Allentown’s new downtown market offers food hall experience

Brian Pedersen//September 19, 2019

Allentown’s new downtown market offers food hall experience

Brian Pedersen//September 19, 2019

The Downtown Allentown Market opened today, with nine merchants offering a variety of food and beverages inside a 12,000-square-foot space below the Strata West apartments.

Owned by City Center Investment Corp., the space once held two retailers but now offers a number of venues for people to order food from local, regional and national merchants.

Food Network star Robert Irvine opened Fresh Kitchen, a diner concept with counter seating and a full-service bartender serving food and drinks.

City Center officials have said that celebrity chef Irvine will make appearances at the market several times a year.

Irvine is the host of the Food Network show “Restaurant: Impossible” and also hosts the TV shows “Fitness Impossible,” “A Hero’s Welcome,” Food Network’s “Restaurant Express,” “Dinner Impossible” and “Worst Cooks in America.”

The other merchants include:

  • Shinsen, a sushi/poke bowl concept;
  • Zahra, a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean concept;
  • Batch Microcreamery, offering made from scratch ice cream;
  • Little Miss Korea, a fresh Korean bowl concept;
  • Dougnut Love, offering baked goods, doughnuts, coffee and espresso;
  • Licensed 2 Grill@ The Market, a Southern diner concept;
  • Tavola, a signature startup artisan pizza and pasta concept;
  • Boardroom Spirits, a craft distillery that will also offer Pennsylvania craft beers and wines.

The venue includes indoor seating and flexible space for events, in addition to outdoor seating. The market opens onto the ArtsWalk, a pedestrian walkway connecting the Allentown Renaissance Hotel and PPL Center on Seventh Street with the Allentown Art Museum.

“The market has exceeded our expectations from the physical space and the quality and passion of the vendors,” said J.B. Reilly, president and CEO of City Center. “We think the community will enjoy the market. We think it will have wide appeal.”

He sees it as a place for neighbors, visitors and families to socialize, eat, and drink and a place ideal for people who work in the downtown.

With ADP recently moving hundreds of employees to downtown Allentown and numerous other companies joining the influx of businesses, the market could draw a mix of office professionals looking for new food options. The nearby apartments have also bought in hundreds of new residents, providing potential customers within walking distance.