Jun 26, 2013

Allentown's Taste Problem

The Morning Call reports that Sangria, the high end restaurant in the Butz Building, is failing; That's because it never existed in the real marketplace. Butz was given a grant for $350,000 to outfit the place, so he and the operator rode that pony as long as the ride was free. Truth is that none of these high end puppet shows have succeeded, there's no market for such in Allentown. That's because this town has zero ambience. The Cosmopolitan also is a failure, but the owners have pockets deep enough to keep the doors open. The arena will not make Allentown a dining destination. It will attract a hotdog and beer crowd, that will exit this town as fast as a clogged 8th Street will allow. They're building a monstrosity on Hamilton Street, which will not attract one dime beyond those getting the free ride. Thus spoke the marketplace.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Remember when this administration helped subsidize Johnny Mananas, which was the restaurant in PPL plaza that failed. Its like insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Anonymous said...

Zero ambiance is correct and they just keep digging the the hole deeper to the point where it is now depressing.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

For Pay TO play in Allentown to continue,need to have another business come to Allentown to eplace the failed business and contribute to Mayor. Hekeeps filling his coffers,while business another fails. Chicago 101,keep money rolling toPawlowski.This way he will not go out of business.

Anonymous said...

Allentowns fine mayor has funded one bad endevor after another since his appointment as the town bully¿ Funding all his failures with federal grant monies that is obtained to improve quality of life issues the entire city is faced with in todays economic time¿ These allocations are not suppose to displace minority vendors, and than fill freinds and families pockets¿ The mayor has not got a clue, bissness matters¿

redd

Anonymous said...

No question some downtown restaurants have failed. But over the last five years they have failed all over. Lots of reasons for failure.

You have to have a certain attraction and core patrons. Like the Henry's Salt of the SEA is always full. Basic food and consistent quality. Same goes for Outback.

Too many trying to be New York wannabees. Can't make it with people trying it out but not becoming regulars.

michael molovinsky said...

@8:34, all the new restaurants have failed. it is possible for a restaurant to survive on hamilton street, such as the bay leaf, if it had a natural birth. i suspect that sangria has been on life support for a while, i.e, city money to butz, as opposed to operator money. I see nothing in the arena plans that will revitalize the town, it will only profit select developers.

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest lies told everyday in the Lehigh Valley is that the Valley and PA is a great place to do business and that "any job is a good job."

Without things like NIZ, TIF and handing out millions of dollars of grants almost daily, there would be little going on in the private sector. Do you see any bonafide real economic development happening without big time handouts? No.

Just like the Federal Reserve is propping up the economy artificially with its borrowing, the LV and PA economies are artificially propped up by the locals and Harrisburg.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought of Sangria as the Butz family dining room. Judging from what I've seen passing by there almost daily, they often seemed to be the only customers for dinner. Wonder where they'll go now...

Anonymous said...

The bigger problem is that for every subsidized restaurant that's opened, they're crowding out the next Bayleaf. No legitimate new restaurant is going to be able to compete with the "giverment" (not a typo) funded one that is sucking away a portion of its potential (and limited) customer base.

The city needs to be doing its job (public safety, public works) to create the environment for business to thrive. That doesn't mean paying for buildings and subsidizing restaurants. Let the market work!

Anonymous said...

History has shown time and time again how unfair the Capitalist's "Marketplace" is.

Centralized planning from a highly-trained group of Government Elitists who are selflessly focused on Progress in the Community is the only enlightened path to follow.

Looking forward to hockey season, Comrade Molovinsky --- what about you?

Warmest Regards,

VIKTOR TIKHONOV

AuH20 said...

Gee, I thought the "Young Professionals" and "Renew Lehigh Valley" were going to take over Allentown from the stale old-timers and lead a growth-oriented 'new Allentown"
Hamilton Street is not SoHo...more like NoHo.

Anonymous said...

Restaurants in Easton n seem to be doing just fine thank you