If you name it, they will come.
Sonia Huntzinger, executive director of Downtown Inc, said that’s the theory behind York’s recent push to brand pockets of its 26-block downtown business district, creating a patchwork of neighborhoods that will each offer something different to regional visitors.
In the last two years, the nonprofit, which promotes revitalization of the city, has partnered with grassroots groups to demarcate several sections, including Royal Square, the Market District, Beaver Street and the latest, Weco.
The growth in destination branding, as the strategy is called, has coincided with Downtown Inc’s “Who Knew” campaign, a YouTube ad effort that highlights shopping and eatery options with the goal of bringing more foot traffic into local businesses.
The walls of Tutoni’s in York are covered with chalkboards — one displaying cuts of a pig, another showing different types of cheese — each with a description of where the food came from.
The pork loin, for example, was once a Heritage pig that roamed free on Rettland Farm in Adams County.
Bright green arugula leaves, one chalkboard says, were grown in the greenhouses of Brogue Hydroponics in Chanceford Township.
Soft, silky mozzarella was made at Caputo Brothers Creamy in Jackson Township.
Eleven restaurants brought vats of their best chowders for customers to sample Sunday at Easton’s first Clam Jam.
The scene looked like something straight out of New England. Servers carried raw bar platters of oysters and clams. The bar was pouring up drinks like Cape Codders and Bloody Marys rimmed with Old Bay and served with crab cakes. And the smell of seafood chowder filled the whole restaurant.
The event, coordinated by the folks at 3rd & Ferry Fish Market, closed off Ferry Street for a seafood festival that invited restaurants to serve their nautical best – hush puppies and lobster roll, steamers and oysters galore.
Editor’s note: We like how they roll in York. Their Downtown Inc. organization has been doing some awesome things and downtown York is becoming a destination again. Color us impressed.
The Downtown First Awards recognize businesses, organizations, and individuals who put downtown York first through their commitments of time, advocacy and resources.
See the list of nominees: http://downtownyorkpa.com/downtownfirstawards/
WILKES-BARRE — Thursday seemed like the best possible day to release a report on a downtown survey.
Public Square was filled with people attending the weekly farmers’ market and Mother Nature cooperated by offering a spectacular day of sunshine.
Patty Kopec and her daughter, Frankie, were enjoying some of the food and sunshine. Even with no entertainment on the band shell stage, the Kopecs raved about the city and the downtown and said they wished more events were planned for Public Square.
“It needs this kind of stuff,” Patty Kopec said. “It needs more events that appeal to families.”
Downtown should be an exciting place to go or live. It remains an important indicator of any city’s health.
For the past 20 years, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has worked to revitalize Downtown and will call attention to its progress with eight days of activities called “Celebrate Downtown” from July 14 to 21.
New this year to the annual Celebrate Downtown attractions are Dining Around, sampling food and drink at some of the city’s most highly regarded restaurants; All Access Pittsburgh, a series of tours; and Open Streets, which will create space for people to enjoy part of Downtown free of cars, buses and trucks.
The creation of the Cultural District and revitalization of Market Square are only part of the changes Downtown. More than 12,000 people live Downtown now, with more than 2,000 new apartments coming.
p.s. The RESTAURANTS WILL ALSO BE OPEN if you want to visit them inside as well!
ADDITIONAL DATES PLANNED – July 18, August 15 & September 19th
We are looking for additional local bands – if you know someone and they can play any of the above
dates, please let Sheila Dugan know – 610-323-5400 / email@example.com
Sponsored by Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority
Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination. Great promotional video from VisitPittsburgh.
Like a maturing adult, the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival is moving out on its own.
“At first, there was a natural synergy,” says J. Kevin McMahon of the first three years of the festival, when it was held on a weekend with the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. “But we found we were competing with ourselves.”
He is the president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the organization that organizes the jazz festival. He has watched the festival grow during its first three years to the point where he and other planners decided it was time to move it to its own weekend — June 20 to 22.
It has drawn enough people — jazz fans, not simply strays from the arts festival — that it deserves to be on its own, he says. It adds another exciting weekend to the city, he says, and allows employees of the Cultural Trust to concentrate on the jazz festival rather than dividing their efforts.
Jay Natale had a good year in 1979.
The Steelers won the Super Bowl. The Pirates won the World Series. And Natale opened a sporting goods store in the new Century III Mall in West Mifflin.
“The first year was unbelievable,” Natale, 70, of Elizabeth said, recalling a mobbed grand opening at the mall. “We hit the jackpot on that one.”
The jackpot lasted for nearly 20 years.
Since then, the mall has spiraled downward, losing customers, retailers and property value, which drained hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes from West Mifflin and its school district.
In Glassboro’s historic downtown, the story of one building chronicles the district’s past – and, perhaps, its future.
A colorful storefront at 11 E. High St. that now houses an artsy glass business previously held a short-lived studio and art gallery, a locally owned coffee shop, and, as far back as the mid-1900s, a neighborhood grocery store that was reportedly the first in the town to sell frozen food.
Once thriving and serving the everyday needs of nearby residents, this downtown district is the subject of a revitalization campaign as borough officials try to build on the success of nearby Rowan University and create a vibrant arts community.
A blacktop connection, Rowan Boulevard, which is a new roadway and $300 million redevelopment project, broke ground in 2009. But a vacant lot between the boulevard and the longtime downtown area – described by one person as the “gray area” between the old and new – testifies to the work still to be done.
The members of the iconic Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club were determined to open their new building before the start of summer, the second since Hurricane Sandy washed out their former home.
They got their certificate of occupancy Friday afternoon, just in time for a planned grand opening the next day, coinciding with an annual striper fishing tournament known as the LBI Cup.
On Sunday morning, the day after 500 people flooded the club’s new three-story headquarters, Vice Commodore Tim Irons walked around the bare rooms, proudly showing off the bathroom tiling and the views from the top floor.
“It’s completely paid off,” he said. “We just don’t have any furniture yet.”
NEW YORK (AP) — Darden Restaurants says it will sell its Red Lobster chain to investment firm Golden Gate Capital in a $2.1 billion cash deal.
The company, which also owns Olive Garden, had announced late last year that it planned to either spin off or sell Red Lobster to improve its financial performance.
Both Olive Garden and Red Lobster have been losing customers in recent years, and the company has tried various menu changes and differentmarketing campaigns in hopes of winning back business.
In what would transform a bedraggled slice of central Philadelphia, demolition crews are weeks away from dismantling nearly an entire side of the 1100 block of Chestnut Street, part of a $60 million to $70 million redevelopment tapping the soaring apartment market and surging appetites to shop and live east of Broad Street.
Zoning approvals and permits are in place, additional property was acquired as recently as Thursday, and a large section of sidewalk has been closed as lead development partner Brickstone Co. prepares to build a complex of loft-style apartments above towering, three-story retail spaces.
The development will stretch almost the length of the south side of Chestnut between 11th and 12th Streets, Brickstone managing partner John J. Connors said.
Connors would not discuss what tenants are being courted, but the project could include a supermarket if rumors swirling among civic activist circles are true.
LANCASTER, PA – Amish buggies and all-you-can-eat buffets. Those are the images that have long defined Lancaster County for most outsiders – with the added bonus of outlet shopping.
And there is ample truth to feed the cliches along the tourist honky-tonk of Lincoln Highway, where faux windmills spin over signs touting shoofly pies, and seniors come by the busload to gorge on bargain smorgasbords of brown-buttered noodles, gloppy gravy platters, and dry roast chicken.
But there’s another, far more sophisticated food culture finally sprouting through Lancaster’s famously fertile earth. From the Italian red corn and fraises des bois strawberries blossoming on Tom Culton’s farm of rare heirloom wonders in Silver Spring, to the whole-animal cookery at John J. Jeffries restaurant, a thriving beer culture, a bustling historic Central Market, and a growing downtown scene of food artisans, there is a palpable new excitement here when it comes to the pleasures of the table, and the drinks beyond.
“Lancaster is totally happening now,” says Andrew Martin, who in December opened a rye distillery called Thistle Finch in a rehabbed old tobacco warehouse. Set back on an obscure downtown side street, and marked only by a black-painted bird on the building’s exterior, a speakeasy-style bar open three nights a week pours cocktails with the spicy but smooth white liquor made just feet away in Martin’s handmade copper still.
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners – and relief isn’t likely anytime soon.
A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987.
Everything that’s produced is being consumed, said Kevin Good, an analyst at CattleFax, a Colorado-based information group. And prices likely will stay high for a couple of years as cattle producers start to rebuild their herds amid big questions about whether the Southwest and parts of the Midwest will see enough rain to replenish pastures.
NEW YORK (AP) – McDonald’s is offering free coffee to its customers for a limited time as competition for the breakfast crowd intensifies.
The world’s biggest hamburger chain announced Friday that participating U.S. locations will offer small cups of McCafe coffee at no charge during breakfast hours from March 31 through April 13.
McDonald’s said that this is the first time it’s ever had a free coffee event nationwide. Its McCafe product line, which also includes iced coffees and other drinks, debuted in the U.S. in 2009.