An landmark in Allentown has a new owner and a new look..and it's gearing up for its big reopening.
Over the past three months, the Shanty Restaurant on 19th Street has gone from rough to nearly ready to open.
"We were going for a New York-style, old English-style pub with an art-deco flare," said co-owner Ron Pickering.
Mission accomplished. Owners Ron and Clarissa Pickering and Joe Tatasciore said they wanted to wrap it all up in theatrical vibe.
Everything from the color-changing LED lights to custom mirrors and memorabilia on the walls sets the stage.
One unique feature is a gathering of theater chairs where you can have a drink, an appetizer and an introduction.
"There is probably going to be somebody already there. We are going to make sure we know one or two people's names that you are going to be sitting next to and introduce you. Now it's up to you and them to interact," said Pickering.
Construction on the Shanty started a year ago after nearly a decade of drama.
The longstanding and beloved landmark closed in 2005. The building then changed hands a few times, and soon, the curtain will rise again for the new Shanty.
The focus now is on the hiring and training of 25 employees to serve and work in the bar and open kitchen.
"The whole thing is part of a show. The bartenders put on a show. The cooks put on a show. There is going to be flames. There is going to be interaction," said Pickering.
The Shanty has had a big audience during construction, said Pickering, adding that it's 99 percent done. So now it's all about the details.
If all goes as planned, Pickering said The Shanty will start serving specialty cocktails and American-blended eclectic cuisine in mid-May.