‘Celebrate Downtown’ Shines Light On Pittsburgh Revitalization

Downtown Pittsburgh as seen from PNC Park across the Allegheny River

Downtown Pittsburgh as seen from PNC Park across the Allegheny River

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.

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/moreaande/6418404-74/downtown-july-market#ixzz37GwwnvK9
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Food Fridays In Downtown Pottstown, June 27th

Smith Family Plaza – 100 E High Street, Pottstown

Come Downtown and “Eat Like A Local!” 

Join our downtown restaurants, Argento’s, Grumpy’s, Lily’s Grill & The Milkmen Lunch Co. for a taste of their fare, LIVE music by ‘Bees in a Bottle’ and your community for lunch outdoors THIS FRIDAY, June 27th, between 11:00 am – 2:00 pm (music between 11:30 am – 1:30 pm)

We promise nice weather and the perfect scenery to enjoy lunch, friends and neighbors!

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 / sheiladugan@comcast.net

Sponsored by Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority

Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination

Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination.  Great promotional video from VisitPittsburgh.

Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival Grows Into Separate Weekend

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The ...

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The Point” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join to form the Ohio here. The West End Bridge crosses the Ohio in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/music/6252901-74/says-festival-locke#ixzz356TYLxQU
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Century III Mall In West Mifflin Slides Into Retail Abyss

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

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.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6235359-74/mall-century-iii#ixzz34oyENfeX
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Glassboro’s Downtown Tries Again For Revitalization

Map of New Jersey highlighting Gloucester County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Gloucester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140526_Glassboro_s_downtown_tries_again_for_revitalization.html#41Wr7GLgC8h42IM6.99

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Long Beach Islanders Eager To Show Off Rebuilt Businesses

Map of New Jersey highlighting Ocean County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Ocean County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140526_Long_Beach_Islanders_eager_to_show_off_rebuilt_businesses.html#gb5PvxZu02CUrVaA.99

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Darden Announces Sale Of Red Lobster For $2.1B

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.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140516/darden-announces-sale-of-red-lobster-for-21b

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$60-$70 Million Chestnut Street Residential Development Set To Begin

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

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

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.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140425__60-_70_million_Chestnut_Street_residential_development_set_to_begin.html#oF4zBbpGx4j9dij1.99

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The Lancaster Food Scene, ‘Totally Happening’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

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.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/food/20140424_LANCASTER___TOTALLY_HAPPENING_.html#U7t2kvepWf8Xyclv.99

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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