Jan 30, 2015

Allentown's Coffee Square

When the staff of molovinsky on allentown recently visited Tim Hortons on a weekend evening, we were the only patrons. Likewise, when we visited Johnny's across the square on a business morning, there was only one other table occupied. Despite that reality, Starbucks will now be occupying the third corner. Although City Center Real Estate Company and the Pawlowski Administration wants people to think that the Starbucks entrance symbolizes something exclusive, the shoppers at Target on Cedar Crest Blvd. know better. The reality is that the existing coffee shops, which are only doing marginally at best, will do even less. Whatever failure or disappointment that visits these businesses, don't blame the Morning Call. They have been promoting the shops in a shameless manner. After multiple articles announcing the opening of a Philadelphia cheesesteak business, this weekend they will review the cheesesteak. How cheesy is that?


Anonymous said...

Propaganda..... Its whats for dinner... lol. But seriously, MM, you are right and it is a bit of an overkill. I wish the Mcall publicized all the businesses as they did Tonys and Starbucks.. -Alfonso Todd

Bethlehem Native said...

If there are offices in the area near the Starbucks, then I can see the place doing good morning business. It would probably see a steady stream of customers through mid afternoon as well.

Anonymous said...

Starbucks in the Lehigh Valley? That's great news! We are finally one the map of where it's at.


The Lehigh Valley in the year 2005

Anonymous said...


Talked to a very earnest young person who is serving on a committee charged to (amongst other things) figure out ways to bring people to downtown Allentown. My advice to him was to look at the problem from the other end and first ask why people aren't coming the downtown. Find solutions to the factors that discourage visits and you will correctly solve the problem correctly.Otherwise you will continue down the government's preferred "field of dreams/build it they will come" methodology.
This approach seemed like a revolutionary idea to my young acquaintance and made me wonder what they are teachings kids these days.

Scott Armstrong

Dreaming of Justice said...

Starbucks are as pedestrian as grass.
Only the Mayor's Office would try to spin the arrival of such a place as some kind of special marker for success.

There are already three *coffee shops* around that intersection- and that is not including coffee purveyed in Billy's and elsewhere. It's a grand money shell-game: pinch Shula's from the Promenade at Saucon Valley..push Starbuck's into retail space closely occupied by other coffee shops...promise high end condo dwellings -and then whine about the taxes when it becomes clear those high end residents arent materializing.
It would be sort of comedic except for the enormous gift of hard earned taxpayer funds.

Dreaming of Justice said...


Ah now I get it!

The Mayor's Office already realizes the entire mess is heading south so- Starbucks to the rescue!


Anonymous said...

Bring back Gerry's place.

Ted Yost.

Anonymous said...

Comrade Molovinsky, pleased to report that after attending several hockey contests at the PP&L center there have been numerous sightings of the administration drinking overpriced beverages of the adult variety, why is it the Morning Call ignores this blatant display of hedonistic overindulgence when we have poor unshaven masses huddled by bonfires along the Jordan Creek?

Personally I'm more of a tea drinker but will mourn the eventual loss of Tim Horton's.


Soviet Red Army (ret)

michael molovinsky said...

ted@3:47, Gerry's was a coffee shop that started off in the 500 block of hamilton, completely at the operator's expense. because he accommodated a few friends and make a few eggs on a george forman grill, he was instructed by the city that an exhaust and fire systems would be necessary. he then moved to the former national bank building at 7th and hamilton, where he did invest all his savings into the mandated code specifications. within months the administration decided to submit the entire building to a rigid standard, effectively closing the building and putting gerry out of business, contrast that to the businesses now being subsidized through the NIZ. what an unlevel playing field is allentown

Anonymous said...

Dunkin Donuts is a few blocks away. They pretty much capture the Morning Call and bus terminal business. A start would be a new Allentown Mayor. Pawlowski has alienated surrounding communities and folks within our own City.

As candidate for Governor, the Valley gave him a thumbs down. City Center would be better served with an extreme Makeover starting with City Hall.

Anonymous said...

My wife, daughter, in-laws, and I attended a hockey game on Friday night. Dined at a packed Chickie & Pete's around 5:30 and headed into the game around 6:30.

Had great seats and enjoyed ourselves--daughter loved the mascot, MeLVin!

My in-laws were gracious enough to take our daughter home so my wife and I could enjoy a drink at ROAR Social House across the street. We couldn't believe how packed it was either.

After a drink, we headed to the parking deck around 11, and my wife remarked to me how safe Hamilton Street felt with many pedestrians and police visible in several locations.

Just wanted to share the perspective of an Allentownian who is greatly appreciating the revitalization of downtown.

I know you don't get too many people on this blog who share experiences like this.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:32, the new allentown order doesn't want the bus people on hamilton street, that's why they built the transportation detention center off of 6th and linden.

@1:33, i have heard many favorable reports as you relay in your comment. there is no shortage of such perspective, between the morning call and pawlowski's and other's facebook pages. this blog reports on what is behind the curtain, and those who were pushed aside, to make the experience you had.

1:33 said...

You are a Putz, wow.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments, but no one has mentioned the elephant in the room: if we're trying to get folks downtown, why offer a "magnet" that has several other locations outside the city, a much closer drive/walk/bike ride for most people? I like Starbucks, but it's not the sort of genuine non-chain place, like Easton's Cosmic Cup that would bring me downtown.

I miss my all-time favorite Allentown coffee shop, "The DogStar" that was in Symphony Hall. It had a great second floor, with a nice view, well, of a parking lot, but this is Allentown, after all. (I never had the pleasure of going to Gerry's, so I don't mean to dismiss this place.)

michael molovinsky said...

blog mentor@3:28, if comment 1:33 was a legitimate comment or one of your arena attendeeplants, it still reflects the experience of many people. as for being a "putz", you, who spend your entire everyday cyberstalking, are the ultimate.

Anonymous said...

What cracks me up is that for years I've been saying "you have a city of 100,000 and you can't buy a decent cup of coffee, Now there's three shops at one intersection! I've always loved Johnny's Bagels on Main Street in Bethlehem. I hope they can survive Starbucks. There's no way Tim Horton's will make it. There products at the PPL Center are just not good enough to make much profit on non-event nights.