October 1, 2022

Openings and closings: commercial events in the region | Economic news

From new apartments approved to restaurants reopening and ready to serve, here’s your weekly look at what’s happening with businesses in your neighborhood.

BATCH MICROCREAMERY: Downtown Allentown Market, North Seventh Street

The ice cream maker has ceased to operate in downtown Allentown but has ongoing projects.

“The marketplace has helped us launch a recognizable brand,” according to Batch’s Facebook page. “Stay tuned for exciting announcements coming very soon!” creamery posted.

Meanwhile, Khanisa pudding bar is moving from its location on Northampton Street in Easton to operate at the Downtown Allentown Market. The landlord complained about the conditions of his building and the city’s response. Mayor Sal Panto said the city has limited input into landlord-tenant disputes.

Khanisa’s will open October 1 in its new Allentown location. Even closed in Easton, Khanisa’s operated online and through agreements with other businesses.


BRASS RAIL: Formerly 3015 Lehigh St., Allentown

The restaurant that claims to have introduced the cheesesteak to Allentown closed its South Allentown location earlier this year, but has made a comeback at the Allentown Big Fair.

That brief appearance may be the end of the company after 91 years, but fans who got what could be their last “railroad sandwich” said they hoped for a permanent return.

A Royal Farms convenience store will replace Brass Rail’s Lehigh Street location. The restaurant’s Hamilton Street location closed in 2001. The Sorrentino family operated the business from the start. Read more.


CRACKER BARREL OLD COUNTRY STORE: 7720 Main Street, Upper Macungie Township

The restaurant has obtained approval from the township board of supervisors for a liquor license. Cracker Barrel will sell packaged beer and wine at Fogelsville Restaurant. Get the full story.


DENNY’S BARBERING: 1518 W. Broad St., Bethlehem

Denny the Barber laid down the blade after 43 years in the business he and his wife Colleen built from the ground up in West Bethlehem.

“No more Denny the barber. I’m Denny now,” Denny Roebuck said as friends gathered to wish him well in retirement.

“That was our plan, and the plan went according to plan,” Colleen Roebuck said.

“I’m 65. It’s time to go. It’s time to enjoy it,” said Denny Roebuck. See the full story.


EVONIK: 7201, boul. Hamilton, Upper Macungie Township

The German specialty chemicals company is expanding into the former headquarters of Air Products and Chemicals.

Evonik plans to expand to Upper Macungie and bring research work to the Lehigh Valley. The expansion is a step toward transforming the local site into a central research and laboratory location in the Northeastern United States.

Evonik employs around 300 people in the area, and the expansion will create another 50 jobs, just to start. Read more.



Lou Pektor’s proposed 185,000-square-foot industrial building on 15 acres at the southeast corner of Van Buren and Newlins Mill Roads faced opposition from a residents’ group led by Timothy Fisher, a lawyer .

This led to arguments at a meeting of the Palmer Township Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, which led Township attorney Charles Bruno to tell Fisher, witness Gerry Genrich and Marc Kaplin, representing Pektor, to come to the point, ask a question or stop talking.

Kaplin understood that no one owns a view of a property unless they own the property.

The fourth hearing on the Pektor building will take place at 7 p.m. on October 25. Discover the whole story.


MEGABUS: 325 Hamilton Street, Allentown

Megabus and Fullington Trailways are expanding their services to bus riders with new routes from Allentown to Philadelphia, Williamsport, Bloomsburg, Lehighton and other cities.

Buses will depart from the Allentown terminal at 325 Hamilton Street. Learn more.


MILLIPORESIGMA DISTRIBUTION CENTER: 7034 Ambassador Drive, Upper Macungie Township

The proposed 154,000 square foot warehouse, adjacent to the company’s existing operations, won approvals and deferrals from the township board of supervisors last week.

A project engineer for MilliporeSigma, which is owned by Merck, said the new building will not create traffic or noise issues. See the full story.


MI PUEBLTO GRILL: 2203 31st St. SW, Allentown

The restaurant will close Sept. 25 after serving Mexican cuisine in south Allentown for five years. No specific reason was given for the closure of the company’s Facebook page.

“We hope to see each of you before we close our doors,” Mi Pueblito said on social media. The restaurant was known for its tacos and nachos. Read more.


MRS. VELVET’S CAFE: 239 N. Fourth St., Allentown

Carlos Marrero opened the cafe in memory of his sister Ruby, who was killed in a hit-and-run in 2017.

The restaurant offers breakfast and lunch options and promises prompt service. Breakfast choices start at $2 for a roll or bagel, all the way up to $6 for a spinach and egg white omelette, and lunches range from $6 to $9.

Marrero said opening the restaurant had been his dream for more than 20 years.

“This situation is bittersweet, because it feels good to have mine,” he said. “It just hurts that I don’t have him here to celebrate.” Get all the details.


NATIONAL FOOTWEAR WORK & SAFETY SHOE CENTER: 4719 W. Tilghman St. (near Planet Fitness), Allentown Towne Center, South Whitehall Township

The 43-year-old family shoe store has moved to larger premises in the Allentown Towne Center, directly across from its former location.

National Footwear Work & Safety Shoe Center offers high-quality footwear, from lumberjack boots to safety sneakers, with brands including Reebok, Carolina, Rockport, Keen, Timberland and more.

National Footwear is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Schedules are subject to change. The store is closed on Sundays.


PISCITELLO HOME CENTER: 2300, avenue Wood, borough of Wilson

Lisa and Dave Colver acquired the home center business near the intersection of 25th Street. Dave Colver, a former Palmer Township supervisor who spent a career in construction, and his wife Lisa are updating the business with new signs, computer systems, interior design and a social media presence.

Piscitello will be open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Read more.


UPS STORE: 5585, boul. Hamilton, Lower Macungie Township

Krunal “Ken” and Priya Patel plan to open a UPS store in a few months at Shepherd’s Corner Mall. Patel’s store will cover 1,500 square feet and will provide shipping, shredding, printing, faxing, passport photograph and notary services, as well as mailboxes for individuals and businesses.

Lehigh Financial Group LLC arranged a loan from the Small Business Administration for the store, according to Jeff Barber, president of Lehigh Financial. Get all the details.


Berk O&C

CADILLAC PUB: 24 E. Main St., Fleetwood

The new bar and grill reflects the borough’s auto body history. The Cadillac Pub opened on Wednesday and its decor includes memorabilia from when General Motors Co. made bodies for Cadillac Fleetwoods and other vehicles.

The pub is on the site of the old Klinger’s of Fleetwood, which closed last year. Read more.


Southeastern AP O&C

BETTER ON THE BONE: 434 E. High St., Pottstown

The new butcher shop posted on social media on Wednesday closed because a fee from a point-of-sale equipment company drained its account.

Point of sale systems are the modern equivalent of cash registers, accepting payment by credit and debit cards, and other formats.

The store started serving customers in July and was planning to hold a grand opening, but that’s not happening right now.

“…we just don’t have the money to open up,” according to Better on the Bone’s social media post. Get all the details.



The authority canceled what would have been one of the biggest deals in Bucks County history last week. The board had agreed to a year of exclusive talks with Essential Utilities Inc. to sell its sewage operations for $1.1 billion, handing over the public service to a for-profit company.

Residents complained and on Tuesday the board reversed its decision. Essential Utilities acknowledged on Wednesday that the deal was void, but warned of how government-controlled authorities sometimes suffer from a lack of deferred maintenance. Read more.


Poconos Charcoal O&C


A man who proposed a film studio in Reading, Berks County, said Tamaqua was the planned new location.

Robert Morgalo said Tamaqua was committed to supporting his project.

Morgalo said negotiations for the purchase of a former mining property were continuing. Learn more.