First-floor restaurant opens in Two City Center

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The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar is on the first floor of Two City Center in Downtown Allentown.
The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar is on the first floor of Two City Center in Downtown Allentown. - (Photo By Stacy Wescoe)

The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar held a soft opening during the first week of July at Two City Center, one of the anchors of the new development boom in Downtown Allentown.

The 8,000-square-foot restaurant is on the first floor of the new building and, despite its name, is facing Seventh and not Hamilton street.

The restaurant specializes in American cuisine under executive chef Drew Stark, a Delaware County native and veteran of restaurants in New York City, Philadelphia and Boston who said he plans to feature his own take on local cuisine and farm-to-table selections.

The Hamilton Kitchen is owned by a well-known local restaurateur Donny Petridis.

Petridis also founded Melt in Center ValČley and Blue in Bethlehem.

The restaurant features a full bar and room for 150 diners. There also are facilities available for private or corporate functions.

The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar is at 645 W. Hamilton St. in Allentown. For more information, call 610-433-3535.

An art gallery operated by a former set designer and lighting designer is opening soon in Bethlehem.

Bethlehem House Contemporary Art Gallery will have its grand opening July 25 at 459 Main St.

The gallery will be run under the direction of Ward Van Haute, a 15-year veteran of television and stage in the Philadelphia and New York markets.

Award-winning Philadelphia theater lighting designer Jerold R. Forsyth is designing the gallery lighting, Van Haute said.

“Rather than featuring art using typical gallery lighting, the intent here at Bethlehem House is to borrow from the theater, using lighting to alter and create different moods, times of day and even emotion,” Van Haute said.

In addition to the specialty lighting, home interior accents in the 2,500-square-foot gallery have been created by theater set designers.

He said the goal is to show that art belongs in the home.

“We plan to demonstrate the practical use of contemporary artwork and modern interior design by exhibiting works in a furnished environment,” Van Haute said. He said the gallery will feature a living room, bedroom, office, living area and foyer and eventually a kitchen. Art will be displayed in each room setting.

Kidsville News, a national educational children’s monthly print and online publication, entered the Lehigh Valley market in May.

Beginning in 1998 in North Carolina, the free publication nationally has 1.5 million readers and is distributed in 11 states. In Lehigh County, the publication has reached more than 18,000 children, said local publisher Gwen Pongracz.

“Once we’re established in Lehigh County, we want to move to Northampton County so that every child in the Lehigh Valley area can read our magazine,” Gwen Pongracz said.

Its mission is to create a fun, family newspaper and educational source that promotes literacy, education and character development nationwide.

Targeting children in grades kindergarten through sixth, Kidsville News features information on math, science, culture, geography, animals, weather, conservation and cooking. It features a different theme each month.

Its mascot is green dragon named Truman who, throughout the publication, promotes good character, literacy and the love of learning. And its “Space Place” science column is written by a NASA representative.

“[Kidsville News] is really a lot more extensive [than other children’s magazines],” Pongracz said. “Teachers can actually use it in their classroom structure. It’s very interactive.”

The Kidsville News online edition is compatible for tablets and Smart Boards in classrooms, and its website has downloadable worksheets for teachers. In addition, there are fun, educational online games for children.

Children can submit stories, poems and drawings. There are book and movie reviews written by children, and the publication also features schools and honors teachers.

Distributed principally to schools, Kidsville News also is available in some public libraries and other kid-friendly places such as the YMCA and several restaurants in Lehigh County.

Kidsville News relies heavily on local business and organization sponsorship, especially those with a mission to support education, said Pongracz, noting in particular the support of Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital.

For more information on the Lehigh County edition of Kidsville News, visit kidsvillenews.com/lehigh.

Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor 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. 104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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