Feb 18, 2016

Morning Call Spins Hard For Reilly's NIZ

When Tony Lukes opened up last year, I was amazed at the hoopla bestowed upon them by The Morning Call. While Zandys' spends their money advertising in the paper every week, the Call wrote promotion after promoting for the cheesesteak competitor. Shown above was but one picture of Pawlowski and Peter Schweyer at the opening.  I was going to write today about the paper's recent promotion of Reilly's Strata 2 loft building, however, I never seem to catch up with their sellout journalism.  Now, that Tony Lukes have decided to turn off the grill, the paper spins that the failure is actually success, because another sandwich vendor is going to take over the space.

 I understand growing pains, and yes, Vinces will do better with a $6 steak sandwich than Tony Lukes did with a $10 sandwich, but to spin closings as growth, strains credibility.  Of course, when it comes to NIZ and The Morning Call, there never was any.

ADDENDUM:  The Morning Call has now started a name your favorite cheesesteak place contest. I  sent the following message to the the owners of Vince's;   i wish vince's success at the new location, but must say that if you guys were opening up on union blvd, there wouldn't be a word written by the morning call, nor a "favorite steak shop" contest. it's reilly's face their trying to save, not yours.   m molovinsky aka political blogger


Anonymous said...

The Italian pork with sharp provolone and broccoli rob is out of this world Allentown is losing a great sandwich now I have to drive to philly yo get it

michael molovinsky said...

readers, occasionally i host a comment as an example of what will notappear, such is the 5:22 am. although cheesesteaks are certainly part of the local culture, i will be hosting no more comments on your cheesesteak preferences. restrict comments to The Morning Call, and their journalism concerning the NIZ

Dreaming of Justice said...

The Morning-Know-It-All article speaks for itself. The content of these articles has an almost frantic tone to it. Think about how much space was given to pumping up the NIZ, the arena, and whatever latest Pawlowski scheme. Just the idea that the "replacement business" - Vince's, in this case- was displaced by the NIZ redevelopment from it's original location initially illustrates the height of irony. Additional ironic seasoning is the reporter's aside that "political bloggers and NIZ objectors" had been predicting this trainwreck all along.

Personal cheesesteak preferences aside..I'd rather be eating fresh seafood.

Anonymous said...

This cheerleader style reporting is one of the reasons why I canceled my MC subscription and now read LVR and MoA in the morning. Here's another example: The Morning Call made a big fuss over Roy Afflerbach creating an ice skating rink at Cedar Beach complete with photos of Roy at the site etc. When the idea quickly flopped (of course) and had to be cancelled there was not a single article.

Reality Bites said...

The Morning Call has too much invested in the NIZ for it to fail

Therefore, failure is not an option.

Believe what it says, not what you see.

What we read in the Morning Call are shades of George Orwell's "1984" "Newspeak"

michael molovinsky said...

reality@6:26, i know that certain personnel at the Call are offended by my assertion of journalistic compromise about the NIZ, and i'm not indifferent about offending anybody, but i see no other explanation for these promotional articles, one after another.

Anonymous said...

Comrade Molovinsky,

Relax. All of the people who want to become candidates to join the City Without Limits' All-Star Council of Apparatchiks have finally figured out they need to be registered Democrats in order to get elected. This is documented proof that we ARE moving Forward To Progress, so please be patient.


Col. Viktor Tikhonov
Soviet Red Army (ret)

Dave said...

Not surprised Reilly would get a local business for the facility. Change the menu, change the sign, get a new set of keys made and Vince's opens a downtown storefront using all the same kitchen equipment and customer booths as Tony Luke's.

Also doubt that this closing was as unexpected as the Morning Call says it is. Businesses don't move on a dime and I'm sure this was all orchestrated before Tony Luke's locked its doors to give Reilly a chance to find a replacement and bribe them into moving downtown. Something he's shown he's good at doing in the past.

Tony Luke's made a good sandwich, nothing was wrong with the food. The problem was the number of people going in and out the door. Will Vince's have that same problem, I suppose we'll see, but I don't think we will be making a special trip downtown to go there.

The thing which really bugs me about the NIZ is how its so orchestrated. It's not a traditional downtown central business district. It's more like an orchestrated fantasy built to justify the tax revenue it takes in to sustain itself. It's all fake masquerading as commerce.

Dave said...

@5:53. As bad as Mayor Afflerbach was, I don't think he would have supported the NIZ. Roy was an incompetent mayor, but I never doubted his honesty, even as a Democrat. He was from this area and wanted to do good. He just didn't play well with others and bankrupted the city with the police pension deal.

Ed has been a pseudo Mayor Dayley from day one who thought being mayor of Allentown to be a stepping stone in his political career.... senator... governor... who knows ?

I never liked the guy from day one and even though Mr Molovisky has explained how the NIZ and city are different, I still think Ed has his fingers in the NIZ money in some way or form.

Anonymous said...

Why would I pay to park, walk a distance to buy a sandwich when I could park , for free, next to or very close to any shop in the valley. In fact most deliver, including beer. Most places make a good sandwich. This is not as they say rocket science.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered if Pat Lester and Matt Assad hate their jobs. Pat Lester in the latter stages of his Call career only wrote about the god-like transformative Hamilton "It's not a mall, damnit! Come on guys, it really isn't!" Crossings in Lower Macungie. Matt Assad has to be bored writing about the NIZ. All of the promotional pieces have to be just cutting and pasting from previous articles. His articles have gotten lazy. Interviews Tony and the City Center crew but got tired and didn't get any opposite viewpoints.

Here's the thing - if the NIZ was a mall and you had this many closings in such a short period of time, you'd be concerned about the viability of your mall. There is obviously sometihng wrong, something to be fixed. I want the NIZ to thrive because it's on all of us if it fails. City Center and their sycophants seem more determined to win the public relations war for a failing product instead of actually fixing said failing product.

michael molovinsky said...

@10:25, as 9:12 am phrased it, the NIZ is a masquerade. reilly pays the debt service from the office workers' state income tax, and the cigarette taxes. the stores and restaurants are just for facade, but are not of consequence to the financing.

Anonymous said...

The facade is cracking---and so soon.
I wonder how many volumes the Moravian Book Store sells a pay period?
Those poor Devils must really regret the day they fell for the con job.

Anonymous said...

In addition to his regular duties Matt Assad has the sole responsibility for the busy Alan Jennings desk.
The guy has a lot of responsibility.
Cut him some slack.

Anonymous said...

If this were a real central business district, the failure of a minor restaurant wouldn't rate a paragraph on page 47 of the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

@11:21 Those poor Devils must really regret the day they fell for the con job.

The workers are getting paid for doing basically nothing.

Anonymous said...

Not sure the brie eating, Mexican food loving millennials are gonna be flocking to Vince's either. If City Center really was interested in preserving the old Allentown 'feel' they would have given The Brass Rail free rent in perpetuity.

Monkey momma said...

Of course, the main problem with the NIZ is politicians thinking they're business people. Businesses thrive when they meet a demand. In the case of the NIZ, businesses were placed in an attempt to create a demand. This is so fundamentally flawed as to be laughable.

alfonso todd said...

MM and MM, as laughable as it is, it's unfortunate we residents and business owners in Downtown Allentown are suffering from the brunt of the joke.

Alfonso Todd

Anonymous said...

"House of Chen debuted its all-you-can-eat weekday lunch buffet for $4.25 in the 1970s and hasn't changed the price since." Morning Call, March 21, 2012

Somebody told me that when the House of Chen closed and nothing like it ever re-appeared in the NIZ, it was tantamount to having a curse on the whole concept because no matter how much you want to believe otherwise-

People like a cheap filling lunch.

People like cheap food.

People like Chinese food.

People in the Lehigh Valley love buffet.

Question: Can you get a lunch in the NIZ for $4.25 today?

Guess what the Chens did? They met demand. They didn't provide supply and hope and pray for demand.

Anonymous said...

As I drove down Hamilton at 7:30am on a Tuesday morning. The diner on the right was empty,every place was empty, there were no people. The place has no atmosphere , no anything. It has this fake industrial look, each place blends into the next. After all a billion is only a thousand million. At least at the Promenade the Barbarians are not at the gates. I was rooting for the success of this venture, I now have serious reservations. A business cannot plug itself into a glass box and expect to thrive or even survive. There is no soul.