Hotel Bethlehem Named Among Top 100 U.S. Brunch Restaurants

Hotel Bethlehem has earned a hat trick of brunch awards.

For the third year, the hotel’s Sunday Musical Brunch in the Tap Room has earned a spot in the top 100 brunches list from OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards.

The list is compiled by five million reviews through the last year from OpenTable diners, according to a news release.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2015/04/hotel_bethlehem_named_among_to.html

Hazleton Alliance Predicts Revitalized Downtown With Strategic Plan Completion

HAZLETON, PA — If the strategic plan for the continued revitalization of downtown Hazleton becomes a reality, the planner believe Broad Street will again be filled with shoppers, students, employees and neighbors, bringing fresh blood, an improved streetscape and a much needed increase in economic activity.

The five-year plan, which outlines specific strategies for achieving goals, was finalized last week after nearly a year of meetings, surveys and pubic input.

Krista Schneider, executive director of the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress, the non-profit organization which commissioned and coordinated the effort, credits its Board of Directors, area leaders and Hazleton residents for their support of the project and willingness to “think outside of the box” when it comes to the city’s future.

Schneider said the effort reflects goals directed by Pennsylvania’s Main Street Program, a four-pronged approach that includes organization, promotion, restructuring and design.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/153007106/

Development Could Soon Be Booming In West End

Pittsburgh’s building boom, centered for years on Downtown and East End neighborhoods, is spreading into the West End.

Developers are focusing on Banksville Road where nearly $3 million is being spent to build a hotel, an office building and an expansion of offices for an engineering firm.

“The city of Pittsburgh overall is doing well in terms of development,” said City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, who represents West End communities. “Banksville has good access to Downtown, the Parkway (West), the airport and suburbs.”

A Comfort Inn and Suites is going up near a Days Inn along lower Banksville Road. The $2.7 million project includes a four-story hotel building with 69 rooms and 64 parking spaces, according to Pittsburgh Planning Commission records.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8187310-74/banksville-building-west#ixzz3XfbnKxm8
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New ‘Flagship’ Wawa In Center City To Have Seating

Wawa will open its first store with interior seating in Center City Philadelphia this year, the company announced Thursday as it celebrated its 51st anniversary by giving away free coffee.

Work on the store at South Broad and Walnut Streets should begin in May and be finished in time for a Thanksgiving opening, said Lori Bruce, a Wawa spokeswoman.

Wawas in Florida and several other locations have outside seating, but not indoors.

Bruce said besides the seating the “new flagship store … will feature many new design concepts.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150417_Wawa_celebrates_anniversary_with_free_coffee.html#L3Rq2Z2yXVzmS5Lj.99

Two Years In The Making, Market Square Grocery Store’s Opening Is Near

On a cloudy and cool spring morning, Downtown Pittsburgh’s first grocery in five years was emerging from its shell like a butterfly from its cocoon.

Some workers stocked a freezer with frozen shrimp, lobster langostino and other seafood. Others handled deliveries of cheeses and other goods. Yet others trained to use the cash register.

At the back of 435 Market St., bottles of imported red and white Italian wines beckoned visitors. Pastas, cereals, chocolates, pickles, olives, teas, cookies, jelly, potato chips and sauces crammed the shelves.

“ ‘Finally’ is the word,” developer Ralph Falbo said as he talked to two friends and surveyed the scene.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2015/04/15/Market-Square-to-get-grocery-store-soon/stories/201504150099

PREIT Reveals The Gallery’s New Look

Everything about the decrepit Gallery at Market East may be about to change.

Under an intended top-to-bottom renovation, one of Center City’s most notorious dead spots would be reborn as a gleaming glass-and-steel emporium – brimming with brand-name discount fashion shops, destination restaurants, and lively sidewalk cafés.

Even the name would be new. Welcome, shoppers, to the Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia.

Details of the plan were provided exclusively to The Inquirer in advance of a series of meetings by government agencies whose support is vital to the project. The news marks a grand unveiling of plans for the Gallery following years of uncertainty and speculation.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150415_PREIT_reveals_the_Gallery_s_new_look.html#ZjuIZxyXWmB7TTV1.99

Arts Gallery Could Make Way For Downtown Wilkes-Barre Market

WILKES-BARRE, PA — A market may be coming to downtown Wilkes-Barre soon.

Arts Seen Gallery is being asked to move out of space at 21 Public Square to make way for City Market and Cafe, said Kim Kulagina, the volunteer operations manager of the art gallery, and Tamara Pilger, a stained glass artist at the gallery. Kulagina said landlord Rob Finlay, president of Humford Equities, told them the art gallery had to leave for City Market to move in and the market is awaiting a liquor license.

A source active with the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also said City Market and Cafe plans to open in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Discussions about City Market and Cafe opening downtown have been ongoing for a while and officials were looking for a suitable place, the source said.

City Market and Cafe, which has another location at Linden Street and Adams Avenue in downtown Scranton, offers eat-in and take-out prepared foods, a deli, bakery, grocery, dairy, frozen food, fresh produce, customized sandwiches and pizza and a vast selection of beer.

Read more:

http://citizensvoice.com/news/arts-gallery-could-make-way-for-downtown-w-b-market-1.1861722

26 Free Eats In Easton On Saturday

Looking to enjoy the sunny forecast on Saturday?

Spring into Easton returns noon to 4 p.m. The free event welcomes visitors to peruse Downtown Easton’s shops. Each participating shop will be partnered with an Easton restaurant that will be offering samples.

According to a news release, 26 participating shops will also have game cards that visitors can pick up and get stamped throughout the day at each shop. A full card can be dropped off at a concierge booth in Centre Square to be eligible to win Downtown Easton Gift Cards.

Check out the participating shops and figure out where to go for your favorite restaurant’s samples.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2015/04/17_free_eats_in_easton_on_satu.html

Owners Of Burned-Out McDonald’s In Ephrata To Begin Rebuilding

The owners of a burned-out McDonald’s in Ephrata plan to soon begin tearing down the old restaurant and building a new one that could be open by mid-July.

The McDonald’s at 140 N. Reading Road in the Cloister Shopping center was destroyed by a fire last June.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/owners-of-burned-out-mcdonald-s-in-ephrata-to-begin/article_38b10996-df7e-11e4-b95b-c30bb5aceab5.html

Bethlehem Moving Forward With South Side Garage Despite Stalled Development

The Bethlehem Parking Authority is moving forward with a study for a new South Side parking garage despite any concrete plans for the major buildings for which the garage is supposed to be needed.

Authority Executive Director Kevin Livingston said the authority can’t wait for developer Dennis Benner to have signed tenants for his planned South Side buildings because the authority could lose the state grant funding set aside for the garage.

Bethlehem has filed for an extension for the $5.2 million in state grant funding but isn’t sure if the extension will be approved, Livingston said.

“We’re obviously afraid of losing it,” he said.

Read more:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2015/03/bethlehem_moving_forward_with.html

Aldi To Reopen 30 Of 66 Shut Bottom Dollar Stores

Discount grocer Aldi said Friday that it will reopen 30 of the 66 former Bottom Dollar stores it took over in Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and northeast Ohio after the previous owner, the Delhaize Group, shut Bottom Dollar last year.

Five ex-Bottom Dollar stores in Philadelphia and 14 in the suburbs will reopen. Four Philadelphia stores will stay shut, along with 13 in the suburbs.

Aldi, an Illinois-based U.S. arm of Germany’s Albrecht family grocery conglomerate, said in 2013 it planned a $3 billion expansion, and Friday’s announcement is part of that effort.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150328_Aldi_to_reopen_30_of_66_shut_Bottom_Dollar_stores.html#PzL7PW1CHTgYrswX.99

Additional article about Lehigh Valley locations:

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2015/03/aldi_to_convert_2_of_8_bottom.html

Fly Magazine Keep South Central Pennsylvania Up To Date On Entertainment, Dining and Nightlife

http://flymagazine.net/ is a great site to visit if you live in or visit Lancaster, York or Harrisburg.  Keeps you up to date on what’s going on, events, dining, music and arts and culture.  Happy Friday!

Lancaster City Council Approves Vegan Bar

Come mid-May, Lancaster city should have its first vegan bar and restaurant.

City council on Tuesday unanimously approved a liquor license transfer that paves the way for restaurateur Rob Garpstas to open root (The “r” is lower case) at 223 West Walnut Street.

Council approved the transfer following a brief public hearing that included a recommendation from Mayor Rick Gray for approval. No one opposed the transfer, which had been in Ruby Tuesday Inc.’s name, but was being held in safekeeping by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Gray wondered if there were many vegan bars around. Vegans do not eat or use animal products.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/lancaster-city-council-approves-vegan-bar/article_82e16b44-d288-11e4-81c1-3fe7a453c3cd.html

Boscov’s To remodel Wilkes-Barre Store To Tune Of $1 Million; Work To Start In 2 Weeks

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Al Boscov said Tuesday that the long-awaited million-dollar renovation of the downtown store will begin in two weeks.

“We’ve had a slight change in design, and that’s the reason for the delay in starting,” Boscov said. “The project will begin on the third floor and the estimate remains at $1 million.”

It’s been one year since Boscov announced the plan to remodel the South Main Street store and customers and employees have been anticipating the project.

Last March, Gary Boyer, Boscov’s senior executive vice president/chief stores officer, said carpeting was going to be installed within a month, but the project never started. Boyer also said shoppers could expect to see brighter lights, new carpeting and flooring, freshly painted walls, some new features, expanded departments and maybe a few new shops.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/business-home_top-local-news/152531939/

With New Owners, Haines Shoe House Becomes Bakery & Treat Shop

Where else in the world can you eat cake pops from inside a gigantic work boot?

Probably nowhere.

Melanie Schmuck is banking on that novelty, as she and her husband, Jeff Schmuck, convert the ground floor of the Haines Shoe House into a bakery and dine-in treat shop.

“We wanted something quirky,” Jeff said. “Something that would stand out.”

Read more:

http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_27751427/new-owners-haines-shoe-house-becomes-bakery-treat

iCreate Café Draws People To Pottstown With Healthy, Plant-Based Meals

icreatelogojanuaryPottstown, PA – “Vegiterranean” might not be an official word in the dictionary but it’s the word iCreate Café owner Ashraf Khalil uses to describe his dishes that are a combination of vegetarian and Mediterranean food.

The café at 130 King St. may seem like just another building from the outside but once customers walk in, they are greeted with a variety of colors, comfortable couches and plenty of seating. The small café does a lot with a little including also being a computer training center. But in recent years, it’s been the vegetarian fare that keeps people coming back.

Khalil, or Ash as most customers know him, said Mediterranean fare uses a lot of legumes such as chickpeas, fava beans and lentils. As a native of Syria, he grew up on dishes that included more plant-based foods than meat. He said there were very little animal sources in meals, partly because it’s very expensive to buy overseas.

“That’s one of the reasons we love hummus. We grew up eating it back in Syria, not knowing it has all this protein but because it’s cheap and affordable,” he said during a recent cooking demonstration at the café.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/lifestyle/20150323/icreate-cafxe9-draws-people-to-pottstown-with-healthy-plant-based-meals

Turkey Hill Robberies In Wilkes-Barre Area Raise Security Questions

Sheetz, a popular convenience chain in Northeastern Pennsylvania, is open all night year round. Yet it seems rare that the chain’s stores get robbed.

The same can’t be said, however, for Turkey Hill stores in the Wyoming Valley.

There have been 10 robberies at Turkey Hill stores in Wilkes-Barre and Kingston since Jan. 26, of which three of those robberies happened last week.

What’s the difference?

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/home_top-local-news-news/152453142/

Grass-Roots Effort For A Marketplace In The Mall At Steamtown Continues

SCRANTON, PA — The idea of a Reading Terminal Market marketplace in the Mall at Steamtown is gaining momentum.

The concept to create a marketplace in a portion of the mall began nearly two months ago as brothers, Michael and George Boyd, both of Scranton, started a Facebook page to gauge public’s interest to save their city’s retail hub.

Thousands in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties have weighed in on the idea. Last month, the Boyd brothers said the positive responses were “overwhelming.”

Today the Facebook page, Reading Terminal Market at the Mall at Steamtown, has more than 5,800 “Likes” and is getting people talking about how to revive the mall.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/business-local-news/152278963/

Craft Beer Festival Coming To Reading In April

Join us as we celebrate great Craft Beer from local and around the country selections, at the inaugural Reading Craft Beer Festival! Breweries and beer enthusiasts from across the region will gather one Saturday afternoon for an unlimited sampling of over 100 fresh beers of all colors, styles, and tastes and a whole lot of fun! 

The Reading Craft Beer Festival will be held at the Santander Arena in Reading, PA on Saturday April 18, 2015. Downtown Reading has not been the site of a craft beer festival of this size and scope.

Join Us

Tickets are available now at:

For more information check out the Reading Craft Beer festival website: http://www.readingbeerfest.com/