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After 35 years, Garden Design gets new owner

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Contributed photo: Patrons at The Bayou Southern Kitchen and Bar
in Bethlehem, which recently opened.
Contributed photo: Patrons at The Bayou Southern Kitchen and Bar in Bethlehem, which recently opened.

After 35 years in business, landscape architect Joanne Kostecky has retired. Her business, Joanne Kostecky Garden Design in Wescosville, has been taken over by a new owner, Frederick Learey.

Learey said he worked with Garden Design about 10 years ago, but then went to work in the Philadelphia market.

He said he’s happy to be back in the Lehigh Valley and hopes to grow on the reputation the business has developed over the years.

“When people think of Joanne Kostecky Garden Design, they tend to think of a certain style,” said Learey, noting her love of natural, ornamental-grassy landscapes. “For customers who want that, I can certainly give them that, but I’m a more classical designer. I like a very formal garden.”

Learey said he also does more work with the construction elements of landscape design, designing decks, pools and outdoor kitchens.

“You see a lot of that in the Philadelphia area, and I think there’s a growing market for that here in the Lehigh Valley,” he said.

Learey said the business will continue to use the name Garden Design Inc., but he will associate his name, as well as Kostecky’s name, with the title.

Garden Design Inc. is at 4906 Hamilton Blvd. in Wescosville. For more information, visit www.gardendesigninc.com.

The former Hawthorne has been resurrected as The Bayou Southern Kitchen and Bar in Bethlehem. The building had sat vacant since an arson in 2009.

It was owned by City Line Construction, a fire and water repair company that planned to repair and reopen it. Ultimately, though, a group of Lehigh Valley-area restaurant veterans bought the property to run it as a southern-style restaurant and bar.

Cristian Duarte was a server and bar manager and Morris Taylor served as general manager for Starter’s restaurant group and had long talked about opening their own bar with craft beer, unique cocktails and a southern flare to the food.

But when they met Tyler Baxter, a former chef at Bethlehem’s Tapas and The Cosmopolitan in Allentown, who had previously worked in New Orleans, their idea quickly jelled into a New Orleans-centric concept – and the idea for The Bayou was born.

At 702 Hawthorne Road, the restaurant offers southern specialties such as Brisket po’boy, which Durante described as the southern version of a Philly Cheese Steak. Southern favorites collard greens and blackened catfish are on the menu, as are New Orleans-style versions of pub favorites such as hot wings and fresh-cut fries.

Durante, whose expertise lies more in the bar end of the business, said they have installed 24 beer taps, 22 of which will pour craft beers. He and Taylor have re-created traditional New Orleans cocktails, such as the hurricane, as well as their own cocktails which rely heavily on southern staples such as bourbon, whiskey and moonshine.

For more information, go to www.dat-bayou.com.

A grand opening has been scheduled for April 4 for the new Bartonsville Health Center in Monroe County. The center will offer services including women’s breast health, obstetrics and gynecology and urogynecology advanced wound care, endocrinology, pulmonology, imaging primary care and vascular surgery.

The health center will be run by Pocono Medical Center, part of the Pocono Health System, based in East Stroudsburg.

The center is at 600 Commerce Blvd. in Bartonsville.

For more information, visit www.poconomedicalcenter.org.

Personal trainer Wendy Strohl and her long-time client, Neela Bera, opened a new fitness studio in Bethlehem that is geared toward long-term lifestyle changes with fitness and better nutrition.

Inner Strength Fitness Studio is at 2485 Willow Park Road in Bethlehem.

“I was a person who was overweight most of my life,” Strohl said.

In her nine years as a fitness instructor, she’s learned how to use exercise and nutrition together to maintain healthy weight and fitness levels, she said.

“There is no magic pill,” Strohl said. “You have to work at it every day.”

Strohl said she teaches fitness classes for adults and children and also does personal training and nutrition consultation.

The grand opening was March 29.

For more information, call 610-419-6133.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Reporter Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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