Japanese restaurant opens in Palmer Township
DM Sushi takes over former pizzeria near Palmer Park Mall in Palmer Township
Tyrone Richarson / The Morning Call
For roughly a decade, Donny Chen has worked at Japanese restaurants but always planned to open his own.
Just a few months ago, those plans came to fruition with the opening of DM Sushi at the former Ray’s Famous Pizza II at 2928 Old Nazareth Road, Palmer Township.
Chen owns the place with his wife, Anna.
They did some major renovations to the former pizzeria that some may remember as Palmer Dairy Bar several decades ago.
DM’s architectural details include Japanese lanterns on the outside. Inside, the space has been remodeled with brown tile flooring that flows with the sea of wood accents on the walls. The new seating includes a sushi bar.
The eatery is BYOB. The menu includes dishes like hibachi, teriyaki, Japanese stir-fried noodles, and a large selection of sushi. The sushi menu is the anchor with basics like salmon and tuna, and specials with creative names like Money Green, Mini-Me Roll, Electric Shock, Touch of Kiss, Super Storm, and Shrek Roll, which is white tuna, lobster salad, tempura flakes, avocado and tobiko wrapped with colored seaweed.
The owners plan to add a mural and a patio.
Since I’m already on food, let’s get more helpings.
The contemporary restaurant Relish closed in the Tilghman Square Shopping Center in South Whitehall Township.
The restaurant opened in 2009 and was known for its menu of pasta marina, shrimp scampi, filet mignon, sandwiches and gluten-free fare. It was also memorable for its memorabilia of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra.
Relish’s exit comes when Tilghman Square was near capacity, with YoFresh Yogurt opening this spring next to Planet Fitness.
Another loss takes us to a downtown Easton storefront, where several ventures have failed in recent years.
Phat Joe’s Grill and Catering closed weeks ago at 77 N. Fourth St. Opened less than a year ago, it peddled large sandwiches like those sold at the popular lunch trucks near Rutgers University in New Jersey. Phat Joe’s replaced the former Soullicious soul food takeout, which folded in early 2011, less than two years after replacing the former Jaffy’s Soul Food restaurant.
One drawback with the small space is its lack of seating, forcing only takeout.
Now, let’s shift to openings.
Logan’s Roadhouse opens in the Airport Center shopping plaza on Monday.
The 6,500-square-foot restaurant was constructed in the parking lot next to Panera Bread in the Hanover Township, Lehigh County, shopping center.
This is the first Logan’s in the Lehigh Valley. The chain opened a restaurant in Hamburg last year.
The Hanover Township location will seat 237 people and includes Logan’s signature neon signs, jukebox and bottomless buckets of peanuts at each table.
Logan’s menu includes more than 30 entrees, such as aged steaks, grilled chicken, steakburgers, baby-back ribs, seafood and salads.
Logan’s beefs up the Valley’s burgeoning steakhouse front, which recently added names such as LongHorn steakhouse on Whitehall Township’s Grape Street last year.
The Valley’s steakhouse front has also shed some merchants. The region lost Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse in South Whitehall Township last year, and Logan’s arrival comes just a month after the long-standing Jack Creek Steakhouse & Cantina shuttered in the nearby Valley Plaza shopping center on Catasauqua Road.
The Lehigh Valley Diner building on Whitehall’s MacArthur Road has sat lifeless for much of the last few years.
But a “now hiring” sign was recently posted in front of the building, which sits directly across from the new Bottom Dollar Food supermarket. Efforts to reach the eatery’s owner were unsuccessful last week.
The diner property has been plagued with closures in recent years. A fire in 2007, which investigators ruled accidental, shuttered it until 2009. Then, in 2010, the place was supposed to be renamed “V-n-A Diner” to coincide with a potential sale, but the deal faded.
That year, a sheriff’s sale notice was posted on the diner’s front door, calling for the auction of items like silverware and appliances. The Lehigh County sheriff’s office identified the restaurant owner as Nick Paxos.
Paxos never returned my repeated phone calls that year, but the sheriff’s sale was canceled when roughly $9,000 in back tax was paid to the Whitehall-Coplay School District, according to the sheriff’s office.
The building has sat lifeless since then.
Owners of Lawrence Roth Salon and Day Spa in Allentown are planning to buy the former TC Salon building in the city’s West End, they said earlier this month.
The deal would move Lawrence Roth’s Liberty Street operation to the TC Salon space at 621 N. 19th St. The space has been vacant since TC Salon abruptly closed last summer.
Jason Roth, Lawrence Roth’s director of operations, said the deal is moving forward and they plan to be in the former TC building as early as this summer.
The multimillion-dollar TC Salon project, which was funded in part with public dollars, brought a high-end salon and spa that replaced the Shanty restaurant in May 2010.
TC Salon owner Frank Shipman has said he was forced to close because his bank accounts had been frozen in a dispute related to his previously closed Bethlehem salon.
The salon occupied 9,000 square feet. Initial plans called for the addition of another 3,000 square feet to house a restaurant, but those plans never came to fruition.
Roth said in addition to the salon, plans include a cabaret lounge to coincide with the arts and entertainment theme of the 19th Street corridor, a section lined with boutiques and the 19th Street Theatre.
The Shoppes at the Sands will have more merchants this spring, officials announced days ago.
The heavily advertised addition to the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem was supposed to be near its 31-merchant capacity for its grand opening next month. Still, the 200,000-square-foot new luxury outlet mall has 14 merchants, including newbies Coach, Corning, Chico’s, Peeps & Co. and Hartstrings.
New merchants expected to open in the mall this spring includes Van Heusen, Bass, IZOD, Tommy Hilfiger, Dressbarn, Under Armour, and Art of Bread by Georges Perrier.
Jeff Green, president and CEO of Phoenix-based retail consultant Jeff Green Partners, has said the Sands outlet mall could be slow to fill spaces because of competition among designer outlet malls throughout the country.