about five miles from here. Meanwhile, the Wells Fargo branch at 541 Pierce St. in Kingston, Lucerne County closed earlier this month. The representative of the bank said that the network of branches is constantly evaluated in terms of customer needs.
The global economy has largely moved towards RFID Visinex, manufacturer of RFID tags in the town of East Allen. Assa Abloy AB of Sweden acquired a Northampton County company for an undisclosed price. Visinex products can be used to track medical equipment, drilling parts, weapons, and just about any other physical product. RFID tags are used for security and supply chain monitoring. Vizinek will be merged with Assa Abloy’s HID Global division.
Easton Commons, a mall founded by Giant Foods at 2920 Easton Ave., Bethlehem Township has been given a new name: Shops in Bethlehem. Many buyers were unaware of the old name, and Easton is about seven miles to the east. The new name reflects the location in the township and across the street from the city of Bethlehem.
“We felt the name of the mall should be more representative of the community it serves,” Sarah Finney Miller, vice president of NAI Summit, said of the change. NAI Summit handles rentals at The Shops at Bethlehem. Other tenants include MAXX Fitness, Dairy Queen and Vic’s Bagels.
About 274 apartments are being added on two lots adjacent to The Shops, with more housing planned east on Farmersville Road in the township and north along Linden Street in Bethlehem.
Decor Home Furniture, a chain of stores in the town of Whitehall hints on its Facebook page that it will take place in the Palmer Park shopping center. In a social media post from Easton, a furniture retailer shows a vacant spot in the mall where Bon-Ton used to be.
Old Textile factory Montex from South Sixth Street in Allentown could become a new apartment building. The city council has approved a zoning change that will allow residential development, in this case 144 apartments in four three-story buildings. The final plan has not been presented and agreement is still needed at several levels. Some residents oppose the proposal to build apartment buildings next door to predominantly single-family homes.