Sports & Social, a restaurant and sports bar, will open next year in Allentown's Two City Center Building.
For those who have never visited a Sports & Social, that means Chicken & Bliss is coming, and a chain that operates in big entertainment districts and adjacent to pro stadiums has chosen to come to the Lehigh Valley.
City Center Investment Corp. said its Hamilton Kitchen & Bar at the Center Square location will close in December to make way for the new restaurant. City Center will work with Sports & Social to ensure Hamilton staff is given priority for hiring. The Hamilton Kitchen has been open at the 645 Hamilton Street site for seven years.
Sports & Social will feature live music and entertainment, with televised sports and an area for outdoor dining on Center Square. The chain has locations in entertainment districts, casinos and near stadiums, among them Truist Park in Atlanta, Ballpark Village adjacent to Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and in the Live! Casino Pittsburgh.
"Attracting the national brand Sports & Social to downtown Allentown validates the amazing revitalization of this great city," said Judy Borrelli, chief operating officer of City Center.
The Allentown restaurant will be the chain's third Pennsylvania location, and is due to open in the spring.
City Center has led the development that has changed the downtown skyline, with nearly $800 million of investment in office buildings, the Renaissance Allentown Hotel, apartments, and retail and restaurant space.
The new restaurant and bar will offer another option for the growing downtown population.
"Sports & Social in downtown Allentown will deliver an unmatched first-class dining and entertainment experience," said Jarrett Laubach, City Center's director of leasing.
Sports & Social will serve cocktails and specialty drinks, local and national beers, with a menu of "game day favorites" and weekend brunch with avocado toast, breakfast skillets and Chicken & Bliss: a toasted waffle, fried chicken strips, maple syrup, sliced strawberries, honey lemon butter and mint.
Each Sports & Social is designed to reflect the region where it operates.
"We take great pride in ensuring that each location is specifically curated from the interior design to our menu selection and live music from regional and local acts," said Scott Steenrod, chief operating officer Live! Dining and Entertainment, which operates Sports & Socials.
The parent company of the chain is Cordish Cos., a privately held business founded in 1910 in the Baltimore area. Cordish has developed its own restaurant concepts and worked with celebrity chef Guy Fieri.
Cordish businesses include commercial real estate, entertainment districts, gambling, hotels, private equity, restaurants and other ventures.