Restaurant Updates for May 6, 2011

by theelvee_w2oe3m

Tapas on Main on Main Street in Bethlehem, the former Tortilla Flat then Tika’s location, is moving along quickly and looking at a June opening.  Former chef de cuisine at Vintage Restaurant and Bar in Easton, Chef Jeremy Bialker will be taking on the position of Executive Chef at the new venture owned by Chef Rafael Palomino.  Chef David Bates, a Shula’s Steakhouse veteran, took over Bialker’s place at Vintage.

Pacino’s Cigar Bar on Main Street in Bethlehem is still slated to open, according to one of the managers.  They expect a June opening, but I personally don’t see that happening with so much construction to do and their liquor license woes.

We just found some awesome info out…the former owner of Which Brew in Easton, Kelly Jo Ditze, has a new venture.  A former manager at the Weyerbacher Brew Pub, Ditze opened Which Brew when Weyerbacher decided to shutter its food operation and focus on brewing.  Which Brew shut down a few years ago, much to the dismay of the beer lovers and locals of the valley.  Her new spot is the former Blue Tone Cafe at 683 Walnut St in Easton.  It will now be called the Black and Blue and should be open in a few weeks.  As of right now the liquor license hasn’t been transferred over but from what we hear the bar is completely done and ready.  Sounds awesome.

The Trapp Door, the restaurant taking over the former Tap and Table spot in Emmaus, gave us lots of information yesterday about their new operation.  First, they’re set to open either May 16th or 17th.  Their grand opening party, which we reported earlier, will be May 26th.  Former Tap & Table bartender Jennifer Funk, and one of our favorite bartenders ever, will be heading up the drink operations with John Kerstetter, who is claimed to be a favorite by everyone by Kim (we’ll see for ourselves soon enough!).  They’re looking at still having the huge list of imports and domestic craft beer, but are also going to start stocking Miller/Coors/Guinness (update: O’Hara’s and only a few other macros), etc. to open up accessibility to other crowds.  The former Tap & Table business shunned serving macro beer so that will be a departure from their former practices.  The draft list will still include rarer, unique craft beer, so don’t fret.  They will continue doing the beer dinners, however the first one won’t be until June at the earliest.  On the culinary side, their exec chef will be Roberto Lopez, who won Chef of the Year when the team was operating at Magnolia’s Vineyard.  Their cuisine will be more pub fare-based with a lower price point than Tap & Table.  Some of their dishes they shared with us include: slow-braised pork shoulder, short ribs infused with homebrew, housemade perogies with Spanish chorizo, thai coconut mussels, and sandwiches (including a house Reuben).  They’ll also be doing brunch and bringing their famous Magnolia’s Bloody Mary bar with them.  They also plan to have some other events, such as pig roasts in the future.  One of the partners we spoke to, Kim Kerstetter, noted that they’re looking to bright, liven, and lighten the atmosphere and make it more accessible.  And yes, that include getting actual lights, but still keeping the same feeling and color palate.  Good, maybe you’ll be able to read a menu at night now.  We heartily look forward to the opening.

The Morning Call got a couple of good scoops in the past few days:
The old Heavenly Hedgehog ice cream shop on Main Street in Bethlehem that shut down in January is being replaced by a new spot called the “All Aboard Taste Station”.  They will be serving up ice cream, pretzels, chocolate, and coffee as well as breakfast and lunch all with a railroad theme.

The Federal Grille on Hamilton in Allentown has been bought out, however by the sounds of the interview there won’t be anything happening there for quite some time.  The Federal Grille, formerly owned by Iris Konia, met its demise after the smoking ban in Pennsylvania was enacted, effectively crippling business at the steak and cigar restaurant.

There’s another Pott’s Hot Dog shop coming.  Situated on Easton Ave and Stefko in Bethlehem, they’ll be dishing out the same valley classics as all of the other locations.  In a perfect world all McDonalds in the area would be overrun by Yocco’s and Pott’s.  A man can dream, can’t he?

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Matthew May 6, 2011 - 7:27 am

I’m excited to hear about the Trapp Door, but I have some concerns. I’m not a fan of BMC stuff, and never will be. But I *do* understand their decision to make it more accessible. It’s like it’ll be a smaller version of Bubba’s on 309, but with a better beer list. Also, I hope they keep getting in cask ales. They’re not a common thing, and those of us who like them – well, we love them.

Kim Kerstetter May 6, 2011 - 1:26 pm

…no worries Matthew! The BMC stuff will be very limited and available in bottles only. We think the curious domestic beer drinker might be more inclined to try something new when given the right to choose! ;D

Johnny May 6, 2011 - 4:27 pm

Whats up Matt.
Few quick points TheTrapp Door is going to be primarily a beer bar focousing on quality craft, micro and import beers. Yes we will be carrying some macro beers but a very limited and select few in bottles only! We will definately be serving cask ales as well. The menu will be fantastically fun and fresh with flair. I hope this helps with any of your concerns and I look forward to seeing you there.

Penn State May 8, 2011 - 1:37 pm

Trapp Door sounds great, good to hear they are keeping the beer dinners and cask ales. Looking forward to the Bloody Mary bar!

Ellen May 8, 2011 - 1:56 pm

We have a gift certificate from Tap and Table…will the the Trapp Door honor it?

The El Vee May 8, 2011 - 6:29 pm

Ellen, not sure if they will honor it or not, but I know the same owners as Tap & Table have a bar in Philadelphia called The Farmer’s Cabinet and they mentioned on another website that they will honor gift certs for their old bars there.

PAWriter May 10, 2011 - 12:18 pm

I’m guessing given the amount of legal hot water the owners are in that it’s not likely that Farmer’s Cabinet will honor a Tap and Table gift certificate.

Just a minor fact checking thing: The Blue Tone Cafe is the name of the place where KJ is setting up Black & Blue.

The El Vee May 10, 2011 - 1:16 pm

They said on they’d honor them, but who knows. Also, thanks for the heads up on correct name for Blue Tone. Fixed!

Craig October 4, 2011 - 5:36 pm

The Trapp Door Gastropub has a new Website, thats updated frequently. Check it out.


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