One of the nicest things about shopping at The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley is being outdoors, especially in springtime.
I hate to admit I'm this old, but strolling along the sidewalk and ducking in and out of the stores reminds me of shopping in downtown Allentown with my mother when I was a kid. The Promenade is like a little town in a much prettier setting.
So I'm always glad to hear when new shops move into this lifestyle shopping center in Center Valley.
And last week I learned that one new store just opened and two other new shops are coming soon to the Promenade, each hoping to appeal to the Lehigh Valley's fashionistas.
The first is Apricot Lane Boutique, which opened Thursday. This new place to find trendy fashions is the first Apricot Lane franchise to hit the Lehigh Valley and one of nearly 100 franchises across the nation. The closest store prior to this was in Lahaska, Bucks County.
Located at 3060 Center Valley Parkway (Suite 814 across from L.L. Bean), it's a specialty retailer offering women's fashion apparel, jewelry, handbags, accessories and gift items and caters to women in their teens through 50s.
"We want to create a place where mothers and daughters can shop together," said franchise owner Susan Kittle, who knows about the importance of mother-daughter bonding. She's the mother of three daughters — Alicia, 24; Brittany, 21, and Catherine, 17 — all fashionistas, she said. All three will work at the store when their school schedules permit. Susan's husband, Jeff, also will have his hand in the operation.
Susan and Jeff had been hoping for several years to open their own business. They stumbled upon Apricot Lane about two years ago during a visit to Disneyworld, where a new franchise was celebrating its grand opening. Totally impressed, they came home, researched the chain and put a plan into action.
Expect to find the unusual at Apricot Lane, said Susan, an 18-year resident of the Lehigh Valley. Her philosophy is to keep things looking new. She brings in only a limited number of each item to help women feel confident they won't run into others wearing the same thing.
Apricot Lane carries major brands and designer labels, many that are Los Angeles- or celebrity-inspired. But, she said, items are moderately priced to make it affordable for women to be trendy.
Although the store had a soft opening Thursday, a grand opening is planned for this coming Thursday, when Susan plans to offer specials. The store is open during Promenade hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. For a look at what Apricot Lane Boutique has to offer, check out its website: http://www.apricotlaneboutique.com.
Two more clothiers will open at The Promenade Shops in the near future, said spokeswoman Melissa DiLazaro. "Clothing is hot right now," she explained.
Now under construction are ROC Republic of Couture, a high-end clothing chain for women and men, which will move into Suite 300, next to Brooks Brothers, and Tangerine Boutique, another women's retailer with Los Angeles-inspired fashion that has only one other store in Washington, D.C. More to come on these when they open.
Let's move from an outdoor shopping experience to a way to get even more exercise outdoors. Golfers, get out your clubs. Warmer weather is forecast for the upcoming week. And, Indian Creek Golf Course at 1449 Chestnut St. in Emmaus has reopened under new management. The course has been closed since 2009.
"We are currently operating the front nine holes of the course and the driving range. The back nine holes may open sometime late this year, depending on weather and play," new manager Chris Reverie said. After a few years away, he has returned to the course, which previously was in his family, he said.
Vacant for a few years, the course required a lot of cleanup and cutting. "I wanted to bring it up a couple notches with new carts and new balls, too," Reverie said.
And he's doing something a little different to bring back patrons. Instead of charging more on weekends, he's pricing nine holes with a cart at $20, "all day, every day." (It's $30 for 18 holes with a cart, $14 for walking nine holes and $24 for walking 18.) Ball baskets for the driving range are available in large, medium and small. Info: 484-687-3364.
Also celebrating a relaunch of sorts is two-year-old Fegley's Burrito Works at 881 W. Hamilton St. in Allentown, which has undergone a redesign and menu revamping over the last four months. Old menu boards were replaced with new chalkboards. New flare was added to the front end. And chef Bert Dedman has been preparing a new menu to be launched during the grand reopening the week of April 15. Half-price burritos will be available during the reopening celebration.
As has been the case with Fegley's Brew Works, Burrito Works and Coffee Works, the menu features local ingredients. A back patio will open in the summer for al fresco dining.
"We want to reinvigorate the Burrito Works with a menu that features local ingredients and menu times exclusive to the Brew Works," owner Rich Fegley said.