The co-owners of Copperhead Grille, which has a location in Upper Saucon Township and another in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, are planning two new adjacent restaurants in South Whitehall Township.
Mike Dontas Jr. said he and his business partner and cousin, Mike Dontas Sr., bought the former Crest Inn at 2730 Walbert Ave., next to the Parkland Restaurant. He said they will transform the space into a café-style breakfast, lunch and brunch eatery called the Fork N’ Egg, slated to open this fall, with about 25 employees.
“We are going to feature honest and fresh foods, hormone-free eggs, fresh-squeezed juices and natural smoothies, an Espresso bar, homemade batters for our pancakes and waffles, breads and freshly baked pastries,” Dontas Jr. said.
Cooks will be smoking, roasting and hand-carving fresh meats so the turkey sandwich one might order would be cooked, cut and served that day, he added.
“We’ve been in the neighborhood for 32 years now; we want our restaurants to be part of the fabric of our neighborhood,” Dontas Jr. said. “Families have grown up in our restaurants and we want to continue that tradition.”
PARKLAND RESTAURANT CELEBRATION
Once Fork N’ Egg opens, the Parkland Restaurant will close – but will be transformed into another Copperhead Grille.
“We will be doing a going-away celebration, a week-long event,” Dontas Jr. said of the Parkland Restaurant. “To celebrate the end of an era.”
His father and uncle, Louie and Pete Dontas, respectively, have owned and operated the Parkland Restaurant since 1983 and they are retiring this year.
“We want to start something new so our fathers can retire,” Dontas Jr. said.
He emphasized that the Parkland would stay open for business until the Fork N’ Egg is ready to open.
Demolition already started on the space for the new restaurant, which is about 4,000 square feet. The owners are about to enter the permitting stage, Dontas Jr. said.
The Alfero Co. of Easton is doing the construction work.
Business hours for the Fork N’ Egg will be 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week.
ANOTHER COPPERHEAD GRILLE
Meanwhile, at the Parkland Restaurant at 2702 Walbert Ave., the cousins want to transform the space into another Copperhead Grille, a sports bar and grill.
In 2002, the Dontas opened their first Copperhead in Upper Saucon Township at 5737 Route 378 and in 2007 added another in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, at 1731 Airport Road.
They have not set an opening date for the South Whitehall Copperhead Grille. Once the Fork N’ Egg is up and running, they will turn their attention to the new spot and possibly hire 35 employees for this location.
“We will take it one step at a time right now,” Dontas Jr. said.
Ninety percent of the Copperhead Grille’s menu is homemade and it specializes in ribs, steaks, burgers, fajitas, Buffalo wings and a wide variety of import and craft beers, he said.