Mar 27, 2014

Arena Food Vendor Headlines Paper

A picture of french fries and an article about the chosen food vendor for the arena is the headline today in The Morning Call. The latest arena promotion was again written by Matt Kraus. Actually, there are two seasoned reporters writing these puff pieces, Scott Kraus and Matt Assad. Since the editors of the paper have allowed them to combine their work load, I have decided to combine their names. This way they can better share the fame, or shame, depending on your point of view. In the entire feature story there was one relevant observation, in the last sentence of the article. Albert Abdouche, owner of the Americus property, observed that the arena wants to capture as many of the food dollars as possible, spend on an evening in Allentown by their fans. No surprise there.


Anonymous said...

Abdouche and the Americus Building are still listed in the "Unwashed" category.

Anonymous said...


When this project was proposed I explained my concern to those who thought it might have an upside this way. We are building a box. People will go to the box, park there, spend there money there then leave and drive home. Just as they do in other arenas of this type.
That has been confirmed.Hey I hope it works. But hope is just that and nothing more.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

scott, i have also always said that the arena patrons will walk briskly to their car, lock the doors, and drive out of allentown as swiftly as they can. jeff fegley put on a good face in the article, and said the more the better. i believe with the hamilton street entrance for the new chucky cheese or whatever it's called, that it will hurt him.

Anonymous said...

That was the idea from the beginning.I never heard anyone say it was anything more than an arena with a perimeter surrounding it

michael molovinsky said...

@9:50, on the contrary, pawlowski and company said that the arena patrons would support a myriad of spinoff restaurants and nightlife. they even coined a word, transformative, you apparently have not been reading the morning call promotions very thoroughly.

Anonymous said...

I guess a job is a job but for those guys-established reporters- writing about fast food as a headline article has to be very deflating. They've had Pat Lester write about Costco for the last ten years it seems. He's got to have at least 100 articles.

About a discount store.

We are sort of sad and desperate around here. We hate admitting it but we get legitimately excited when a national brand comes to town. Starbucks. Checkers. Costco. We just go nuts and write front page articles about it.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't the Call let us know about this Transformation before?

Here I thought the arena was a big waste of money, but now that I know it will have FRIES, my opinion has changed!

Is it just me or does the sky suddenly look bluer, and the grass greener?

And to think, it only took a little more than half a BILLION dollars to get my fries!

Rick Sharp said...

Every smart restaurant owner knows that it's better to have other restaurants around you. Why do you think in every major city, restaurants are almost always clustered together? "Restaurant Districts" "Restaurant Rows", etc. You'll find them almost anywhere you travel. The only hope Jeff Fegley (who realizes it) and Albert Abdouche (who doesn't) have for long term success is for more businesses to join them downtown. Abdouche, quite frankly, sounds like the type of owner whose entire plan consisted of throwing a sign on the front of his bar that said "sports bar" and then soaking up the arena business. Nothing will make patrons "walk briskly to their car, lock the doors, and drive out of allentown as swiftly as they can", more certainly than owners like that. BTW- Chickie's and Pete's ain't all that great. They are a very, very small step above TGIFridays. Jeff Fegley wasn't "putting on a good face", he just realized that his restaurant is about to become the pretty girl standing next to the ugly one at the dance.

michael molovinsky said...

rick@1:59, this post isn't about clustering or restaurant rows, it's about whether the arena patrons will stay and walk around town after an event, for dining and drinking. i think not. as matter of fact, arena events could monopolize the parking, actually hurting existing restaurants.

Rick Sharp said...

I am surprised you can't see why one really can't be discussed without the other. Obviously, if no other restaurants/club/bars etc. open up down there, your scenario is the only possible outcome. Why would anyone stay? How many times will they go to the same one or two places?

The only way your scenario can be avoided, and perhaps you don't want it to be, is to do everything possible to encourage new businesses to open up down there, even if they are anchored to the arena. As the article states, Chickie's and Pete's will be open all the time, not just when the arena has an event.

As for the arena monopolizing parking during events, I think local restauranteurs will take the trade off.

Rich Fegley said...

I agree with Rick Sharp.

Restaurant Row...where have you been in Allentown?

The more the merrier. Patrons want options. Look at the Promenade Shops, clustered restaurants with a mini arena (aka movie theater).

Billy's new place at 9th and Hamilton was packed for breakfast and lunch today (Sunday). 30 minute wait times. A restaurant that will succeed!

The arena patrons will stay and walk around after an event if there are options. Options before an event as well.

The traffic studies report that one-half of the patrons will arrive more than one hour before the event. This could be 5,000 people walking around downtown more than one hour before the Eagles concert.

There are not even 1,000 seats in the downtown restaurants. Brew Works only needs 300 people to be busy. 400 would be crowded on two floors.

Our Bethlehem location has improved over the years because of the number of new restaurants that have opened around us.

The casino...they may be pulling patrons away from the north side of Bethlehem.