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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, June 27, 2008

Allentown's "Renaissance Square" Sinks Into Dark Age

The renaissance is over.

Allentown's downtown, recently dubbed "Renaissance Sqaure" by King Edwin Pawlowski, continues its downward spiral. For one thing, the elegant Federal Grill is closing its doors. (That's what QCD blogger Genevieve Marshall, fresh from a game of bocce, tells us.) LVDem, the Lehigh Valley's original poliblogger, met me for dinner there a few months ago. Our combined presence probably ruined the Grill's feng shui. He also had a gas attack that night, which drove everyone out. So blame that one on bloggers.

Whatever the reason, the rest of Allentown's downtown remains a failure. Giving it a pretty name is no more effective than claiming Allentown's crime is really just a perception problem.

Michael Molovisnky, the Queen City's cryptic prophet, has persistently warned of the continuing decline of Allentown's downtown with words "burnt like a torch." His latest revelation? Rite Aid Pharmacy, located at 733 W Hamilton, is closing its doors. Although he detests being likened to a reporter, the prophet is two hours ahead of Channel 69 on that one. Revenues at Hamilton Street's Rite Aid were down 40%.

Molovinsky incurred the King's wrath when he told you that, by Royal Decree, three merchants were being evicted from The Americus at 541 W Hamilton. One of these businesses was Minich Jewelers, which had been in business for 73 years.

But wait, there's more! Happy Garden, a Chinese restaurant located at 532 W. Hamilton Street, is also closing. It's not so happy these days. They actually had a sidewalk sale of their tables and chairs.

Incidentally, the revitalization of Allentown's downtown is the excuse I've heard given for Pawlowski's delay in taking any steps to deal with public safety.


Anonymous said...

I am starting to feel like Leonardo Di Caprio on the Titanic movie. Is that 3-5 businesses in a 2-3 week period announcing their closing ? This is from a Mcall blog I wrote earlier, enjoy:
I will miss the Grill because I had friends in the area who actually worked there. She used many of the neighborhood residents to help run the business and it went strong for 11 years. As far as bringing "metrosexuals" to downtown A-town (I have been called this on many occasions) I don't think that is the answer. We need to really build on the existing community and go from there. If you think the residents from the suburban areas and PPL employees will save Allentown, then I definitely have a bridge I'd like to sell to you. The answer is to make A-town an ecclectic, funky, and chic kind of location. Somewhere that is hip and fun to dine, meet, party, and just hang. This will NEVER be a Center Valley or Bethlehem and until City leaders stop picking and choosing who should stay and who can't and what business is viable and what isn't, then Allentown only deserves what Allentown gets. PERIOD !

Anonymous said...

The way to save Allentown is through good government, something that can't be achieved through straight party voting.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Didn't the owner of Minich Jewelers get shot and killed at that location? I recall something happened there.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, in 1981.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about who you are referring to being killed, but I had dealt with Jack Minnich until the store closed. He was the first jeweler I met who didn't make me feel like I was being gouged. I was sorry to see him and the store leave. DWR