Beef Prices Reach Highest Level Since 1987

English: Australian Brangus steer

English: Australian Brangus steer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140412_ap_47ea27a0b2244eaea2cabae2a074edb6.html#1ZmJqCrp08y35k34.99

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McDonald’s Offers Free Coffee For Breakfasters

Logo of McCafé (McDonald's).

Logo of McCafé (McDonald’s). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140328_ap_1b9a662a7c944ed3b68c30a4a37c9644.html#zKZw22x0Fl9EoVrC.99

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Lancaster City Restaurant Week: Starts Monday, Check Out The Offerings

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Lancaster City Restaurant Week begins Monday and customers will have a variety of restaurants and price packages from which to choose.

Participating restaurants vary from casual to upscale to a pop-up event at Commonwealth on Queen.

Miesse Candies will also be represented as POUR, Character’s Pub and The Pressroom Restaurant will all be incorporating the chocolatier’s products into their Restaurant Week offerings.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/lifestyle/lancaster-city-restaurant-week-starts-monday-check-out-the-offerings/article_1674afb0-b129-11e3-9f44-001a4bcf6878.html

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McDonald’s Eyes Extending Breakfast Hours

English: An Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich fr...

English: An Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich from McDonald’s, as bought in North America. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) – McDonald’s is in the early stages of looking at whether it can make breakfast available later in the day.

Fans of the Egg McMuffin and Sausage Biscuit have long wanted the option to get breakfast at McDonald’s after 10:30 a.m. But offering both the breakfast and lunch menu was considered logistically impossible, given the tight kitchen spaces of the restaurants.

Still, it’s an option the chain is eyeing more seriously at a time when people’s eating habits are changing – particularly those coveted customers in their 20s and 30s known as Millennials.

“We know, as an example, that breakfast on the weekend cut off at 10:30 doesn’t go very well,” Jeff Stratton, head of McDonald’s USA, said in an interview.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140224_ap_3712c07188854fe899dd44747e6f8a65.html#gCH1TTcZDmOVmBFU.99

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Restaurant Week York PA

Looking for something to shake of the winter doldrums?  York is having a restaurant week starting today through March 1st!

“Giving foodies and foodie-wannabes the chance to celebrate the best York has to offer.”

 

Check out their Facebook page for more details!  Bon appetite!

 

https://www.facebook.com/RestaurantWeekYorkPA

 

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

 

 

 

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York Restaurants Recover From Winter Weather, Parking Woes

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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

Severe weather, parking problems and a prime rib shortage made for a not-so-sweet Valentine’s Day at Coomb’s Tavern, said owner Teresa Marquette.

Since the restaurant is on the outskirts of York City, all the snow has nowhere to go, she said. Its parking garages and street spaces are either overwhelmed by mounds of snow or buried cars, she said.

“It’s a mess right now,” Marquette said. “It’s a total mess.”

The weather — the worst she’s seen in 18 years of owning Coomb’s — has even drowned out the restaurant’s recognition, she said, as York City named it February’s Merchant of the Month.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_25187285/york-restaurants-recover-from-winter-weather-parking-woes

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A Healthy Living Blog For People Who Are Gluten Free

GF FLAMINGO

Living a gluten free life and enjoying it!

I met the GF Flamingo blogger at iCreate Cafe in Pottstown over the weekend.  She and her boyfriend were enjoying a fabulous meal and soaking in the awesome vibe that is iCreate Cafe.  As one does at iCreate, we all had a great conversation and got to know each other better.

I know gluten is a great mystery to some folks, others think it’s “all in someone’s head” and other have gluten allergies and need to restrict their diet.  I have a good friend who has been gluten free for over 20 years so I have learned a few things about being gluten free, although I am certainly no expert. However, the owner of this blog, NICOLE FIAMINGO, is someone who can help those living a gluten free lifestyle.

What I do know is that eating out is difficult, finding gluten free food that tastes good is hard (and usually expensive) and finding someone who understands you is even harder.

GF Flamingo does restaurant reviews (with great food pictures), talks about living gluten free and offers readers helpful information like meals you can make in under 30 minutes at home. So check out this blog if you are gluten free by choice or out of necessity.  Happy reading!

Website:  http://gf-flamingo.blogspot.com/

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Dingy LaGuardia Airport To Undergo $3.6 Billion Makeover

An aerial view of LaGuardia Airport

An aerial view of LaGuardia Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK — Dark, dingy, cramped and sad. These are some of the ways travelers describe LaGuardia Airport, a bustling hub often ranked in customer satisfaction surveys as the worst in America.

“It does not represent what people think of when they think of New York and Broadway shows and glamour. It’s not very pretty,” said Layla House, a sales manager for a medical supply company who travels from her home in Bullard, Texas, to New York at least six times a year.

That’s about to change.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the state is taking control of an ambitious $3.6 billion construction project that envisions a new central terminal at LaGuardia, with vast open spaces, restaurants, shopping plazas, new parking garages, free Wi-Fi and other amenities now common in other airports. Cuomo wants to develop a plan to upgrade cargo operations at nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5448305-74/laguardia-york-airport#ixzz2qxotiKau
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Nonprofit Group Aims To Spotlight Only Dairy In Pittsburgh, Bring Business To Carrick

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)

Colteryahn Dairy in Carrick is the only remaining dairy in Pittsburgh — a fact not known to many, an economic development official said.

“It’s easy to drive by without noticing,” said Kathleen Keating, a project manager at Economic Development South.

The nonprofit group is spearheading an effort to establish the Carrick Dairy District to spotlight the dairy on Brownsville Road and attract other businesses, such as ice cream and chocolate shops, that would complement the dairy.

At a community meeting on Tuesday, Economic Development South, which has been working with neighbors, business owners and city representatives on the plan for about a year, will show revised architectural renderings of the proposed dairy district and hear feedback about what people want to see in the district.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5395052-74/dairy-district-carrick#ixzz2qJGcRr6n
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Franklin Mills Reinvents Itself As A More Conventional Mall

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

A sky-high crane dangles over a corner of Franklin Mills Mall these days, but it is more than a towering construction tool: It is a symbol of how necessity is the mother of reinvention at this once-legendary shopping mall.

A Walmart Supercenter is taking shape at the once-pioneering complex, which opened nearly 25 years ago with theme-park anticipation as among the first outlet malls, and the outright largest, ever built. The splashy development, unveiled in 1989, was a gamble befitting its locale, a onetime Northeast Philadelphia racetrack. And early on, its unmatched offerings paid off with packed corridors.

The mall flaunted a 1.2-mile-long, zigzag-shaped concourse, and more than 200 stores hawking discount designer goods, at a time when such wares were available only at out-of-the-way old-factory outlets. Its 1.7 million square feet of bargain buys, right off I-95, was a tourist draw and local sensation.

But the megamall’s early monopoly on outlet shopping has come to an end, forcing Franklin Mills to alter its once-irresistible identity. The Walmart is one of many tenants that now make the monolith, well, a bit more ordinary. And this is by design.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131226_Franklin_Malls_reinvents_itself_as_a_more_conventional_mall.html#B6GQUXeWYThVsWmy.99

No Lack Of Ideas For Steamtown Mall’s Future

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

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

As Betty Lou and Larry Stevens carried bags of heavily discounted merchandise out of the closing Bon-Ton store, the Moosic residents hoped Ikea will take its place at the Mall at Steamtown.

The couple currently drives to Philadelphia’s branch of the Swedish store when they need furniture and thought Ikea could provide a major draw to the downtown Scranton mall.

“I think people would come to Steamtown for Ikea,” Mrs. Stevens said.

John Topa, the mall’s director of marketing and specialty leasing, told The Times-Tribune last week mall officials have a replacement lined up for the departing anchor store that would revitalize the downtown shopping center.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/no-lack-of-ideas-for-mall-s-future-1.1605656

Developers: West Manchester Mall Construction Could Begin By March

Map of York County, Pennsylvania, United State...

Map of York County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new year will bring a new West Manchester Mall, and developers said work could begin before winter ends.

“We’re trying to get started as early as we can. March is not an unreasonable target,” said Tony Ruggeri, co-founder of Dallas-based M&R Investors, which owns the mall.

The 32-year-old shopping hub at 1800 Loucks Road is set for a $47 million redevelopment that will change it from an enclosed mall to an outdoor plaza similar to Hunt Valley Towne Center in Maryland.

The York County commissioners and the West York school board recently approved a tax incentive financing (TIF) plan that will allow the mall to be revamped while receiving a limited tax break on the improved property.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_24764314/developers-west-manchester-mall-construction-could-begin-by

Groundbreaking Set For Reading Hotel And Convention Center

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Albert R. Boscov was excitedly making and receiving countless phone calls in his Exeter Township office Monday after getting word that the last of the financing for a downtown hotel and convention center was finally in place.

He immediately began making plans to break ground Friday at 11:30 a.m. in the 700 block of Penn Street across from the Santander Arena.

“It’s been a long wait but we got it,” Boscov said.

The renowned retailer has been working on the block-long, four-star hotel, which will cost at least $56 million, since 2007.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131217/NEWS/312169896/1052#.UrDeuPRDsxI

Good-Bye Ruby Tuesday?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Casual-dining restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday issued a press release last week meant to show investors that the company is taking steps to turn itself around, but what it told me is that theroad to recovery may be a long one.

Coming on the heels of worse-than-expected results for its fiscal first quarter and then the sudden resignations of the company’s chairman and a key vice president, plus a downgrade of its debt by Moody’s deeper into junk territory, the press release gave more details about the cost-cutting initiatives Ruby Tuesday is undertaking in attempts to right its ship.

In its efforts to cut $6 million from its selling, general and administrative costs beginning in 2015, the company is reviewing its cost structure. The first move will be the elimination of 50 jobs at its Maryville, Tenn., restaurant support center. Next, the restaurant chain will hire a consulting firm to help it cut cost of goods sold and other restaurant operating costs.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/philly/story/good-bye-ruby-tuesday/12124084

Families Flock To Downtown Pittsburgh For Annual Light Up Night Festivities

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

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.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5110417-74/christmas-downtown-anna#ixzz2lU4sOBiA
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Bethlehem South Side Business District To Get Major Retail, Office, Student Housing Complex

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

A $56.5 million redevelopment project including significant retail, office and student housing space is planned for Bethlehem’s South Side business district.

Developer Dennis Benner today revealed plans for a 13-story student housing and retail complex on the first block of West Fourth Street and a seven-story office and retail complex a block north at West Third and South New streets.

Construction on the project, which includes a 507-space parking garage, is scheduled to start in the second quarter of next year and take 24 months.

Benner, a Lehigh University graduate, said he’s long heard complaints about how there isn’t enough for college students and young professionals to do in the city and that his complex aims to remedy that. His retail plans include high-end restaurants and lounges, likely including a wine bar, he said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2013/11/bethlehem_south_side_business.html

Small-Business Owners Trying To Do Part In Revitalizing Clairton

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the past three years, Wandra Sparks has been walking in and out of an old Italian club along Waddell Avenue in downtown Clairton.

She watches as her husband Gus Sparks installs new plumbing and electrical systems or paints warm colors on expansive walls and a cathedral ceiling, and what seemed to be piecemeal improvements in a never-ending struggle now are part of a vision that others can see.

The Sparkses transformed a club that sat vacant for at least a decade into the Ribbon Room.

“It’s a mixture of old and new furnishings,” Wandra Sparks said. “It’s cozy and quaint. There’s such a warm feeling that you don’t even know you’re in a banquet hall.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/4983262-74/clairton-businesses-business#ixzz2jPfS5b5I
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What The Avenue Of The Arts Has Meant To Center City Philadelphia Real Estate

English: The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia.

English: The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Banks moved out, theaters moved in, and – if the price of real estate in the neighborhood is any sign – things got a lot better around South Broad Street after the birth of the Avenue of the Arts.

Back in 1993, Peter C. Soens recalls, he sold the former Girard Bank building at Broad and Chestnut Streets, now home to the Ritz-Carlton, for $2 million.

Soon afterward, Soens, a partner at the commercial building broker and manager SSH Real Estate, sold One East Penn Square, across from City Hall, for $2.1 million.

By contrast, Soens said recently, “last year, 260 S. Broad St., a similar-sized building, also basically empty, sold for $27.5 million.” The buyer, Post Bros., says it will convert the former Atlantic office building to apartments.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131028_What_the_Avenue_of_the_Arts_has_meant_to_city_real_estate.html#A0AAAizI3Fxq8j78.99

Fast-Food Workers’ Low Pay Costs The Government

Ben and Sharneka Hunter are a fast-food family.

The Wilmington husband and wife work at Burger Kings in different cities – Ben, 43, in Wilmington, Sharneka, 30, in New Castle.

Both earn hourly minimum-wage salaries of $7.25. And both need food stamps and Medicaid to augment their combined $17,000 yearly salary – $2,500 under the federal poverty line – so that they and their 9-year-old daughter can survive.

“I don’t think it’s fair to be underpaid,” Ben said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/20131020_Fast-food_workers__low_pay_costs_the_government.html#oAbI1DavEof2fDXe.99

Corning, NY: Most Fun Small Town In America

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!