From cuisine to cars — the former Louie’s restaurant off Lehigh Street in Allentown has been purchased by a company that sells used cars.
The once popular Italian restaurant, owned by Louie Belletieri, had been located in the 4,100-square-foot space at 2071 SW 31st St. in Allentown for several years after moving from a smaller downtown location where it had been for decades. Belletieri, who did not own the building, closed the restaurant late last year after plans to move to a space in Emmaus fell through.
Before Louie’s a number of restaurants operated in the space. While the property has always served as a home to restaurants, the switch to an auto dealership isn’t out of character with the area. The buyer, Flexible Auto Mall, already has a used-car dealership nearby at 3030 Lehigh St. It provides sales, service and bad credit auto loans.
There are a number of used and new car dealerships in the immediate area, which is sometimes referred to as the Lehigh Street Auto Mile.
The restaurant building will be renovated into a service facility and to expand sales. The property has more than 70 parking spaces for the car lot according to NAI Summit, which represented the owner of the building, LEAD 112 LLC in the sale.
A man answering the phone at Flexible Auto Mall could not say when the work would begin.