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New Ventures: Experience the Caribbean at new restaurant

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Parkway Caribbean Restaurant has opened on West Union Street in Allentown.
Parkway Caribbean Restaurant has opened on West Union Street in Allentown. - (Photo / )

After this past winter there are plenty of people dreaming about a Caribbean getaway, and thanks to a new Allentown eatery, you can have one without leaving Allentown.

At least that's the goal of Rosalie Thomas, who has moved her Parkway Caribbean market from the American Parkway Shopping Center to 903 W. Union St. off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and created Parkway Caribbean Restaurant.

“We had the market on American Parkway for 12 years,” Thomas said. “People would always come in and say, 'We want some place where we can come in and eat where we can really feel like we're in the Caribbean.' ”

So with brightly colored paint, Bob Marley-themed art and the sounds of island music over the sound system, Thomas hopes she has brought the easy-going comfort of the Caribbean way to her new Allentown restaurant – along with some of the region's most popular dishes.

Jamaican beef patties are her signature item, she said, something that was available when it was a market.

Now she offers dishes such as curried goat and curried chicken and rice and peas to round out the menu.

Thomas was quick to say that her restaurant isn't just for Caribbean natives, but anyone who wants to partake in the food and atmosphere of a Caribbean café.

“We want this to be for everybody. We're inviting everybody to come in,” she said.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski smashes a guitar at the April
26 grand opening of School of Rock in Allentown.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ Mayor Ed Pawlowski smashes a guitar at the April 26 grand opening of School of Rock in Allentown.

She said with all of development downtown in Allentown, she has seen a steady stream of customers from all walks of life.

She has not forgotten customers of her former market. The café carries a variety of Caribbean grocery items from bottles of juices to cans of beans.

For more information, call 610-433-4500.

Music school rocks Allentown theater district

The School of Rock is now making music in Allentown's West End theater district.

The school, which teaches guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards and drums, versus more traditional school band instruments such as the flute, held a grand opening April 26 to introduce itself to the community. The school, which is part of a national franchise of similar schools, was previously on Union Boulevard in Allentown. There also is a School of Rock in Easton.

“We wanted to get to a place where there was more of a community feel, where there was a diversity of businesses,” said Ray Thierrin, co-owner of the school.

He said being in an area with small shops and a theater was perfect. The school celebrated its new home with live performances and a guitar smashing by Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski as a substitute for the traditional ribbon cutting.

The School of Rock is next to the Shanty restaurant at 621 N. 19th St.

Editor's note: We want to hear about your new business or product. Contact Stacy Wescoe at 610-807-9619 ext. 104 or send an email to stacyw@lvb.com. To be considered, a new venture should be fewer than 60 days old or starting within 60 days.

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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. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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