From new apartments being approved to restaurants reopening and ready to serve, here’s your weekly look at what’s happening with businesses in your neighborhood.
ARTSQUEST’S BANANA FACTORY: 25 W. Third St., Bethlehem
The plan to demolish the old Banana Factory, named for its former use as a wholesale fruit company, was knocked down by the Bethlehem Historic Conservation Commission with a 2-3 vote. Some members of the commission objected to demolishing an old building in favor of a $22.1 million cultural center that would serve the not-for-profit ArtsQuest, which runs Musikfest, puts on concerts and provides art classes.
The vote Monday night, however, is advisory. The historic commission’s standards are not the same as the city’s zoning code. The commission’s decisions can be overruled. Read more about the proposed project.
AUTOZONE: 3650 Nazareth Pike, Bethlehem Township
The auto-parts and -supplies retailer is adding a store along the Route 191 corridor at the Bethlehem Village Shoppes. AutoZone operates more than 6,000 stores, mostly in the U.S.
The new store is on the east side of Nazareth Pike (also known as Route 191 and Linden Street) in a strip mall that also is host to the Bloc marijuana dispensary, Atlantis Aquatics scuba shop and the Callahan School of Driving. AutoZone is taking up multiple vacant storefronts, including one that used to be a boxing gym. Get the details.
CAREY AND SCHNALZER QUALITY MEATS (formerly Hartman’s Butcher Shop): 7291 Autumn Ave., off Route 309, New Tripoli
The former Hartman’s has new owners who will open a butcher shop that blends the old and the new. Scott Carey of Easton and Mike Schnalzer of Slate Belt Butchery, Saylorsburg, bought the butchery off Route 309, known for its pig statue, and will reopen it this fall as Carey and Schnalzer Quality Meats.
The new owners will use some of the former Hartman’s recipes along with some of their own. The business closed in July 2021, when Dennis Hartman retired, according to Lehigh Financial Group of Allentown, which arranged financing for the business purchase and renovations.
The Slate Belt Butchery wholesale business will continue under that name. The new butchery may open this September, with a possible “soft opening,” in advance of a formal grand opening, in August. Read the full story.
CRUMBL COOKIES: 3712-3 Nazareth Road, Lower Nazareth Township
The new cookie store at Northampton Crossings off Route 248 has been drawing customers for regulars such as milk chocolate chip and more exotic flavors. Crumbl’s cookie menu changes each week. The chain’s offerings include fruit pizza (served chilled) and maple glaze (served warm).
The first Crumbl opened in Logan, Utah, in 2017. The chain now operates more than 300 bakeries in 36 states. In addition to the cookie menu, Crumbl is also known for its pink packaging. Read more.
DON CORLEONE’S RESTAURANT AND PIZZA: 6301 Route 309, New Tripoli
The new restaurant serves Brooklyn-style pizza, along with Italian and Sicilian food in a casual atmosphere. Vegetarian options are also available.
FARMHOUSE DELI AT THE MARKET AT JOHNSONVILLE FARM & GARDEN: 147 Johnsonville Road, Bangor
The market has added a deli that serves sandwiches, salads and soup, along with custom-sliced meat and cheese. Lunch specials will vary weekly, so see the deli’s social media posts for the menu.
A recent list of sandwiches and wraps ran from $4.99 each to $11.95. Options included a Reuben, grilled cheese, chicken bacon ranch wrap and sandwiches made to order.
GRAND RIVERVIEW HOTEL: 289-303 S. Delaware Drive, Easton
A proposed 108-room hotel won approval from Easton’s Zoning Hearing Board Monday. In addition to the guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, rooftop space, terrace and gazebo are part of the plan presented by Terry Briggs of Chester Franklin Group LLC.
The plan is to use some of the cave left on the property by the Kuebler Brewing Company, which operated from 1850 to 1952. The hotel will cover 160,296 square feet, and be 98 feet high, with 3.5 parking floors, providing 215 parking spaces. Get all the details.
JOHN J. ZEINER & SONS: 828-830 Hanover Ave., Allentown
More than a century of East Allentown tradition will end when the landmark piano business closes at the end of August or slightly later, Jean Zeiner Burch said Tuesday. John J. Zeiner & Sons was founded in 1912 and has been at its current location for 65 years.
A combination of the pandemic, family members retiring and a swing in tastes to electric pianos led to the decision to close, Burch said. Service such as repairs and tuning will continue, but independently of the store. Information about the service business is available through Zeiner’s.
A final closing date has not been set.
After Zeiner’s moves on, a beer distributor is set to move into the building, according to a Liquor Control Board sign in the window of the store. Read more about the closing.
KEYBANK: 502 Main St. and 701-705 Main St., Slatington
Slatington’s 4,300 or so residents are losing banks to the digital age. KeyBank will close its 502 Main St. branch and 701-705 Main St. drive-thru on Dec. 2, as more people move online for financial services.
This is not just a theoretical “Main Street” expression, but three banks actually on Main Street will close in the Lehigh County borough this year.
Wells Fargo announced earlier that it will close its 541 Main St. branch in August.
The move toward online and mobile banking accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey posted last year by KeyBank. The bank’s Slatington customers will still be able to visit a branch at 2971 MacArthur Road in Whitehall Township if they want the full bricks-and-mortar financial experience. Get the full scoop.
MUSIKFEST: Historic Bethlehem on the North and South sides
The festival is bringing back CashCards, reloadable cards that can help payment lines move along faster. The cards will be available at booths at Musikfest, which runs from Aug. 5 to Aug. 14 this year.
North Side vendors will accept credit and debit cards too, and South Side vendors will also take cash. Find out more about this.
SHIFT4 PAYMENTS INC.: Hanover Township, Lehigh County
The payment processor added two sports team in New Orleans to its portfolio. Shift4 will now handle transactions for the Saints of the National Football League and the National Basketball Association’s Pelicans.
The company already processes more than $200 billion in transactions annually, and works with teams in every major sports league, along with college teams.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jared Isaacman started the company as a teenager in 1999, and now Forbes values his wealth at $1.1 billion. Read more.
SPIRIT HALLOWEEN: Locations in Northampton, Lehigh and Bucks counties
The holiday stores will open at 3843 Nazareth Pike, Bethlehem Township (near the former Kmart store); Richland Plaza at 755 W. West End Blvd., Quakertown; and at the South Mall, 3300 Lehigh St., Allentown.
The James Balliett Property Group announced the three leases Thursday.
TAYLOR ROASTED COFFEEHOUSE: 1924 Main St., Northampton
The coffee house is serving customers again, bouncing back after a flood caused by vandals that destroyed the roaster. Then supply-chain problems delayed a restart, but Taylor is back.
The coffee house serves a full line of hot and cold drinks, and its website promises that online ordering will soon be available. Check Taylor Roasted’s social media posts for hours of operation. Get the full scoop.
UNIQUELY LO.CO.: 3022 Tilghman St., Allentown
The new furniture, art and gift shop has held a grand opening.
Uniquely Lo.Co. is a DIY and artisan store and an Elite Dixie Bell paint retailer. The store also holds painting classes.
WAWA: 3608 Nazareth Pike, Bethlehem Township
Just south of the Bethlehem Village Shoppes, a convenience store with 16 gas pumps has been cleared for construction. Wawa won approval of the Bethlehem Township Board of Supervisors by a 4-1 vote, with Dale Sourbeck dissenting.
Many residents objected to the traffic a new store will bring, along with noise and light pollution, but zoning near the corner of Oakland Road and Nazareth Pike allows the use.
The development team behind the new store said landscaping and trees will mitigate the impact on neighbors.
Wawa will occupy the site that used to be Leiser’s rental center. Read more about the project.
WAWA: 6216 Hamilton Blvd., Lower Macungie Township
The Lehigh Valley’s first drive-thru Wawa received land development approval from the Lower Macungie Board of Commissioners Thursday night.
Wawa plans to build a 2,030-square-foot drive-thru restaurant on a 1-acre site at the Trexler Business Center, adjacent to the Movie Tavern and the First Commonwealth Credit Union headquarters.
The plan is unique for Wawa, as it will include only drive-thru service for prepared food and drinks. No mini-mart or gas fueling will be provided.
This would be the second drive-thru-only Wawa in Pennsylvania, Wawa officials said. The original is located in Falls Township, Bucks County. Get the full story.
CUSTOMERS BANK: Branches in Exeter Township, Muhlenberg Township, and Bucks and Delaware counties
Customers Bank announced Friday it will close five branches in southeastern Pennsylvania, including two in Berks County and one in Bucks County, as its customers move to mobile and online banking.
The move is part of an overall strategy of continued national expansion that may include additional branches in new markets in the future, Customers said in a news release.
The affected branches are at 1 Hearthstone Court, Exeter Township; 350 E. Bellevue Ave., Muhlenberg Township; Route 413 and Doublewoods Road, Langhorne, Bucks County; 3557 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, Delaware County; and 153 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, Chester County.
The closings are expected to take place in late October and early November. Accounts from those branches will be transferred to other branches in the region, the bank said. Read more about the closings.
MAIN STREET INN: 401 W. Main St., Kutztown
Main Street Inn, long a stop for families visiting Kutztown University or on business or pleasure in Berks County, has new owners.
And they want to add a touch of Italy.
The eight-room Victorian bed and breakfast, in the heart of town, just a block from the university, recently was bought by Marco and Andrea Folino. They also own Folino Estate Winery, just seven miles away at 340 Old Route 22, Greenwich Township.
The Folinos say they hope to connect the two by transitioning the bed and breakfast into Vintner’s Inn, an adult (18 and older) lodging experience that will bring “the vision and ambiance of old-world Tuscan charm” to Main Street, Kutztown.
Renovations started this month and over the next few months are expected to include “transforming Vintner’s Inn, from renovations, room designs and more,” the new owners said on Facebook. They said it “is a project we have been working on behind-the-scenes for quite a while.”
The inn will stay open during renovations.
The Folinos bought Main Street Inn from Pam and Angelo Corrado, who opened it in 2007 as first-time Innkeepers and gave the place its motto of “Entered as Strangers and Left as Friends.” Get the full story.
F&L DOORS: 631 S. Route 183, Schuylkill Haven
F&L Doors is scheduled to have a grand opening with a ribbon-cutting on Monday.
The free community celebration will feature free hot dogs for the first 100 guests, food trucks and giveaways.
The business, a division of Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc., will hold the ceremony at noon with Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce and Greater Schuylkill Haven Area Business Association.
F&L Doors offers garage doors, repairs and other work with what it says is attractive pricing and outstanding customer service.
THE WALK IN ART CENTER: 220 Parkway, Schuylkill Haven
Schuylkill Haven’s hub for arts and culture will have a ribbon-cutting for its arts education center at noon, Aug. 30.
The grand opening will follow at 3-6 p.m. It will be a free community event; register at www.walkinartscenter/events. The first 50 children to register and attend will get an art center swag bag full of art activities, coupons and snacks.
There also will be activities, refreshments and 25% off of a fall class if you register that day.
Walk In Art Center, two blocks from the Schuylkill River, is in the former Walkin Shoe Factory, a historic three-story factory built in 1887. In 2011, the Walk In Art Center became a non-profit began artist studios there.
DIRT: 241 W. Broad St., Quakertown
The coffee house and plant-based cafe is closing after a year in business, according to Dirt’s Facebook page. A new business will move into the West Broad Street location.
Dirt’s final day will be Wednesday, July 27.
“Life has changed,” according to the social media post, adding that more information about Dirt and the new business will be posted.
Phillipsburg is enjoying a wealth of development, Mayor Todd Tersigni said last week. Among the new projects is a plan to turn the former Elks Buildings on South Main Street into 15 apartments. Tersigni said much of the town’s development focus is on using vacant buildings.
On Route 22, the former Ahart’s grocery store is set to become the site of Arby’s and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen fast-food restaurants. The town continues to work on bringing in a new grocery store, Tersigni said.
BRIGHTWAY, THE LEHIGH VALLEY AGENCY: Location to be determined in Warren County
The insurance agency will open remotely while owner Sam Martini searches for a permanent location. Martini is a native of Wind Gap whose father Don has owned and operated the Doghouse Bagel & Deli on Route 94 in Blairstown for almost 30 years.
Martini said he is licensed to sell insurance in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, so his agency will cover both sides of the Delaware River. He is 24 years old, a 2021 graduate of Penn State and a 2017 graduate of Pen Argyl High School.
His agency will sell home, flood, auto, boat, condominium, renters’. RV, motorcycle, personal articles, life and umbrella insurance policies from numerous companies.