When chef Kevin Sousa last year announced plans to open a fourth restaurant in Braddock, one of the Pittsburgh area’s poorest boroughs, it was big news. Not only would the high-end destination eatery in the 1929 Couda Building give Pittsburghers one more place to enjoy Mr. Sousa’s award-winning modern cuisine, but it also would bring much-needed life to a town all but left for dead.
Then reality set in.
While various grants from the county and Heritage Community Initiatives were to raise upwards of $300,000 for renovations, the dilapidated structure at the corner of Eighth and Braddock avenues would end up needing way more resources. Too many dollars, in fact, to make the ambitious project feasible. Magarac — as the restaurant was to be named after the imaginary Croatian steelmaking folk hero — was about to be history before it even got started.
Without rich investors or bankers willing to take a chance, Mr. Sousa had to change direction this fall to keep his dream alive. First up was finding a new building that would prove cheaper, quicker and easier to build out. Second was coming up with a creative source of financing to pay for it.
With Mayor John Fetterman’s help, he’s hoping to hit on both cylinders.
Bethlehem keeps working to earn its Christmas City nickname.
The city may have more holiday events than ever this year: Christkindlmarkt is open for its 21st year, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is holding holiday tours and carriage rides for its 20th year and Center City’s Christmas City Village is returning for its third year.
The continued addition of holiday attractions has only helped existing events, operators said. Christkindlmarkt, a German-style holiday marketplace put on by ArtsQuest, had two of its three best years following the debut of the Downtown Bethlehem Association-organized Christmas City Village in 2011, ArtsQuest spokesman Mark Demko said.
Christmas City Village — an open-air German-style market also known as Weihnachtsmarkt — is adding another five huts for a total of 35 this year, Downtown Business Association Manager Kara Johnson said. And Historic Bethlehem is already ahead of schedule on pre-sale tour and carriage ride tickets, according to LoriAnn Wukitsch, the organization’s vice president and managing director.
They filtered into the city, slowly at first, late on Friday afternoon, some pushing strollers, others holding hands and huddling under umbrellas.
They were determined to celebrate Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night.
Before nightfall, the rain stopped, the crowds swelled and Pittsburgh did not disappoint, putting on a show that began with the lighting of eight Christmas trees across Downtown and ending with a fireworks spectacular.
The holiday kickoff got under way early in the afternoon at the courthouse, where Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald lit LED lights installed at the top of the 325-foot tower. A crowd gathered at the corner of Grant Street and Forbes Avenue at noon to watch the tower shine red and green for the first time in its 125-year history.
Mark this date in your calendar: 5 pm Wednesday 10/23
Come celebrate with Ash on his Birthday
Open Buffet Dinner for the first time in iCreate Cafe
15$ tickets - 5-8 pm
Menu and Off-Menu items, deserts & drinks..
Reservation Only to minimize the waste ..
Meet new Friends and enjoy the evening !!
Thanks for supporting our cafe by sharing this special event ..
Just another example of what is possible if there’s a vision. I grew up near Corning and always enjoyed going there. Now it’s even better. Congrats to Corning, NY on their designation as “Most Fun Small Town in America” by Rand McNally!
This is not your twenty-somethings’ Second Street. Sure, Harrisburg’s Restaurant Row remains a haven for newly-minted but decidedly inexperienced drinkers that can lead to problems for establishment owners, their patrons and police.
But over the past year, there has been a deliberate shift on Second Street. Its character has mellowed and matured, some business owners say. And the proof is in the character of the crowds. It’s a slightly older customer base now seen in upstart — and upscale — establishments such as the Federal Taphouse, the Susquehanna Ale House and the Second Street Comedy Club.
The turning point came in early 2012. After a string of stabbings, including a fatality, the Dragonfly nightclub abruptly closed. Instead of a driving beat, the space was given over to craft beer and gourmet burgers with the summer opening of the Federal Taphouse. By all accounts, the joint venture of Corey Fogarty of Fogarty Hospitality and Judd Goodman of Brubar Inc. has been a smashing success.
Not only is business good. Business as usual has changed on Second Street as a result. Crowds are a little older. Instead of bargain beer specials, thirty- and forty-somethings are spending $7 and $8 a beer. They’re coming in for dinner, shifting peak hours to between 5 p.m. and midnight, instead of midnight to 2 a.m.
POTTSTOWN, PA — After 13 years at 115 High St. in downtown Pottstown, the café at Positively Pasta is closing. Owners Karen and Chris Foster have made the decision to close down the café part of the business so they can focus on their pasta manufacturing.
The couple sent a letter recently to about 120 of their regular customers, letting them know that Oct. 11 will be the last day for Positively Pasta’s café.
“We have been fortunate to be in Pottstown now for almost 13 years and it has been our pleasure to serve each and every one of you,” the couple said in the letter.
It is the pasta manufacturing side of the business that gave the couple their start 26 years ago, and Karen Foster said that trying to do both the café and the manufacturing was starting to take too many hours.
Editor’s note: Nice mention of iCreate Cafe in the article as a first time participant. We enjoyed the Carousel of Flavor again this year. The carousel itself is looking great. They are making excellent progress toward completing it. A very large event that showcases Pottstown in a positive light.
POTTSTOWN, PA — In its 10th year, the Carousel of Flavor proved to be a hit again.
“Word’s getting out,” said the event’s chairman, Miles Feather.
A board member of the Pottstown Carousel, the long-term project to bring a carousel as an attraction for the borough, Feather said 20 restaurants took part in the event this year, three more than last year.
That included nine different new establishments from the year before to go along with some of the standbys, such as The Very Best and Grumpy’s.
An attorney for the bank was the lone bidder in the auction of the property.
The mall has remained open throughout the process and will continue normal operations, according to William Ritterling, general manager of Coventry Mall.
The auction, which lasted less than 15 minutes, attracted about 10 onlookers and was conducted outside the mall in front of the empty Sears store.
If you’ve dined out in a big group, chances are you had an automatic tip tacked on to your bill.
That practice might soon go away.
Experts predict others will follow suit. An Internal Revenue Service ruling will treat automatic gratuities as wages. That could lead to higher payroll taxes for restaurants and make record-keeping more complicated.
The café is at 130 King Street, Pottstown. It’s the block between Hanover and York Streets. iCreate is diagonally across the street from the Salvation Army, so it is very easy to find.
My friends were anxious for me to experience iCreate and to meet the owner, Ashraf (Ash) Khalil. Walking in I immediately knew I would like this place. The vibe is definitely chill. It’s decorated colorfully and casually, making one feel right at home. The owner, Ash, is very friendly and gave me a tour of the café and computer training center before we were seated.
We brought along a nice bottle of wine, which Ash opened up for us and poured into glasses while we looked over the menu. The cuisine is vegetarian/vegan and a number of gluten-free items are on the menu as well.
My friends recommended getting a sampler platter on the first visit, which I did. They have eaten there many times and already have their favorites. There are several sample platters to choose from. Mine came with Hummus, Baba Ghannoj, fava bean salad, Debes and pita bread. My friends ordered several things to share including stuffed grape leaves, Baba Ghannoj and Fattah. Everything was fantastic. The entire meal was expertly prepared, delicious and HEALTHY!
The prices are VERY reasonable. The most expensive menu items are $12.00. We also had dessert, which was very good.
The website is very well done so you can get a good sense of what to expect before you get there. The menu is online. Looking over it again I started a mental list of things I want to try on future visits.
This locally owned and operated business is a refreshing change of pace for Pottstown diners who are drowning in a sea of chain restaurants, pizza and Chinese food. There is nothing like this place in the Greater Pottstown area, that I am aware of. The owner also owns a home in Pottstown which in my book makes him somebody who walks the talk. Give iCreate a try, you won’t be sorry! We give two Roy’s Rant’s thumbs up!
Address: 130 King Street, Pottstown PA
Phone: 484 312 0404
Hours of operation are:
According to the network, Ramsay and his team will visit the restaurant at 3417 Sullivan Trail Wednesday through Saturday for a sixth season episode.
The show helps struggling restaurants stay in business by having the fiery Scottish chef scrutinize their inner workings and suggest methods of improvement. Ramsay diagnoses problems such as bad food, unsanitary practices, mismanagement and lazy or rude wait staff. It’s up to the restaurant owners to accept his guidance, or face closure.
Read more: http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/restaurants/blog/mc-gordon-ramsay-to-visit-forks-restaurant-for-kitchen-nightmares-20130715,0,7037297.story#ixzz2ZDtple26
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Golden Corral—the chain of buffet restaurants most-frequented by people who didn’t want to drive the extra 10 minutes to get to Old Country Buffet—is dealing with a PR nightmare after a video of one of their employees started making the rounds on the Internet this week.
Brandon Huber is a cook at the Golden Corral restaurant in Port Orange, Florida. He recently filmed a video from his place of employ, claiming that the restaurant’s management had wheeled loads of unprepared food out to the dumpster area during a health inspection.
The video—shot vertically, in true selfie style—shows Huber walking out to the restaurant’s dumpster area and pointing out that a bunch of uncooked meat and pans filled with food are resting inches from the dumpster.
Funky Lil’ Kitchen is still OPEN!!!
Yes, we are opening HEART Food Truck, but Funky Lil’ Kitchen IS NOT CLOSED. Since the announcement of our plans to open HEART came out, Funky Lil’ Kitchen has experienced a severe decline in business.
WE ARE HERE, and planning some of the season’s best menus! We need YOU, our customers and friends, to come dine with us & pass the word along that Funky Lil’ Kitchen is still open…so we can stay open…
Please SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!
Thank you! ♥
SAVE THE DATE: SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013 11:00 AM-6:00 PM (RAIN OR SHINE)
The West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation is proud to present the nineteenth annual Art on the Avenue. The community’s premier family festival features fine arts and crafts made by local juried artists. Each year thousands of people are drawn to Penn Avenue, West Reading as the event continues to grow. Located in the Greater Reading hub for arts, culture, shopping, and dining, this event appeals to both novice buyers and experienced art patrons. Additionally the venue features live music, street performers, local businesses, and specialty foods.
For more information visit www.ArtOnTheAvenue.wrcrf.org
UPPER MERION — The king is getting some new digs, and it’s going to be a whopper of a castle.
Just two months shy of its 50th anniversary, the Burger King on DeKalb Pike in King of Prussia was demolished Wednesday to make way for a stone and stucco beauty featuring a drive-through and a Wired Your Way Café — amenities fitting the king’s royally updated new image.
Debuting on Aug. 13, 1963 as store number 113 under the future fast food empire’s brief ownership of partners James McLamore and David Edgerton, the intriguing fresh concept in fast casual dining that specialized in Whopper and Whaler (fish) sandwiches, French fries and milk shakes kicked off in King of Prussia the same year as The Plaza, another icon that’s gone through a radical transformation over the years.
The 568 W. DeKalb Pike store was the first Home of the Whopper — an enduring trademark that will figure prominently into the signage of the new design — to stake its claim in the area, ahead of Trooper (store number 179) and Blue Bell (363).
Here’s a fast-food idea that might make Philadelphia mouths water:
Wendy‘s is planning to serve a burger with a soft-pretzel-like roll.
“The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger” is already “the buzz of fast food,” says USA Today.
“This could be a very, very big deal,” Boston University hospitality professor Christopher Muller is quoted as saying.
Editor’s note: Awesome write up from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette about Lititz!
LITITZ, Lancaster County — “Why did we come here? To eat pretzels, of course!” said Sue Jones of Churchill, who, along with other members of a Pittsburgh bowling team, rolled into the 152-year-old Sturgis Pretzel Bakery and museum during Pretzel Fest 2013.
“I love pretzels — I’m addicted to them,” she laughed.
“But you’ve got to put yellow mustard on them,” added Doris Libell of East Pittsburgh, wearing a Penguins T-shirt.
This community of 9,000 people in northern Lancaster County — recently named Budget Travel’s 2013 Coolest Small Town in America — has a seven-block downtown area crammed with stone and woodbeam houses built in the late 1700s, a pre-Revolutionary War hotel built by Gen. Johann Sutter, a Moravian Protestant church built in 1749, plus several restaurants, taverns and quaint shops selling antiques, books, furniture and much more.
But Lititz is becoming popular with tourists mainly for two things — pretzels and chocolate candy.