Hilton To Redo Four Seasons’ Old Home

What used to be Philadelphia’s Four Seasons hotel is set to reopen as a branch of Hilton’s high-end Curio brand, the hotel’s operator said Tuesday.

The property, which will be renamed the Logan, will be completely renovated before opening this fall, Denver-based Sage Hospitality Group said in a statement.

The Logan Square hotel, owned by Host Hotels & Resorts, will have its traditional decor updated to a more modern look, according to Sage, which did not provide a budget for the renovations.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/real_estate/commercial/20150610_Hilton_to_redo_Four_Season_s_old_home.html#G4RE5EHXKGfVdRFE.99

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One MarketWay West Undergoing Major Revamp, Adding Eatery, Apartments

A largely underused building in the heart of York City will once again be a bustle of activity as its massive renovation project gets underway.

The massive One MarketWay West will be home to a restaurant, a flagship bank branch, apartments, an underground parking garage and more, said the father and daughter team who owns the building that was once Bear’s Department Store.

The owners and a redevelopment official say the amenities will not only attract people to the city for a bite to eat but also bring more residents to its downtown core.

“There will be people living here. There will be people coming back to the city,” said Patricia Will, a partner with One West, the company that owns the building.

Read more:

http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_28250253/one-marketway-west-undergoing-major-revamp-adding-eatery

Braddock’s Backers See Lots Of Potential In Community’s Future

When talking about Braddock, Molly Rice and Jeffrey Carpenter avoid the word “revitalization.”

The term, they say, implies what already exists in the community isn’t vital, and, therefore, doesn’t apply to the historic town.

“Braddock isn’t what you might think it is. There are so many elements and varieties of colors and layers and things to see,” says Rice, a playwright who’s working with Carpenter’s Bricolage Production Company and Real/Time Interventions to bring her “Saints Tour” immersive theater experience to Braddock in May and June.

The show is one of many efforts to draw outsiders in while the community continues to move forward from its unstable past.

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/moreaande/8147634-74/braddock-sousa-theater#ixzz3ZrLDNYdB
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

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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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

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

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

Sheetz To Add Food-Only Stores To Promote Growth In Urban Areas, Exec Woodley Says

Family-owned convenience store chain Sheetz Inc. crossed a milestone last month when it opened its 500th store, one of about 30 the Altoona-based company plans to open this year.

Known for its large gas stations with myriad fresh made-to-order food choices that are popular with travelers, the company grew to $6.9 billion in sales last year, up nearly 5 percent from the previous year.

In a bid to expand into urban markets, the company, which employs more than 16,000 people, is pushing a new store model — one without the gas pumps that focuses on higher-margin sales of food and beverages, said Dave Woodley, the company’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/7934196-74/woodley-trib-stores#ixzz3UktblLyN
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Change At The Top: Isaac’s Restaurant Leaders Talk About Year Of Transition

LANCASTER, PA – For 30 years, Phil Wenger was the guiding force behind Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches.

He grew it from a single restaurant in downtown Lancaster to a regional chain with 18 locations, 550 employees and $20 million in annual sales.

But a year ago today, Wenger stepped away from Isaac’s at age 55, handing control and the title of president and CEO to D. Michael Weaver.

It wasn’t an obvious choice.

While Wenger had been open about not wanting to sell Isaac’s to an outside restaurant company, his chosen successor had zero experience in the industry.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/health/change-at-the-top-isaac-s-restaurant-leaders-talk-about/article_9a2fdd57-24b6-5af8-b124-525f7e98c0fb.html

CEO Of Royal Square Development Shares Market Street Vision For York

For Joshua Hankey, Wednesday was about as big a day as they come.

Only minutes after closing a deal on one key property — The Weinbrom Jewelers building at 58 W. Market St. — Hankey presented his $11.7 million plan to redevelop Market Street to a packed audience at the Yorktowne Hotel Ballroom.

The 36-year-old president and CEO of Royal Square Development and Construction presented his vision of a transformed Market Street to about 180 Rotarians and guests, a crowd that included business owners, clergy, attorneys, doctors and other prominent citizens.

The vision, Hankey said, is to breathe new life into the Market Street corridor, so that it serves to link thriving commercial areas on Beaver Street and the Royal Square neighborhood Hankey’s company is redeveloping.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_27461444/ceo-royal-square-development-shares-market-street-vision

Good Eatz Green Cafe Closes Doors

From Facebook:

I am very sorry to say that The Good Eatz Green Cafe is no longer in business.  After many years and many attempts, we are closed.  I am blessed to have shared this experience with so many wonderful people.  From great co-workers to loyal customers, it has been a pleasure.  Unfortunately at the end of the day, only so much can be done to rectify the finances. With the economy and sales, the end has come.  I am looking forward to write a new chapter in my book of life.  The equipment and recipes are available for someone with a similar vision or looking to set up a cafe or restaurant of their own liking.Please let me know as there is a lot of varied equipment and I’d love to see it being used to share the joy of food and hospitality to others as I did.  And thank you all for an amazing journey..Rick Allebach

Support Locally Owned Small Business This Christmas

Looking for a great gift?  How about a gift certificate to Pottstown’s number 1 rated restaurant on Yelp and Trip Advisor!  Shopping small returns dividends to your community.  Buying from a big box chain does not help the local economy.  Buying from a locally owned business does!

Click here to purchase a great gift for the special people in your life: http://www.icreatecafe.org/?deeplink_referrer=ess#!product/prd1/1602198915/30%24-gift-card

Also, check out the new iCreate store on Facebook.  Click on SHOP to purchase computer classes, Arabic language classes, cooking classes and more. Click here for a direct link to the store: https://www.facebook.com/iCreateCafe/app_196248510415671

New logo

New logo

Update: Philadelphia Area Restaurant Openings

To update the crop of projected restaurant openings over the next eight weeks or so:

Mere hours old is The Crazy Sofa, a sushi/small plater, next to the Regal theater in Newtown Square (the former Roux 3).

Any day now, Collingswood will see the debut of Local Market and Cafe (714 Haddon Ave.), which will sell foods to go or eat-in and will have a coffee bar, deli, butcher, bakery and grocery sections.

Friday, Nov. 21 is day one for Latin Flavor, a Caribbean cafeteria at 627 South St.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/Update-Restaurant-openings.html#kJeUoftlBK7KtdFG.99

Healthy Eats Stir Pottstown’s Food Scene At iCreate Cafe

New logo

New logo

Until a few years ago, Ash Khalil ate meat.

Learning the health benefits of a nutrient-rich diet made of mostly plant-based foods inspired him to open the iCreate Cafe in Pottstown in 2012.

Those who visit the cafe often describe it to others as a mix of vegan, vegetarian and in some cases gluten-free menu musts, with strong Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences in many of the dishes.

Khalil is an eight-year survivor of kidney cancer and said not once did his doctors ever talk to him about the foods he ate and how they might have impacted his health situation.

See more at: http://readingeagle.com/money/article/healthy-eats-stir-pottstowns-food-scene-at-icreate-cafe#sthash.yi5Oznyg.dpuf

Charleroi Envisions Riverfront Destination As Focal Point Of Business Redevelopment Plan

Map of Washington County higlighting Charleroi.

Map of Washington County higlighting Charleroi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Imagine that, another town with a vision and a plan…with the rash of shootings going on in Pottstown again….a vision and a plan would be in order.  Just sayin’…

Donn Henderson sees the Charleroi riverfront development he wants 25 miles away in Pittsburgh.

“It’s not rocket science. There are plenty of examples,” said Henderson, manager of the borough, which will announce a redevelopment plan for the central business district Thursday. “Just look at the North Side. That’s a great model. The South Side, too.”

Re-creating Pittsburgh’s successes deep in Washington County‘s Mon Valley will not be easy. But continuing to watch the once-thriving industrial and retail community lose population amid growing drug and crime problems certainly will accomplish nothing, Henderson said.

“We cannot continue that trend and survive,” he said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/washington/7133358-74/charleroi-henderson-buildings#ixzz3IxX1Lmiv
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Bethlehem Looking To Spice Up South Side With New Mexican Restaurant And Microbrewery

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

A vacant parking lot on South Side Bethlehem could see new life under a $6.7 million plan for a Mexican restaurant and brewpub under one roof.

Ashley Development Corp., based in the city, proposes transforming the 0.38-acre plot at 404 E. Third St. from a former Bethlehem Steel Corp. parking lot into a multi-restaurant space owned by Bethlehem 21st Century, according to Alicia Miller Karner, director of community and economic development for Bethlehem.

Ashley Development Corp. President Lou Pektor says the project would complement and be within walking distance of the entertainment venues that have been developing in that area of the city.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2014/10/bethlehem_looking_to_spice_up.html

Allentown Developer Announces New Project, Possible Rooftop Restaurant

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The developer already behind $500 million of development in downtown Allentown has something new up his sleeve.

J.B. Reilly announced plans Wednesday to renovate a blighted vacant building at Eighth and Linden streets, turning the ground level floor into 4,000-square-feet of retail space.

The upper floors of the three-story building will become either apartments or office space, and a rooftop restaurant could be established there as well, Reilly said.

“We think this is a really important project because it’s sort of the gateway into the residential neighborhood,” said Reilly, president of

City Center Lehigh Valley. “We think it’ll have a pretty big impact on the neighborhood outside the NIZ.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/10/allentown_developer_announces.html

Bethlehem Distillery Gets OK For State’s First New Economic Development Incentive

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

A Bethlehem-based distillery to be opened by the owner of Franklin Hill Vineyards received approval today to be the first business in the state to use a new economic development incentive.

The Bethlehem Revitalization and Improvement Authority gave its unanimous approval to grant the distillery — which will be called Social Still — funding through the state’s City Revitalization and Improvement Zone. The designation allows state and local nonproperty taxes from new businesses in the zone to help finance new development within it.

Authority members debated today over how much of those taxes the business should get. The authority’s guidelines say the authority “strives” to give the developer 80 percent of the funding, an amount board member Ann McHale said is too low for such a unique project.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/09/distillery_gets_ok_for_bethleh.html

Bethlehem Developer Now Seeking 12-Story Building On South Side

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

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

A Bethlehem developer has submitted new plans for a 12-story South Side building wherehe’s already received approval to build a seven-story structure.

Dennis Benner is now seeking approval to build a 12-story building at West Fourth and Vine streets. He received approval for the other project in April.

Benner’s plans include demolishing a second building to allow for the new project, which would include a restaurant or retail space on the first floor plus 11 stories of apartments.

“It’s a substantial change in the project,” said Alicia Karner, Bethlehem’s community and economic development director. “It’s several stories higher and the footprint is far larger.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2014/08/bethlehem_developer_now_seekin.html

The 9 Unhealthiest Restaurant Meals In America

The Center for Science in the Public Interest just released its annual Xtreme Eating List, calling out the 9 unhealthiest restaurant dishes across the country.

While many restaurants made the cut, The Cheesecake Factory had the dubious distinction of nabbing three spots.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/food/20140801_Parade_The_9_Unhealthiest_Restaurant_Meals_in_America.html#A1e4KE2P8aBtPrQY.99