Friday, December 11, 2009


Make 7th Street Sparkle. Be the first to win the Seventh Street Development Committee's Shining Star Award. Decorate your home or storefront for the holidays and win a prize!

The winners will be announced at the St. Luke's Church Tree Lighting Celebration on Tuesday, 12/15/09 6:00 PM, 417 N. 7th Street, Allentown, Pa.

Storefront Prizes include:

Free website development package

Free advertising in the SSDC newsletter

Residential Prizes include:

Dinner for Two on 7th Street

Surprise package of Gift Certificates

For more information or to register for the contest call Kathleen Kapila

at the SSDC, (610)433-5703

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

USA Today Covers Allentown Housing ...

... and our own Pete Lewnes is quoted in the story. The piece notes that home sales and prices are up in Allentown, and singles out NOTI (north of Tilghman Street, roughly between Jordan and 8th) as a "hot" neighborhood:

Many neighborhoods still have a combination of Victorian and Federal row homes. Buyers looking for an up-and-coming neighborhood are starting to focus on an area known as NOTI (north of Tilghman Street and close to downtown Allentown). It has old industrial buildings that artists are starting to repurpose for studios, galleries and apartments. It also has many brick row homes.

The story closes with Lewnes:

"First-time home buyers can get a great bang for their buck," says Peter Lewnes, program director for the 7th Street Development Committee. "For less than $100,000, they can get in on the ground floor and fix it up the way they want it."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Praise for Taqueria Los Amigos

Lehigh Valley Lexicon had a "heavenly experience" at Taqueria Los Amigos, the bright-walled Mexican place on Seventh near Liberty Street. The clincher? $1 tacos. "Everything we tasted was delicious and authentic." Adds Lexicon: Seventh Street is "probably the liveliest street in all of Allentown."

Monday, November 2, 2009

New Restaurant on Seventh!

Rincon Liniero (548 N. 7th Street) has just opened in the old Century Cafe space at Seventh and Allen. For the moment, all signage for the new Dominican eatery states, in a Seinfeld vein, "Restaurant." (The new restauranteurs have simply rubbed off their predecessor's name.) I haven't had a chance to sample the cuisine, but will upload a scanned menu soon. Rincon Liniero (610-433-9450) is open daily 7:30am to 9pm. Restaurants within one block in either direction: Winston's, Sweet Italian Pizza, Casa Latina, Happy Garden, and Taqueria Los Amigos.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Paradise Floral Design Gets Window Makeover


A bold, Austin Powers-inspired design for Paradise Floral Design, the high-end florist at 345 N. 7th Street--another Pete Lewnes/Seventh Street Development Committee special.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Siding Removal on 7th Street

Some of the city's most hideous siding met its maker today. 521 N. 7th Street is now back to its original, brick-facade glory. Here's an in-process shot from earlier today:


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Morton's Now Open

Morton's, the long-awaited "family restaurant with a Southern flare," is now open in the old Lo Baido's building at 8th and Liberty Streets.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Facade work begins on Mexican Grill


La Mexicana Grill, perhaps the Lehigh Valley's best Mexican restaurant, is starting its much-needed facelift, courtesy of the Seventh Street Development Committee.

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Sidewalk Signs

Look out for the new, attractive sidewalk signs along 7th Street--including Sweet Italian Pizza and Casa Latina (pictured below).



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gifted Gardener, Great Lady and Even Greater Friend passes away

Hello all,
Most of you have heard that Bernadette Cozart passed away this week...I figured I'd get something posted on her memorial service this Saturday -- we invite whoever would like to come and celebrate Bernie's life. There will be a reception following the service -- please feel free to bring a plate.

The service is Saturday, 11am, at the Metropolitan Community Church, 930 N. 4th Street, #101 (the Silkwerks building).

A future post will commemorate Bernie and mark her contributions to 7th Street and the surrounding neighborhoods. For now, see the Morning Call's obituary, and a segment from Channel 69 News.

An excerpt from the Morning Call obituary

Bernadette Cozart, a gifted gardener who won international recognition for founding the Greening of Harlem, passed away suddenly on July 27, 2009. A transplanted New Yorker, Bernie was an active, prolific volunteer and community leader. Most recently, Bernie was unanimously elected Design Chair of the Seventh Street Development Committee and served two years as president of the Allentown Garden Club. Survivors: Bernie is survived by her partner of 17 years Kathleen Kapila, her many friends and community partners. Services: A celebration of Bernadettes life will be held on Saturday, August 1 at 11 a.m. in Metropolitan Community Church, 930 N 4th St #10, Allentown, PA 18102-1881, (610) 709-8800. Arrangements, Nicos C. Elias Funeral Home, Allentown. Contributions: Contributions may be made to Lehigh Gap Nature Center, PO Box 198, Slatington PA 18080, (610) 760-8889, Mr. Dan Kunkle.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Sign for Hosanna Shoppe

Hosanna Shoppe, the relatively new Christian gift shop at 415 N. 7th, just got a tasteful new sign. The sign is the last piece of a major facelift for the whole building, courtesy of Pete Lewnes and his 7th Street Development Committee facade grant program.

hello all - pete's a before shot. When we pulled the failing stucco off the building there was almost no mortar left between the bricks. This building is owned by Heber and Elsa Silva - the live upstairs and run the shop...we need more owners like this in Allentown!
thanks Jeff for the posting!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Facade at Casa Latina

Casa Latina's makeover is complete, with the installation yesterday of the classic awning. Casa has long been the city's best Puerto Rican and Dominican eatery, but cramped quarters and garish signage had kept some away. Now there's no excuse.

Pete Again...a Before...

and an almost After...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New bike shop opens on 7th Street


I heard a rumor about a new bike shop on 7th Street, which I dismissed as wishful hearing. But there it was, on the 100 block--open on July 4th: Madera Bicycle, at 45 N. 7th. I have an old bike I have been meaning to dig out and return to the streets, so I stopped by later in the afternoon. The owner, Juan Madera, had been part-owner of a Manhattan bike shop for 20 years, he said. (A photo of him and Jennifer Lopez is on the wall, complete with a bike he says he fixed for her.) He's extremely nice, and tuned up my bike (and replaced inner tube) in just one day--for only $50.

Madera Bicycle
45 N. 7th St.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Outdoor seating comes to La Mexican Grill


The outdoor seating renaissance on 7th Street has reached La Mexicana Grill, the dean of Allentown Mexican cuisine at 7th and Gordon St.

Monday, June 8, 2009

25th Annual Community Fest

For a quarter century the St. Luke’s Church has held the 7th Street Community Fest and it was a load of fun. The weather was the best and the festival was a success. The festival was Jun 6, 2009 from 1pm to 6 pm.

There was food and baked goods, entertainment, crafts and games, raffles, balloon artistry, auction, plant sale, used books sale and local community organizations.

Entertaining was DJ ” George”, Street Theatre Alliance, Lehigh Valley Zoo, Gilbert Family Singers, Inner City Tae Kwon Do School, and the St Luke’s Neighborhood Center Step Team. Some of the highlights of the fest were the raffle for a 32” LCD TV and an 8G iPod Touch as well as a “Chinese” Auction of basket and Gift Certificates. Some of the local community organizations who supported the event were the Blood Mobile, the Allentown Police K9 Unit, the Allentown Fire Department, Latino Health Alliance, Allentown Health Bureau, Allentown Recycling Center, Community Action, Development Corp, Housing Association and Development Corp, Community Bike Works, Thrivent Financial Services, and AmeriHealth Mercy.Fun was had by all.

Thanks everyone…hope to see everyone next year.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Scattered throughout the St. Luke’s Children’s Garden are words and intentions like Grow, Laugh, Live and Love. That is what all people and plants want and need. And the chance to do this is just what the children and a few adults are getting this year from the newly planted urban Children’s Garden. The garden is located behind the St. Luke’s Neighborhood Center here on Seventh Street.

The garden was planted by the youth from the neighborhood under the caring and watchful eye of professional gardener, Bernadette Cozart. Bernie, as we affectionately call her, is passionate about working as a gardener and teaching gardening to children and adults alike. This year the children will learn what it takes to garden and to be a gardener. This is a positive life skill that will last a lifetime and hopefully be passed on for many generations to come.

St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church bought Parks Seafood Restaurant in 1999, renovated the building and opened the neighborhood center. Located at 435 N. 7th Street, St. Luke’s Neighborhood Center is a community neighborhood center open to and supported by the general public, in order to provide facilities, programs and services to individuals and families in this urban setting.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Seed Is Planted on Seventh...

In the beginning...there were empty flower beds and a dream...
add one expert...Allentown's Bernadette Cozart's knowledge...
and an army of about 50 committed volunteers... armed with cafe seats no less... another army of some really cute industrious kids...
some REALLY cute kids on top of things...
and you get the makings of a really great earth are more people that made 7th Street's Spring Offensive such a great success...
Yodi reaching new heights...
Becky - head of Promotions with businesswoman Dorcas...also from Promotions...they have worked hard to get to this day
more happy volunteers...and expert planter donato dequinto and his lovely wife Joan :)
and 7th street's muscle lending a hand!
Kathleen Kapila head of Organization keeping things well Organized...Deb Rabinsky ensuring that cafe seating is rolling out on this special day...
Ernie Atiyeh...7th street's fearless leader
Chensters Matt Lewis and Sarah Fulton interview our Winston!City Staff helping out the causemore fabu interfaith coalition volunteers...they just rock!
and the finished culture comes to 7th street

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

7th Street's Answer To Earth Day...

our first ever Spring Offensive!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Allentown...we're listening...

folks...a last minute fyi...7th street is going to be on the radio this evening - the information is as follows:
WDIY – April 19 – Valley Venue 88.1 FM Host: Sally Handlon,
“Focus on Allentown….what’s new and happening in downtown”
Guests: Peter Lewnes, Main Street Manager
Rebecca (Becky) Goff –new resident, young professional - Head of Promotions
Dorcis DeRivera – resident over 30 years was going to be there but she's sick today :(

We'll be covering everything from the Main Street program's history, to our accomplishments, covering the upcoming Spring Offensive starting on Earth Day as well as visualizing what 7th will be 3 years from now!
Call Ins are allowed!
special thanks to Miriam Huertas from the Chamber for thinking of us and arranging this!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April Showers Brings…7th Street Fruits and Vegetables

Where else would you want a farmers market, in your back yard, down the street or perhaps next to a culinary arts school? Fruits and vegetables have popped up this April on 7th Street. This is the most likely spot for a farmers market because it is a few doors down from the future site of the Italian Culinary Arts School.
There are plenty of fruits and vegetable to choose from, some locally grown. The market is located on Seventh Street between Chew and Gordon Streets.
The Markets operating hours are Thursday thru Saturday from 9am to 6pm, rain or shine. For more information please contact Ignacio Patricio, owner at 484-223-7816.
Mark you calendars each week to go to market…it’s so close by.
Story and photo by Yodi

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Everything Old Is New Again On 7th Street

Peter Lewnes - charismatic (i swear that's what they say) main street manager and resident of 7th street has a slight problem...a new antique store has opened on 7th street! Community Place antiques officially opened this week at 409 N 7th street. Located in one of 7th street's more beautifull historically preserved buildings, Community Place is 7th street's 15th business to open during the Main Street program's tenure. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10AM to 6PM.

OH...The little problem previously mentioned is that I cannot pass an antique store without buying something...I've begged for them to come to my house and start taking things out so I can make room for some new things...speaking of which...have you ever seen better lamps...and for only 30 bucks bought today at Community Place Antiques! now...there was also this little gold armchair that would go so nicely in my living room...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Offensive/Earth Day (Allentown, PA)

7th Street will be celebrating earth day and conducting their Spring Offensive on the same day. Happening that day, April 25, 2009, will be the placement of cafĂ© seating at the local restaurants, planters along the street, and much more. The 7th street youth will be on hand to debut their Bernie’s Bike Brigade, an artistic combination of bicycles and papier mache in honor of beloved community leader and horticultural specialist Bernadette Cozart. Ms. Cozart is one of the coordinators for the Spring Offensive activities. Also appearing on this day will be a giant puppet named “Vera”, a new spring presence. Come join in on the festivities and roll your sleeves up. Activities begin at 10 am and wrap up at 3pm. There will also be music by a local performer, to be announced later.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Seventh Street Featured in the Morning Call!

The Morning Call's popular Retail Watch column featured the new hubbub of Seventh Street today in a lengthy overview of new establishments:

Allentown's Seventh Street has been undergoing a lot of changes.

If you've been cruising with the flow of traffic on the busy corridor, you may not have noticed.

I had to take a slower pace and study the changes in greater detail. The area has been undergoing a lot work on the retail front in recent months, with some new businesses added, in addition to some existing ones getting facelifts.

Business reporter Tyrone Richardson, who writes the column, went on to describe the new Jamaican eatery, Winston's, at 619 7th St.--which we posted about previously.


Richardson doesn't indicate if he tried the jerk chicken ($8)--but we did, and it's superb.

The Call article goes on to describe some other new arrivals on 7th Street, including La Cocina Restaurant, which (at 37 N. Seventh St.) is in the former Paul's Gyros space.

The facade grant program, directed to high acclaim by Seventh Street's Main Street Manager Peter Lewnes, is also highlighted in the column.