No Holiday Cheer At The Philadelphia Gallery

MOHAMMAD HOSSAIN has sold jewelry from his Gold Center kiosk in the Gallery mall on East Market Street for 10 years, and yesterday he wore a weary expression.

Despite the holiday season, Hossain and other merchants weren’t feeling cheerful. PREIT, the owner of the Gallery, has told them to vacate by either Dec. 31 or Jan. 31.

PREIT has plans to redevelop the Gallery, which means the stores and kiosks will be moved out for at least a year.

George Thomas, who has operated a jewelry kiosk there for 20 years, said merchants are angry.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20141214_No_holiday_cheer_at_the_Gallery.html#4y8Ur2uzxQh6rLqw.99

Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem 2014 Re-Opens Thursday, 12/4 At 11am

Recognized by Travel+Leisure Magazine as one of the top holiday markets in the U.S., Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem showcases aisles of exquisite handmade works by the nation’s finest artisans, the heart-warming sounds of live Christmas music, delicious food and more.

Become an ArtsQuest member today and you’ll not only receive FREE admission to Christkindlmarkt but also an ArtsQuest gift card good for purchases at the ArtsQuest Center and the Stacks Shop at Christkindlmarkt!

Contact Samantha Kulp at 610-332-1365 for more information or visit http://www.christmascity.org/

Peach Bottom Outage: Influx Of Workers Creates Economic Opportunity

Every year when Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station shuts down one of its reactors for maintenance, several thousand workers flock to Peach Bottom Township in south York County.

The workers pour money into local businesses, but there aren’t nearly enough hotel rooms.

Peach Bottom Township’s one hotel, the Peach Bottom Inn & Restaurant, stays booked, but thousands more outage workers drive to hotels in Aberdeen or Bel Air in Maryland.

Meanwhile, some area businesses and residents have tapped into the need for lodging by renting campsites and rooms.

Some say the region could do more to capitalize on the workers’ need for lodging and other needs. But with little else driving people to the region, others say that south York county is already doing all it can.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_27028610/peach-bottom-outage-influx-workers-creates-economic-opportunity

Boscov ‘Donates’ $700,000 To Scranton To Make Good On Mall Loan

Al Boscov gave Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright a check today for $715,173, to make good on a loan the city had given years ago to The Mall at Steamtown that went unpaid.

Calling the check a “donation” from Boscov’s Department Stores to the city, Mr. Boscov said he felt obligated to pay the loan back even though neither he nor his company is legally on the hook to do so.

The donation check is intended to replace a $612,480 loan that the city gave to the former mall owner in 2001 from federal funds that the city receives, as well as $102,693 in interest.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/boscov-donates-700-000-to-scranton-to-make-good-on-mall-loan-1.1795802

Easton Business Owners Excited About Parking, Patrons From Intermodal Center

The photographer was snapping, the baby was smiling and the mother was beaming. Everything was running smoothly at Time Photo Studios in Easton’s Centre Square until the mother brought the shoot to an abrupt halt.

“She had to run down to Second Street to feed the meter,” said studio co-owner Tara Hawthorne.

Customers won’t have to worry so much about parking when the new intermodal center opens at 123 S. Third St. The 350-space parking deck is blocks away from businesses like Hawthorne’s, and the business community says its customers and employees will appreciate new parking options.

“People can go Downtown and not worry about getting a parking ticket,” agreed Pasquale Crisci, owner of Antonio’s Pizzeria across South Third Street from the new intermodal center.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2014/12/easton_business_owners_excited.html

Pittsburgh Restaurant Scene: Fast Food 2.0 Sizzling As New Restaurants Open

Look to this month’s openings for restaurants that are killing it in Pittsburgh. Last week, Burgatory opened its sixth location in Murrysville, the day after BRGR opened its fourth location in the Galleria of Mt. Lebanon. Earlier this month, Big Burrito opened the 13th Mad Mex in Erie. And in mid-December, the third location of Hello Bistro from parent company Eat’n Park will open Downtown.

These local restaurants are taking a page from national chains, borrowing from systems that streamline staff and menus, leading to higher profits than a traditional restaurant without the base ingredients of fast-food conglomerates. They also take measures to personalize experiences, blurring the line between fast food and full-service, offering satisfying meals and an inexpensive night out. And they’re doing better than ever.

Welcome to fast food 2.0, or maybe it’s 4.0, as the genre has been reinventing itself sinceMerriam-Webster added the definition in 1951. The trend here mirrors what’s happening around the country. Although the new breed doesn’t look like Wendy’s or taste like McDonald’s, it’s bringing fast food back in a big way. For years, the fast-food industry has received criticism for disconnecting people from community and culture as well as playing a role in the obesity epidemic. But the updated fast-food market is on a mission to revamp its image from villain to hero.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/life/dining/2014/11/27/Restaurant-Scene-Fast-food-2-0-sizzling-as-new-restaurants-open-here/stories/201411270057

Youngwood Gets 1st Full-Size Grocery In Nearly 20 Years

Editor’s note:  Glad to hear the residents of this Westmoreland County community have a proper grocery store.

The opening of Youngwood’s Shop ‘n Save — the first full-sized grocery in the borough in nearly 20 years — will occur next month.

“We’re planning on opening on Dec. 11,” said Jamie Fincke, vice president for Jamieson Family Markets. “We’ll have all the bells and whistles that Shop ‘n Save has and sale items.”

Jamieson Family Markets owns the store and 70,000-square-foot plaza in which the grocery is situated along South Third Street.

Beer Warehouse, also scheduled to open Dec. 11, an auto parts store and several smaller retailers are in the plaza.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourhempfield/yourhempfieldmore/7231867-74/grocery-store-jamieson#ixzz3KNiaa8uB
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Social Still In Bethlehem Set To Open As The Lehigh Valley’s First Distillery Next Month

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adam Flatt’s mother, Elaine Pivinski, opened the Lehigh Valley’s first winery in 1981.

Flatt is now on target to open the region’s first distillery next month.

Flatt, who co-owns Franklin Hill Vineyards in Lower Mount Bethel Township with his mother, is just weeks away from opening Social Still distillery in Bethlehem.

“It’s cool we have that pioneering tradition continuing,” he said.

Social Still is on target to have a soft opening the first week of December, Flatt said last week during a tour of the new operation. Work on the building is about 80 percent complete and the company is planning its first batch of vodka and gin later this week, Flatt said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/11/social_still_in_bethlehem_set.html

Der Belsnickel Craft Show In Boyertown, Coming Soon

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 2014 Show will be held
November 28 and 29, 2014
at the Boyertown Senior High School
The hours are:
11:00 AM-6:00 PM (Friday)
10:00 AM-4:00 PM (Saturday)
$5.00 Admission
No charge for children 12
and under.

 

Belsnickel website: http://www.boyertownhistory.org/craftshow.html

Casino Also-Rans Leave Big Question Marks In City’s Landscape

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News Building ...

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News Building in Philadelphia, PA. Taken from North Broad and Callowhill Streets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Held hostage for a year by hope that they might snag a casino license, two pieces of prime central Philadelphia real estate lost that gamble this week – but may yet cash in, as all eyes await Plan B for both locations in a hot downtown market.

Developers who had proposed casinos at Eighth and Market Streets and the former Inquirer Building at Broad and Callowhill Streets said they had no alternate plans after learning Tuesday that the city’s second gaming license would instead go to a site near the sports arenas in South Philadelphia.

But with new apartment and retail development deals being inked virtually every week in and around Center City without public subsidy, it should not be long before new plans are hatched for both, as long as property owners agree to quick action, officials and market watchers said.

One top city official said market conditions were so favorable to development that the Nutter administration would have little patience if movement were not swift at one of the locations, which has remained inert for two decades as repeated plans have fizzled: the open-air lot at Eighth and Market owned by Ken Goldenberg and other investors.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20141122_Casino_also-rans_leave_big_question_marks_in_city_s_landscape.html#FiqqgVTmwOSW0RAU.99

Update: Philadelphia Area Restaurant Openings

To update the crop of projected restaurant openings over the next eight weeks or so:

Mere hours old is The Crazy Sofa, a sushi/small plater, next to the Regal theater in Newtown Square (the former Roux 3).

Any day now, Collingswood will see the debut of Local Market and Cafe (714 Haddon Ave.), which will sell foods to go or eat-in and will have a coffee bar, deli, butcher, bakery and grocery sections.

Friday, Nov. 21 is day one for Latin Flavor, a Caribbean cafeteria at 627 South St.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/Update-Restaurant-openings.html#kJeUoftlBK7KtdFG.99

Light Up Night, Games, Shows, Concert To Attract 400,000 To Downtown Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington

Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership expects more than 400,000 people to jam Downtown on Friday night as Light Up Night coincides with a Penguins game, WPIAL championships at Heinz Field and a crowded Petersen Events Center in Oakland likely triggering traffic headaches and a parking shortage.

The Andy Warhol Bridge will close at 9 a.m.; the Roberto Clemente Bridge will close at 10 a.m., both remaining closed until midnight. A host of roads Downtown will close in the afternoon.

“With Light Up Night, we encourage people to use public transportation. People can look at parking on the North Shore and taking T,” said Leigh White, vice president of marketing and communications for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

“There’s a lot of different, good options like parking at Station Square. People can come in early and have dinner, and it’s a great day to take in other things around town.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/moreaande/7174806-74/downtown-pittsburgh-garage#ixzz3JdGYCXfM
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Pittsburgh Police Beef Up Presence On Streets For City’s Light Up Night

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A wave of gun violence around the city and the possibility of unrest here stemming from events in Ferguson, Mo., have Pittsburgh police ramping up staffing and training in time for Light Up Night on Friday, when hundreds of thousands of people will converge on Downtown.

Pittsburgh police acting Chief Cameron McLay said Wednesday he plans to put patrol officers on 12-hour shifts to handle whatever arises in the next two weeks. He noted the recent escalation in deadly shootings in city neighborhoods and the impending announcement of whether a police officer will be indicted in the shooting death of an unarmed black man in Missouri.

“Quite frankly, it’s an opportunity to get my officers out and more engaged with the public,” McLay said at a news conference at police headquarters in the North Side. “To me, there are no wasted resources when I’m calling extra bodies in early. If everything is going well, it’s a great chance for my officers to celebrate with the community.”

Brandi Fisher, president of the Alliance for Police Accountability, said she spoke with McLay by phone Wednesday about the potential for a local response to a grand jury decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7191470-74/police-mclay-officers#ixzz3JdF4ZS6G
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Downtown Bethlehem Association Creates App For One-Stop-Shopping For Restaurants, Stores And Parking

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Downtown Bethlehem? There’s an app for that.

The Downtown Bethlehem Association on Wednesday debuted its new app that puts information about local attractions, restaurants, stores, hotels, parking and events all in one place.

“It’s a way for allow people to find things in Bethlehem all in one place – on their smartphone,” said DBA President Neville Gardner, who owns Donegal Square and McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar at Main and West Walnut streets. “Bethlehem may be a historic town, but we’re definitely in the next millennium.”

The association has been working to develop the app for more than two years, Gardner said. Smartphones are increasingly being used in making plans, officials noted.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/11/downtown_bethlehem_association_2.html

PhillyDeals: Expansion Planned At King Of Prussia Plaza And Court

King of Prussia Mall

King of Prussia Mall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Simon Property Group, the Indianapolis-based retail giant that owns 200-plus shopping malls nationwide, is sacrificing more than 400 parking spaces at its King of Prussia Plaza and Court to make room for at least 50 new stores and restaurants that it hopes will draw more wealthy shoppers to the region’s biggest retail complex.

At extra-large shopping centers such as King of Prussia, at least, “the mall business is good, contrary to some of the naysayers,” David Contis, president of Simon Malls and a corporate senior vice president, told me Monday.

His company bought out other investors to take control of the King of Prussia mall in 2011, in deals that valued the complex at over $1 billion.

Contis said he expected to attract luxury stores from outside the region and “the best of the Philadelphia eateries” to the new space, rather than shifting current tenants there.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20141118_PhillyDeals__Expansion_planned_at_King_Of_Prussia_Plaza_and_Court.html#4mWT6geTQWCWiwR1.99

Center City Allentown High-End Apartments Renting Far Faster Than Expected, Developer Says

English: View of Allentown City from east side

English: View of Allentown City from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Developer J.B. Reilly has been building apartments for 25 years, but he’s never seen demand like he’s seeing now for his high-end apartments in Center City Allentown.

His company, City Center Lehigh Valley, announced Sept. 8 it was accepting deposits for 170 apartments in the under-construction Strata Luxury Flats at Four City Center. Two months later, almost half have deposits on them.

“I’ve been in the apartment development business my whole career and we’ve never experienced this kind of demand – even close to this kind of demand,” Reilly said Friday.

The interest in the apartments is tied to the new attention on Allentown’s downtown, Reilly said. In recent months, new restaurants, office space and a minor league hockey arena have opened, with Reilly leading much of the development.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/11/center_city_allentown_high-end.html

Gangster Vegan Organics In Jeffersonville Aims To Change Lives With Raw, Organic Food

Location of West Norriton Township in Montgome...

Location of West Norriton Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST NORRITON TOWNSHIP, PA – Gangster vegan?

Like “jumbo shrimp”, the two words are contradictory and seemingly incompatible,

After all, vegans are peace-loving, sandal-wearing hippie types, and gangsters are hoodlums who are prone to violence, so the two breeds have no business ever hooking up in any sensible world.

Welcome to Vince DePaul’s world.

The Norristown native admitted he set out to bedevil the traditional vegan stereotype by naming his specialty raw food market in Jeffersonville Gangster Vegan Organics. But playing around with incongruities is only a small part of DePaul’s story.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20141117/gangster-vegan-organics-in-jeffersonville-aims-to-change-lives-with-raw-organic-food