Have you been to Downtown Allentown lately? This is the question I seem to ask anyone and everyone willing to listen. And although the majority of answers border on “it’s been a while” to “not really,” I usually find myself going into a repetitive marketing mantra: “Wow, you should have been at...“
Having an office in downtown, it comes naturally to take a walk whenever possible to visit the diverse eateries spread along the way. From Nana’s Cafe, Bada Bingg, and the Noshery to our newest - Café Central, they each have their own flare. And, then there are places like the Brew Works, Sangria, Made In Brazil and Cosmopolitan - no matter what time of the day, there is always something to do. I have had the opportunity lately to “hang” in downtown, and I find it refreshing to experience the changes that have taken place over the past several years.
People of all ages are flocking here to check out what’s happening, to listen to music, sit outside and enjoy the company of friends and colleagues, have drinks and dinner - and they stay as late as these places are open. A new sense of belonging is permeating and I strongly believe that this perception will expand to all areas of the downtown, as soon as the arena project becomes alive.
Kudos to Pastor Bob Stevens, Chair of the Allentown Center City Association, a partner of the Allentown Chamber, for receiving Main Street designation - and a $50,000 grant from Pennsylvania DCED to continue to manage the Hamilton District Main Street Program. Programs like Main Street will help to revive our urban core and bring Allentown back. Check out the new Hamilton District logo and pick up your copy of the Downtown Allentown map and guide.
Downtown Allentown - it starts here!
And, on behalf of the Chamber, I like to extend a big welcome to Steven Valentim of Café Central, located in the Butz building. By the way, check out their frozen yogurt; it’s fat free and sinfully delicious.