- September 20, 2021
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The holidays may be looking a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still look our best.
Whether you’re celebrating with family and friends in-person or via a virtual platform, a new west Bethlehem barbershop can keep your hair in tip-top shape.
Tristan’s Barbershop, which opened Tuesday at 411 W. Broad St., offers men’s and women’s haircuts, fades, straight-razor cuts, beard trims, shaves, men’s hair coloring and facial hair grooming.
Owner Tristan Burke, a 2009 Freedom High School graduate, trained at Lehigh Valley Barber School in Bethlehem and previously worked at Jimmy’s Barber Shop in Allentown for six years.
“I always wanted to open a shop in my hometown, but I wasn’t always sure of the best time to do it,” said Burke, who lives a few blocks away from the barbershop. “Then, during COVID, my wife and I were going for a lot of walks, and that’s when I saw the ‘For Rent’ sign. It was the perfect location near my home, and I just knew that even though everything was shut down at the time, businesses would eventually open back up.”
The space, which previously housed Master’s Upholstery, was overhauled to include new flooring, lighting, faux brick walls and four barbering stations. A musical motif features decorative and functional guitars, a collage of albums and a piano set to arrive soon.
The shop, which also employs two part-time hair stylists, is adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols, including requiring appointments, masks and thorough cleaning of chairs, equipment and other high-touch surfaces.
Pricing for services starts at $15 for a buzz cut and $20 for a regular cut.
Tristan’s, which serves complimentary beer and other beverages, is open 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Info: 610-419-0627; tristansbarbershop.com.
From west Bethlehem to the city’s South Side, the retail lineup continues to shrink at The Outlets at Wind Creek Bethlehem amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Just a few months after losing gift and tableware company Lenox, the south Bethlehem indoor shopping center on Nov. 29 bid farewell to footwear brand G.H. Bass & Co.
The most recent closure was part of the restructuring plans announced by G.H. Bass parent company G-III Apparel Group Ltd. in the spring. Plans called for the closing of all 89 G.H. Bass and 110 Wilson Leather stores.
“We believe that this restructuring plan will enable us to greatly reduce our retail losses and to ultimately have this segment become profitable,” Morris Goldfarb, G-III’s Chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
At The Outlets at Wind Creek Bethlehem, Wilson’s Leather Clearance closed in February after nearly three years of business in the former Puma space.
The closures of G.H Bass and Lenox coincide with the recent permanent closures of two restaurants — Emeril’s Fish House and Buddy V’s Ristorante — at the adjoining Wind Creek Bethlehem casino.
The former Emeril’s Fish House space remains vacant, while the former Buddy V’s space has been converted into a sportsbook, where guests can wager on various sports.
The Outlets at Wind Creek Bethlehem is not the only area shopping center to have lost tenants in 2020.
Lehigh Valley Mall earlier this year said goodbye to women’s fashion retailer Love Culture, health store chain GNC, greeting card and stationery chain Papyrus, candy and chocolate retailer Lolli & Pops and casual restaurants Ruby Tuesday and Frites.
In recent weeks, however, positive signs are emerging for the Whitehall Township shopping mecca, including the recent openings of entertainment complex Dave & Buster’s as well as contemporary men’s and women’s clothing store Track 23.
Track 23, a fashion company offering apparel “focusing on a streetwear aesthetic,” a few weeks ago opened its newest location on the mall’s lower level near J.C. Penney.
The space previously housed Modell’s Sporting Goods, which recently ended its 24-year run at the mall following the chain’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and the announcement of plans to close all of its 100-plus stores nationwide in March.
Track 23, offering jeans, hoodies, dresses and more, has nearly two dozen locations in the Northeast, including two other Pennsylvania stores at the Stroud Mall in Stroud Township and Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, Allegheny County. Info: shoptrack23.com.
Across from Track 23, The Beauty Institute | Schwarzkopf Professional, offering cosmetology and beauty programs that “develop top tier professionals fully prepared for success,” is listed as “coming soon” to the space that previously housed women’s fashion retailer New York & Company, whose parent company filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to close most of the 350-plus New York & Company stores nationwide over the summer.
According to The Beauty Institute’s website, facilities offer educational programs, including cosmetology, esthetics/skin care, nail technician, makeup workshops and men’s grooming and barbering workshops.
Four schools include a facility on Union Boulevard in east Allentown, which is relocating to Whitehall, and three other regional schools in Philadelphia, Stroudsburg and Ambler, Montgomery County. A tentative opening date for the Whitehall location has not yet been announced.
Other 2020 Lehigh Valley Mall additions include arts and crafts chain Michaels; airsoft shooting gallery Battlestar; made-to-order doughnut and coffee business Dino Sweets; regional jeweler Murphy Jewelers; Bella Bridal, selling bridesmaid, prom and other formal dresses; Furniture Inn, selling furniture, mattresses, area rugs and TVs; Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, selling beauty and personal care products; and Christmas Treasure, selling Christmas ornaments and other holiday decor.
A few weeks ago, I reported on the new Dublin Pub & Grill at 394 N. Broad St. Ext. in Upper Nazareth Township.
Now, I have news on another tasty addition to the Nazareth-area restaurant roster: Mersin on Main, serving authentic Mediterranean dishes such as babaganush, bulgur pilav and beef and lamb gyros, opened Monday at 52 S. Main St. (former Dolce on Main space) in Nazareth.
The BYOB restaurant, named after the port city on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, is operated by Bushkill Township chef Erdinc Uzun and his fiance, Eileen Simak.
Uzun, 50, grew up in Mersin before moving to England in his early 20s. For the past 30 years, he’s held culinary gigs at restaurants in London and New York City.
“I’ve worked with very talented chefs from Italy, France and Turkey,” Uzun said.
Among Mersin’s traditional Turkish dishes are bamya (okra stew with vegetables and tomato sauce), manti (dumplings filled with meat, parsley and spices and served with garlic mint yogurt sauce, paprika and butter), and moussaka (sauteed eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and carrots mixed into a casserole and baked with bechamel sauce and cheese).
Other menu highlights include cold appetizers such as lebneh, tabuli and sarma (grape leaves); warm appetizers including fried calf liver, spinach pies and fried calamari; such wraps as adana (lamb), chicken and falafel; and entrees like beef shish, baby lamb chops and grilled branzini.
The 30-seat restaurant (15 temporarily due to COVID-19 restrictions) offers catering, takeout and Sunday brunch. Info: mersinonmain.com.
Another bit of mouthwatering news: Flaming Crab Cajun Seafood, an emerging franchise of seafood restaurants in Pennsylvania, on Wednesday opened its newest area location at 3926 Linden St. in Bethlehem Township.
The 6,500-square-foot restaurant, with seating for 280 customers (140 temporarily due to COVID-19 restrictions), occupies a renovated space that previously housed Eastern Palace Restaurant in the Bethlehem Square shopping center, a few doors down from Walmart.
The growing chain, which opened its first location in the summer at 3756 Easton Nazareth Highway in Lower Nazareth Township, also is planning to open another area location in early spring at the former Dickey’s Barbecue Pit building in Palmer Township’s 25th Street Shopping Center, franchisee Eddie Zhang said.
Flaming Crab offers appetizers like steamed oysters, hush puppies and chicken wings; fried baskets including catfish, tilapia and shrimp; and sides such as sweet potato fries, corn-on-the-cob and steamed rice.
Customers also can create their own seafood boil by choosing a catch (blue crab, shrimp, crawfish, snow crab legs, clams, black mussels, lobster tail, scallops and more), flavor and spice level.
The Bethlehem Township space was extensively renovated to include new tile flooring, kitchen equipment, furniture and maritime decor such as life preservers, fishing nets, artificial marine life and two large digital screens — one about 40 feet long — showcasing under-the-sea scenes with whales, coral reefs and more. Info: flamingcrab.com.
I’ll finish with a closing note: Buca di Beppo, a chain of more than 70 full-service restaurants known for its family-style pasta dishes and other Italian specialties, last month closed its only Lehigh Valley location at 714 Grape St. in Whitehall.
“Buca has made the difficult decision to close this location,” a sign posted on the 20-year-old restaurant’s door reads. “We appreciate your patronage and look forward to serving you at either our Reading or Exton locations.”
Retail Watch, appearing every weekend, keeps track of retail and restaurant news in the Lehigh Valley. Contact Ryan Kneller at 610-820-6597 or firstname.lastname@example.org.