Here’s a round-up of local business openings and closings that made news in recent weeks.
Hamilton Street's namesake restaurant is closing to make way for a sports-themed restaurant and bar that promises to bring live entertainment, along with Chicken & Bliss, to Allentown. The Hamilton Kitchen will close by year's end.
City Center Investment Corp. said Sports & Social will open in the spring in the 8,000-square-foot space at Two City Center, at 645 Hamilton Street. The national chain usually opens restaurants in big entertainment districts and casinos, and near stadiums, so drawing one to Allentown "validates the amazing revitalization of this great city," City Center Chief Operating Officer Judith Borrelli said.
Sports & Social's menu includes a signature item, Chicken & Bliss: a toasted waffle, fried chicken strips, maple syrup, sliced strawberries, honey lemon butter and mint.
In Bethlehem, what looks like an independent pharmacy is opening in a small strip mall. Signs are up for Linden Pharmacy at 3010 Linden Street. The ownership is showing some confidence in an industry dominated by big chains, and there is a Walgreens about a block away. More details later on this operation.
New lodgings may be on the way in Allentown. Developers Mukesh and Dilip Patel plan a 37,000-square-foot Microtel at 301 Union Boulevard, with access from Dauphin Street. The four-floor, 70-room building would have an indoor swimming pool. The site is just east of the Lehigh River and not far from Coca-Cola Park, home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Across the Delaware River in Greenwich Township, Mountain Dudes is serving a limited menu while work on the former Sammy's Drive-In continues. The Dudes' website indicates limited hours for now at the 1193 Route 22 site, across from the Phillipsburg Mall. The restaurant serves modern American food.
Easton is going to get an African restaurant where Gino's Pizza used to operate. Hoza is seeking staff for the 349 Northampton Street location. According to Hoza's Facebook page, they have been looking for cooks, servers, hostesses, prep workers and dishwashers since July. The name Hoza means, roughly, "Thank God it's Friday" in Africa.
Split Pine Axe Throwing plans a grand opening on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 627 Hamilton Street in Allentown. Groups of 2 or more can throw for 20 minutes for $8.
In south Bethlehem, Zeke Zelker's Zekraft has opened at 306 South New Street. Zelker has more than 20 years of catering and restaurant experience. The café menu includes coffee, tartines, salads, desserts and more, and Zelker seeks to use local ingredients. Delivery is available, and Zekraft has an extensive catering menu.
Also in Bethlehem, Freemotion Dance Shoppe has opened at 2475 Willow Park Road. The store carries "everything dance related" and does fitting for pointe shoes. Freemotion carries shoes for ballet, pointe, hip-hop, jazz, tap, ballroom and lyrical dance.