Opening and closing: business events in the region | Lehigh Valley Regional News

Here’s your weekly look at what’s happening with businesses in your area, from new apartment approvals to restaurant reopenings.


Despite some neighbors saying the proposed development doesn’t fit with their Dutchtown neighborhood, the Easton City Council has approved construction of a five-story, 34-unit building. The council still gave the compliance certificate to ANR Development.

Mayor Sal Panto said the revised plan shows setbacks for the fifth floor and other changes that make it a better fit for South Sixth Street. He said that while the plan may bother some neighbors, the issue before the council was whether the plan met city ordinance requirements, and the council voted 5-2 in favor. Get the full story.


COMMODORE: 100 Northampton St., Easton

Easton will have a new rooftop restaurant on a 32-unit apartment building being built by Optima Durant Group, led by Garrett Vassell. The developer chose a local outfit for the rooftop restaurant: the Trapani family, which operates Zest and Grille 3501. Patti Trapani said the restaurant offers fine dining in a casual atmosphere.

Construction at the Commodore has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but tenants could move in later this year or in early 2023, Vassel said. Read the latest information about this project.


DUNKIN: 4793 Tilghman St., South Whitehall Township

The donut and coffee shop is under review, a big traffic problem. Proposed changes to the existing Dunkin’ would include a drive-through reconfiguration with two menu panels and a more impervious (non-absorbent) surface at the Allentown Towne Center mall.

South Whitehall Township Engineer Anthony Tallarido said the project raises traffic concerns along Tilghman Street and could result in vehicles queuing up on the road. Learn more about the proposed project.


FIRST PARK 33: Tatamy Road, Palmer Township

A plan for four large buildings proposed for Palmer Township has been delayed until at least September. The First Park 33 plan, submitted by FR Newlins Logistics Park LLC, is for four buildings with a limited spread on the west side of Tatamy Road between Newlins Mill and Corriere roads.

The proposal won approval from the planning commission, but the city’s board of supervisors has many questions about open space and buffers between the development and homes. Controllers will take another look at the plan on September 12. Read the story in its entirety.


GROCERIES: 1401 Allen St., Allentown

The grand opening of the new grocery store will take place on September 15. The Grocery Outlet takes the Ahart’s Market spot in the Allen Street Mall and replaces everything inside.

Grocery Outlet is a publicly traded chain based in California, but the stores are run by local residents. The chain describes itself as an “extraordinary value retailer” that sends out “WOW Alerts” via e-mail about special offers.

Grocery Outlet Holding Corp. traded on the NASDAQ market under the ticker GO. The company’s market value (shares outstanding at the current price) is about $4.2 billion.

Grocery Outlet operates more than 420 stores in California, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Nevada, New Jersey and Maryland.


IRON PLANT: Front Street, Catasauqua

A plan for an old industrial site more than a decade in the making has failed and the Catasauqua Borough Council must start over.

The new commission will figure out what to do with 12 acres. Dunn Twiggar Co. of Bethlehem proposed a mix of residences, offices and retail space, but that plan was rejected in June.

The district can now put the land up for auction or negotiate a sale. Get more information about this story.


LAKE HYDRA: 4733 Hanoverville Road, Lower Nazareth

Hydra Lake is the Northeast’s newest scuba diving and learning destination. Owners Jim Faulk and Ken Craft have taken over the quarry formerly known as Dutch Springs and plan to improve the site, which attracts divers from several states who then spend money at local hotels, shops and restaurants.

When Lake Hydra will open for diving is unknown, but possibly later this year. This will depend on the construction of a warehouse nearby. The new ownership team is adding an online reservation system and improving the facilities at the quarry lake, and they intend to invest most of the proceeds in making the site an even better diving destination.

The on-site water park will not remain open, but the lake, which may have been closed by warehouse construction, has been preserved for diving under the Folk/Kraft plan, which has been adopted by Trammell Crow Co., which is putting up big buildings. Read the story in its entirety.


NO COFFEE ANYWHERE: 318 Main St., Emmaus (home of South Mountain Cycle & Cafe)

Nowhere Coffee’s second location will hold a grand opening on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to noon at its location on South Mountain Cycle. The event will be co-hosted by the Eastern Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce and Emmaus Main Street Partners.

This is the second location for Nowhere. The original opened earlier this year at 3127 W. Tilghman St., South Whitehall Township. Get complete information.


THE PHOENIX TUBE: 1185 Win Drive (off Pembroke Road), Bethlehem

A stainless steel company is expanding and plans to add 30 jobs. His new 52,000-square-foot facility will manufacture metal pipes, according to a statement from Pennsylvania Gov. Thomas Wolfe.

The company will receive state loans and grants for expansion. More on that.


RESERVE AT PALMER POINT: 3100 Charlotte Ave., Palmer Township

New apartments in Palmer are not opening as planned because Fire Commissioner Stephen Gallagher said they lack fire alarms.

The developer, Metropolitan Companies, said the buildings do meet building codes, but they will soon install additional equipment so that tenants who may be stuck in hotels or staying with family can move in soon. Get all the details.



The Tap Room filed for bankruptcy, saying it was unable to pay its debts. The company also filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2019. Court documents list 92 creditors.

Weyerbacher said on Facebook that he is still brewing and plans to reopen the Tap Room.

“The craft beer industry is a challenge, and breweries don’t last 27 years without good beer and great friends,” it said. “We owe this longevity to the support you have given us over the years.” More on this story.


Berks O&C

READER’S COUNTRY CLUB: 5311 Perkiomen Ave., Exeter Township

A historic country club and golf course could once again become a premier venue for catered events if a partnership between Exeter Township and Catering by DoubleTree is approved.

The deal will give Reading Hospitality Management’s catering division exclusive rights to plan and cater all events at the RCC. These can include individual private and social events, including weddings, banquets, proms, corporate meetings and golf outings.

The supervisory board voted to continue discussing the deal before making a final approval decision. Get the full story.


Poconos Coal O&C

SWIFTWATER SOLAR: Bear Mountain, Pocono Township

The state’s largest solar field is moving toward reality in Monroe County. The Pennsylvania Department of Energy has granted Virginia-based Apex Energy one of the last two permits needed to begin construction on an 80-megawatt solar farm on 644 acres atop Bear Mountain.

Pocono Township has already approved the plan, subject to certain conditions.

Apex plans to put about 200,000 solar panels on the ground. Read the story in its entirety.


West New Jersey O&C

ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM PHILIPSBURG PAVILION and ATLANTIC HEALTH EYE SPECIALISTS in Phillipsburg: 222 Red School Lane and 800 Coventry Road, Lopatcong Township

Atlantic Health has acquired the coordinated care facilities in Lopatcong from Lehigh Valley Health Network. The Red School Lane campus includes primary care, admissions services, physical therapy, sports medicine, laboratory services, women’s health and imaging. Atlantic Health has also acquired the LVHN eye practice nearby on Coventry Road.

Atlantic Health, a nonprofit organization, says it has 4,800 physicians in 12 New Jersey counties. Get all the details about this purchase.


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