Now that you've performed your patriotic duty by consuming hot dogs and hamburgers (vegetarians are excused) for America's birthday, you may resume your normal diet. And I have good news for hoagie lovers. Two new Primo Hoagies are now serving "old-fashioned style Italian specialty sandwiches" in south Bethlehem and Trexlertown.
Stephen Kilroy of Bethlehem opened his second Primo Hoagies Monday at 11 E. Third St. in south Bethlehem, the former space of Monsoon Art Gallery. His first location at 1403 N. Cedar Crest Blvd. in South Whitehall Township opened in August 2011.
"Bethlehem is where I originally planned to open," said 31-year-old Kilroy, a graduate of Parkland High School. "I live here, and it's convenient. When the Allentown spot became available two years ago, it turned out to be a good fit as far as being in a high-traffic area."
Kilroy kept the former gallery's overhead lighting and 14-foot-high tin ceilings, but not much else. Among the most noticeable changes is a red, white and green color scheme on the walls, which hold two flat-screen TVs. The 28-seat establishment also offers free Wi-Fi.
The south Bethlehem eatery's opening last week follows close on the heels of the sandwich franchise's debut at 7150 Hamilton Blvd. in Trexlertown on May 28.
Primo's menu contains close to 60 combinations of hoagies (available in three sizes), including specialty sandwiches like the turkey schwartzie (home-style turkey breast, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing), spicy sandwiches like the pork Diablo (home-style roasted pork with hot pepper cheese and a blend of spices) and cutlet combos like the whacked chicken (chicken cutlet, sharp Provolone topped with pesto and bruschetta).
Established in Philadelphia more than 15 years ago, Primo Hoagies' eateries, scattered throughout six states along the East Coast, approach 100 in number today. Other Lehigh Valley locations include: 2410 Catasauqua Road in Bethlehem and 2417 Butler St. in Wilson.
Info: 610-625-4409 (south Bethlehem), 610-841-5999 (Trexlertown) or primohoagies.com.
Another grand opening in south Bethlehem this past week includes Croissanterie at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. According to Villa Enterprise's publicist Stefanie Rumpf, the quick serve restaurant opened Thursday and offers freshly ground, slow-drip coffee brewed by the cup, filled to order croissants and baguettes, among other items.
Steelworks Buffet and Grill, which will feature a variety of fresh culinary dishes from around the world and a fully stocked bar, is slated to open in early August. Both establishments replace Cobalt Café, the casino's former 24-hour eatery.
The Outlets at Sands Bethlehem also will be welcoming some new businesses this summer. Four new stores, Cardinal Camera, European Body Concepts, Famous Footwear and Joli Bakery and Café, are all listed as "coming soon" on the outlets' website.
According to Sands Bethlehem spokeswoman Julia Corwin, no opening dates have been nailed down yet. Expect more on these stores in the future.
In north Bethlehem, several Retail Watchers have inquired about the activity at the former Arby's on Easton Avenue. Gene McKeon of Bethlehem Township writes, "The bottom portion has been painted in a black and white pattern. Could this be a Checkers?"
Well, Gene, that's exactly what it's going to be. Thanks for the tip! According to Checkers franchise development, the restaurant is scheduled to open within the next few months.
Established in Mobile, Ala., in 1986, the double drive-thru restaurant chain specializes in burgers, hot dogs, fries and milkshakes. The Bethlehem location will be the Lehigh Valley's first and the state's 17th, according to the company's website.
MinuteClinic, the largest provider of retail-based medical clinics in the United States, has opened its first two walk-in medical clinics in the Lehigh Valley.
Open seven days a week with no appointment necessary, the clinics are inside two CVS/pharmacy stores: 2434 Catasauqua Road in Bethlehem and 155 W. Main St. in Macungie. The openings are part of MinuteClinic's plan to open 150 clinics nationwide in 2013.
The clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners who can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common illnesses such as strep throat, as well as ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds and joint sprains are treated, and common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus and pneumonia are available at most locations. Info: http://www.minuteclinic.com.
Just west on Catasauqua Road, Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins in the Valley Plaza shopping center in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, will hold a grand reopening 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.
The building housing both businesses closed for three days in mid-June while workers repainted the walls, hung new wallpaper and installed new appliances. The grand reopening will feature free giveaways and balloon creations.