I’d like to introduce myself as the new Restaurant, Dining and Retail reporter at The Morning Call. You can add Retail Watch columnist to that because much of what I cover regarding restaurants, dining and retail will make up this space each week.
For the past eight years, I’ve been the food and entertainment reporter at The Morning Call. Before that, I worked on the copy desk. In total, I have nearly 30 years of experience as a journalist.
I’m here to tell the story of retail businesses and restaurants in the Lehigh Valley. So, if you are opening a new business or restaurant or have any tips you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about them. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes life calls for a bit of glamour.
It could be that you have a wedding to attend. October is, after all, one of the most popular months of the year for weddings.
Or maybe you have a gala fundraiser to attend?
No matter what special occasion calls for style, a new boutique in downtown Allentown is hoping to help you offer a touch of glamour. Phoenix Fashion has just opened at 17 N. 6th St., Allentown, offering elegant event wear for women, accessories and more. It replaces Elite Pet Styling.
The boutique, which held a grand opening last week, is owned and operated by Hanaa Iessa. Her husband, Rawad Elmir, owns the adjacent Eagle Tec, a cell phone and electronic store.
The name of the boutique, Phoenix Fashion, comes from the couple’s love of birds, Elmir said.
Elmir said his wife’s store specializes in fashionable pieces you aren’t likely to find anywhere else in the Valley.
“All our stuff is imported from Turkey and Italy,” Elmir said. “We have really nice pieces for special events. Nowhere around is selling this stuff.”
Along with special-occasion dresses, the store offers some accessories and imported streetwear such as track suits.
Info: Phoenix Fashion is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at 17 N. 6th St. Allentown. facebook.com/Allentown2022
Oh baby, we have some details about a new downtown business pop-up.
Mia’s Baby Boutique Pop-up Shop is open at 900 Hamilton St., Suite 160. The shop, owned by Melana Davis, has unique and customizable gifts, as well as handcrafted and fun baby-centric wares.
The shop opened on Sept. 1 and will operate in the pop-up location until Dec. 31.
There are some vendor changes underway at the Downtown Allentown Market. The Loaded Plantain is expected to open on Sept. 29, offering customizable bowls, ramen noodle stir-frys, empanadas and tacos made on house-made plantain tortillas. It will take the spot formerly occupied by Little Miss Korea, which closed in February.
Khanisa’s Pudding Bar is expected to open on Oct. 1, offering puddings and desserts. Fans of its Easton location will be happy to know there will be a new and expanded menu of desserts, including pumpkin spice pudding cups. The move to Allentown is a relocation of their Easton business, which had been at 118 Northampton St. Owners Sean and Khanisa Darby have been embroiled in a dispute for months with Easton officials and others over what they described as code violations and favoritism.
The pudding bar will take over the spot left vacant by Batch Microcreamery, a handcrafted, small-batch ice cream shop that was an original vendor at the market and closed at the end of August. Batch was the first location for the business, owned by Richard Pongracz, who also has locations in Quakertown’s Trolley Barn Public Market and a scoop shop at Shepherd Hills Golf Club in Wescosville.
The Downtown Allentown Market, which is at 27 N. Seventh St., opened on Sept. 19, 2019. Like the other public markets in the Valley, the Downtown Allentown Market has seen several vendor changes since the pandemic began more than two years ago. There is currently one vacancy in the market: Zachary’s BBQ, which closed in July after the owner had a serious car accident.
Across from the market, Radish Republic is closing by the end of the month. The small grocery store focused on vibrant fresh, local and regionally sourced food. No vendor is lined up as of press time for this site.
The grocery store will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until it closes on Sept. 30.
Emmaus is losing what’s arguably its most quirky, long-standing pizza shop.
Cavaluzzo’s, known for its far-out and groovy Beatles-focused decor, will close after 36 years, the owners announced on their Facebook page.
“The time has come for us to retire. We have been here for 36 years and never really thought much about it. We have enjoyed serving this community so much and have met so many great people and friends,” reads a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
The restaurant at 1328 Chestnut St., which specializes in pizza, subs and pasta dishes, will close on Oct. 2.
It’s the latest pizza-shop-shakeup in the borough. Bella Pizza opened its second location, Bella Pizza 2, at 578 Chestnut St. in July after Joe’s Pizza II closed after seven years.
Wally’s Deli — a popular sandwich shop in Emmaus — won’t be closing after all.
Owners of the shop, which has been open for 33 years, had announced their plans to close the 1245 Chestnut St. location at the end of September due to a lack of staff.
But they have reversed their plans and announced they would stay open after finding enough help to operate the restaurant. Known best for its “Hog” sandwiches, the Emmaus restaurant will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.
“Thank you again for all your wonderful support and prayers during these crazy uncertain times,” the owners posted on Facebook.
Like a lot of the restaurant industry since the pandemic, Wally’s faced a labor shortage that nearly closed the doors in Emmaus. They also operate another location, 711 N. 17th St., Allentown.
Sheetz — known for its fast, tasty food and convenience store essentials and devoted fans — opened up its newest location Friday in Upper Macungie Township.
The daily update for the Lehigh Valley business person.
The new store at 951 Trexlertown Road, is one of 664 store locations across Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland, with all locations open 24/7, 365 days a year.
The new Sheetz will offer the chain’s popular “Made-To-Order” menu, where customers can order any of Sheetz’s customized specialty drinks or food items around the clock using a touch-screen.
Sheetz will hold a special grand opening at noon Oct. 6. Multiple prizes will be awarded, including the grand prize giveaway of free Sheetz for a Year. The store’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 1:45 p.m. Sheetz will welcome customers by offering free self-serve coffee and soda for the entire day of the grand opening celebration.
The chain will also donate $2,500 to the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania. Customers who attend the grand opening celebration are encouraged to donate a nonperishable food item to the nonprofit. Those who donate will receive a Sheetz branded thermal bag, limit one per customer while supplies last from noon to 2 p.m.
A second donation of $2,500 will also be presented to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania.
Morning Call reporter Jennifer Sheehan can be reached at 610-820-6628 or email@example.com