Openings & Closings: Business happenings in our area | Business News

Marty Batteen

Bethlehem’s Back Door Bakeshop will reopen as a wholesale operation at 7 E. Church St. in the city’s historic district. The business was open for nine years as a retail outlet at Broad and Center streets, before announcing in March that it would close the storefront April 3 and “go back to its origins as a wholesale business.”

Owner Gail Lehman said in an application for zoning approval that the wholesale business will not generate traffic besides a small box truck dropping off supplies occasionally,” she said at a hearing. The bake shop sells its goods through outlets including Scholl’s Orchards on Center Street in Bethlehem.


St. Luke’s Hospital has won South Whitehall Township planning approval for a short-stay medical facility at 501 Cetronia Road. Orthopedic surgery patients who need just one- or two-day stays would be eligible, and the facility would have no emergency-care 


Ma’s Crepes and Cakes will hold a grand opening and ribbon-cutting June 16 at 46 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe. The celebration starts at 5 p.m., with the ribbon cutting at 5:45 p.m. The restaurant’s goal is to serve 10,000 crepes by year’s end; that would mean more than 1,000 per month, all made with organi USDA approved ingredients. 

The co-owners are Tony Martinez, who is involved with the Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival, and Melissa Martinez. Ma’s will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Fiamma Italian Restaurant on Schoenersville Road in Bethlehem is on the way back after a fire closed the business. No timetable is set for a reopening, but ownership said on social media, “We will be back we will be stronger and our commitment to you all will never change.”


Ciao Sandwich Shoppe is adding a second location, this time on College Hill in Easton. Ciao plans to open at 325 Cattell St. in late summer. Ciao already operates in downtown Easton at 12 N. Third St. Ciao sells a lengthy lineup of sandwiches from about $10 to $13. Its namesake sandwich includes imported prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers and balsamic glaze.


Easton’s new West Ward Market will open Wednesday and be open on Wednesday’s through the summer from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The market, created by the Greater Easton Development Partnership, will sell fresh produce on 12th Street, next to Paxinosa Elementary School.

The West Ward of Easton has no full-service grocery stores, so the new market will provide a nearby outlet for fresh fruit and vegetables.


Amanda Vachris has opened a new Keller Williams Real Estate office at 15 St. John St. in Schuylkill Haven. A ribbon cutting was held this week in conjunction with the Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce and Greater Schuylkill Haven Area Business Association. 


A plan for two “quick-serve” restaurants at Ivy League Drive and Kutztown Road East in Maxatawney did not include enough detail for review by the township because the proposal from Motus Equities did not identify the proposed establishments or include a sketch plan (a preliminary draft for review and feedback from the township planning commission). 


Pedego Electric Bikes has a new outlet in Lambertville, N.J. The owner of the Lambertville operation, Rich Bastain, owns four other outlets in three states, according to Pedego. 

Pedego Lambertville at 13 N. Union St. also rents bicycles for rides through scenic Hunterdon County and the New Hope area on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. 


Take It Outdoors Recreation Hub has moved to a spot along the Schuylkill River Trail at Riverfront Park in Pottstown, Montgomery County. Take It Outdoors provides kayak and canoe rentals, shuttle rides, a bike share, group events, guided trips and educational programming. It operates out of a storefront made from shipping containers.


Steak and Steel Hibachi, a restaurant in the works at 44 W. Walnut St., Bethlehem, still plans on opening late this summer. The restaurant’s ownership team said on social media that they are waiting for permits before construction can begin. 


Construction has begun at North Fourth and Elm streets in Reading, where a Super Natural Produce store may open by year’s end, according to Mayor Eddie Moran. That part of the city has been described as a “food desert,” nutrition jargon for a place without options to buy fresh food. The upper floor of the new building may be used for food production and distribution.


A new Starbucks may be headed toward Bethlehem Township, next to The Shops at Bethlehem on Easton Avenue (the center formerly known by a few people as Easton Commons and anchored by Giant Foods). The coffee chain would cover an open lot on the eastern edge of the center. 

The location is an area where about 274 housing units will be added: 54 at a former garden store on the City of Bethlehem side of Easton Avenue, and another 220 at the old Bethlehem Drive-In on the Bethlehem Township side.


The Bush House Hotel is coming back. The Quakertown lodging is being renovated, after suffering a fire four years ago and a lot of bad publicity last year because of an insect infestation. Thomas Skiffington, who is overseeing the renovations, said the Bush House fills a need for short-term, low-cost housing. Once renovations are complete, he said about 15 more apartments will be available.


Around Again, a consignment store at 154 S. Main St., Phillipsburg, has held a grand opening with the Phillipsburg Area Chamber of Commerce. The stock includes authentic Coach handbags, lots of sandals, and clothing for adults and children.


The Beef Baron on Catasauqua Road, Bethlehem, is closed indefinitely for renovations. The break gives the bar and grill’s staff a break; ownership said workers have put in extra time and handled multiple jobs during the short-staffing that many service businesses have endured during the Covid-19 pandemic.


A new use may be in store for a historic five-story building at 35 N. Sixth St., Reading. Shuman Development Group of Reading plans to convert the former Meridian Bank into a mixed-use building, with a first-floor food court, second-floor offices and apartments on the third through fifth floors.The building has been vacant for years. The conversion proposal is still going through the municipal approval process.


PPL has a new business unit, and that business has a new name. PPL bought Narragansett Electric, the dominant utility in Rhode Island, for $3.8 billion from National Grid. The Allentown-based company renamed Narragansett Electric “Rhode Island Energy.” 

The deal completes PPL’s move to focus on the U.S. Last year, PPL sold its U.K. utility to National Grid, which is based in London.


Lehigh Valley Hospital Network has opened its Dickson City facility. The Main Street hospital offers telemedicine, imaging, surgery and other services. It also has a 19-bay, 24-hour emergency room.


Wildwater Kingdom at Dorney Park opens today at 11 a.m. The Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom’s website advises visitors to check before leaving for a day of recreation because hours are subject to change. Dorney, in South Whitehall Township, has been open since 1884 and has more than 60 rides across its two venues.


Central Medical Supply Group of New Jersey has acquired Helping Hands Medical Equipment, which operates in the Lehigh Valley. Helping Hands provides durable medical equipment to hospice agencies. The transaction expands Central Medical’s presence in eastern and central Pennsylvania.


Muse Modern Med Spa at 325 Fifth St. in Whitehall Township  will hold a grand opening June 4. Treatments include laser hair-removal, chemical peels, microneedling, corrective/acne, teeth whitening and more. 

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