Summertime usually means the smoky aroma of barbecue isn't too hard to find.
So when I was cruising with the windows down on Mauch Chunk Road in North Whitehall Township the other day, Bad Bones BBQ at Newhard Farms Corn Shed made its presence known.
Even if I didn't smell the barbecue, it would've been hard to miss the bright orange mobile trailer owned by Coplay residents Joe and Carolyn DeWalt.
Joe DeWalt took what was a hobby and made it a business, open Wednesday through Sunday in the 3200 block of Mauch Chunk Road.
DeWalt said he's been catering with his pulled pork and beef brisket for years but recently started this new venture.
He also offers pulled pork sandwiches, baby back ribs, chicken, smoked sausage and sides, like meaty baked beans, smokey mac 'n' cheese, pulled pork nachos and creamy cucumber salad.
Bad Bones also sells Newhard's roasted corn.
The barbecue peddler is just the latest mobile merchant to spring up in the region, and add to the resurgence of barbecue at the same time. A few years ago, we were shedding barbecue eateries at a steady pace, among them Conway's BBQ and Crazy Jake's BBQ Pit in Palmer Township.
We've since added names such as Fat Boys House of BBQ mobile food truck on Allentown's Union Boulevard and the chain Dickey's Barbecue Pit in two Lehigh Valley spots.
Now onto Whitehall Township, which just isn't itself without some Retail Watch ink.
The retail-rich township's sea of big-box stores house several — perhaps too many — furniture stores.
There's no shortage of sofas, mattresses or bedroom sets along MacArthur Road.
Oh wait, I'm obviously wrong since one more furniture merchant just arrived and there's another coming on its heels.
Room & Home Furniture Gallery has opened at the former Valley Furniture & Mattress at 2028 MacArthur Road.
Room & Home, which has a few locations in New Jersey, opened weeks ago.
This fills the void created when Valley Furniture exited the space last year, ending its roughly two-year stint. The space previously housed D&D Furniture, which closed under bankruptcy.
The former Raymour & Flanigan space at 2180 MacArthur Road will be filled in coming days by Philadelphia-area furniture store chain Mealey's Furniture. I wasn't able to get an opening date, but the merchant's Facebook page says its opening is close.
Raymour & Flanigan vacated the space months ago to open an even bigger store by gobbling up the former Tweeter, Famous Footwear and Borders spaces at the Whitehall Mall.
More mall talk: Lehigh Valley Mall has captured newspaper headlines in recent days with the Macy's power-washing and the planned opening of Golden Corral in late November.
There's more than just all-you-can-eat lunches and removing soot to write about, so here are a few other tidbits for the popular shopping mall: