Warby Parker store opening at Lehigh Valley Mall

Rendering of the interior of the new Warby Parker store in the Lehigh Valley Mall. –

The Lehigh Valley is getting its first Warby Parker. The fashion eyeglass retailer is opening a store at the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall. The grand opening will be held Saturday. 

The retailer was founded in New York City in 2010 and has approximately 160 retail stores in North America but is known for selling glasses online. 

According to a press release the company expects the new location to be a one-stop-shop for customers’ eye needs. The location will offer eye exams and carry Warby Parker’s full line of sun and optical eyewear offerings. 

It will also have the company’s first brand of daily contact lenses Scout by Warby Parker, as well as third-party contacts. 

The company said it has also teamed up with local artist Marian Bailey to create a custom mural for the store, which will be available as a limited-edition gift-with-purchase print to celebrate the store’s opening.   

Lehigh Valley Mall co-owner PREIT files Chapter 11 bankruptcy to help with restructuring

As it tries to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, Philadelphia-based PREIT, co-owner of the Lehigh Valley Mall, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sunday, a move it said will help it restructure.

On Oct. 14, the real estate investment trust entered into a Restructuring Support Agreement with its bank lenders. It said those banks have agreed to provide another $150 million to help PREIT recapitalize and extend its debt maturity schedule.

In a release, PREIT said the bankruptcy filing will help ensure that it can continue operations while it obtains necessary approvals for its financial restructuring plan.

“Today’s announcement has no impact on our operations – our employees, tenants, vendors and the communities we serve –and we remain committed to continuing to deliver top-tier experiences and improving our portfolio. With the overwhelming support of our lenders, we look forward to quickly emerging from this process as a financially stronger company with the resources and support to continue creating diverse, multi-use ecosystems throughout our portfolio,” said Joseph Coradino, CEO of PREIT.

The company will pay all vendors, suppliers and employees during the Chapter 11 process, he said, adding that the bankruptcy should not impact shareholders. PREIT’s common and preferred shares will continue to trade.

“We are pleased to be moving forward with strengthening the company’s balance sheet and positioning it for long-term success through our prepackaged plan. We are grateful for the significant support we have received from a substantial majority of our lenders, which we expect will enable us to complete our financial restructuring on an expedited basis,” he said.

Dave & Buster’s opens at Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall

The much anticipated Dave & Buster’s in Whitehall opens at noon on Monday.

The restaurant, sports bar and game center replaced a number of outbuildings at the Lehigh Valley Mall on Mac Arthur Road, including a former Wendy’s and Friendly’s and an office building that had previously housed tenants such as the Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce.

The unique destination is expected to be an economic boost to Whitehall’s retail scene as it brings in people from outside of the area.

The closest Dave & Busters’ are in Philadelphia and King of Prussia.

Jeffrey Hartwyk, general manager of the Whitehall Dave & Buster’s, said even before they opened they had people coming to the door trying to come in.

“People aren’t only coming by, but since our phone line has been set up it’s been ringing off the hook,” he said.

People want to know when they’re going to be open, what specials they have and most importantly – what are the safety precautions being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Although the pandemic didn’t stop the opening of the location, it has changed the opening and added challenges for Hartwyk.

He not only has to sell Dave & Buster’s as a destination for fun – something the chain is used to doing – he has to sell it as a place people will be safe while having that fun.

Hartwyk said they have many of the more common safety protocol in place. Mask-wearing will be required for both staff and guest, unless they’re sitting at a table and eating.

Seating will be kept 6-feet apart and the location will only let in 670 people at a time compared to the 1,350 the space can normally serve.

But because part of the fun is playing games, Hartwyk said they’ve had to go further.

Games that are close together will only have every other game working.

There will be sanitation stands where guests can grab gloves and use hand sanitizer.

There is also dedicated staff, called captains, who will be part security and part greeter and will make rounds through the gaming area to make sure masks are worn and everyone is social distancing properly.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Dave & Buster’s concept, Hartwyk said he’s heard people describe it as a Chuck E. Cheese for adults.

“But, I think we’re a bit more than that,” he said. “We’re really a place to come see a game in our bar. And, we don’t serve bar food, we have a full menu of restaurant quality food.”

The restaurant area has everything from entrees to sandwiches and salads, but Hartwyk said the most popular item on the menu tends to be their chicken nachos, which features marinated, shredded tinga chicken over house-made nachos with plenty of toppings and cheese.

They also have a full line of specialty cocktails. He said the favorite seems to be the strawberry margarita, which is made with strawberry ice cubes, so the flavor gets better as the ice melts.

The midway area, he said, has something for everyone.

Generation Xers will find some classic video games like Space Invaders and Pac Man.

For those seeking the most modern gaming there are virtual reality platform games, including Jedi Dojo, where players get to wield a light saber.

There of course is also a wide variety of carnival-style games where players can earn tickets to redeem in the prize shop.

Because of COVID-19 hours have been reduced to meet state guidelines.

The bar will be open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Dave & Buster’s Whitehall nearly ready to open, now hiring

Dave & Buster’s will soon be opening in its newest location at the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall. PHOTO/STACY WESCOE


Dave & Buster’s Whitehall is now hiring 120 people to work at the food and entertainment destination.

Recently constructed at the entrance to the Lehigh Valley Mall, it is the first Dave & Buster’s in the Lehigh Valley.

The closest location has been in King of Prussia.

The highly anticipated restaurant will feature 30,000 square feet of arcade games – including state-of-the-art simulators and games of skill, chef-crafted food, innovative drinks and sports viewing at the D&B Sports Bar surrounded with dozens of HDTVs.

The location is looking to hire people for positions in front and back-of-house capacities including managers, servers, bartenders, hosts, line cooks and game techs.

“We are thankful that Dave & Buster’s is able to provide an opportunity to those looking for work at this time. We are looking for team players that are motivated and thrive in a fast-paced work environment,” said Jeff Hartwyk, general manager of the Lehigh Valley location. “We are looking forward to meeting individuals that can be part of our Dave & Buster’s family, and we can’t wait to bring good, clean fun to the Lehigh Valley community.”

When the Dave & Buster’s opens, a spokeswoman assured that all of the games and other features will be up and running, just with social distancing protocols in place.

The first day of operations for the new Dave & Busters is scheduled for Oct. 26.

Lush opening Monday at Lehigh Valley Mall

A tub demonstrating Lush’s bath bombs at one of its stores. PHOTO/SUBMITTED –


Some good news at a time when many bricks and mortar retailers are closing, a new beauty product store is opening at the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall.

Lush, which sells handmade organic bath products including bath bombs, soaps and body washes, is opening Monday on the Lower level of the mall near Starbucks.

The chain of stores concentrates on in-store experience including personalized consultations.

Of course with COVID-19 restrictions remaining in place the store will be operating at reduced capacity. The store will also not be offering product demos while restrictions remain in place and will have new products available if customers are not comfortable purchasing the package-free items on display that the stores are known for.

Shoppers can place online orders and pick up at the store, or they can enter the store and observe social distancing regulations, including contactless payment.

“We are so excited to open the doors to a brand new store in Pennsylvania,” says Elisa Torres, Lush’s director of retail. “While the road to normality is bound to be a little uncertain as the world changes around us, we’re committed to safely and consciously starting afresh together, and look forward to welcoming the people of Lehigh Valley with open arms.”

Sticking with the chain’s brand as an eco-friendly retailer, the new shop is outfitted almost entirely with reclaimed wood, ethically sourced in the Pacific North West, the shop’s walls, fittings and shelving were all once barns or industrial buildings, which lowers the chain’s carbon footprint.

Founded in 1995, Lush has more than 260 retail locations across North America.

Lehigh Valley Mall Macy’s to get new in-store discount shop

A Macy’s Backstage is being located within the Lehigh Valley Mall Macy’s store. (Photo submitted) –

The Macy’s Department Store in the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall is taking its customers backstage.

The Lehigh Valley store is the latest in the chain to create Macy’s Backstage, a store-within-a-store concept aimed at offering a variety of lower-priced items to complement the higher-end products traditionally featured in the department store.

Michelle Israel, Macy’s senior vice president of Off Price, said Backstage isn’t just a bargain bin of store closeouts, but a whole new collection of merchandise at lower price points.

Israel said in addition to clothing, there will be shoes, accessories, household items, décor, makeup and even food for sale.

Backstage has its own buying team looking for bargains that will be sold at between 20 percent and 80 percent off of department-store prices. New items will be rotated in regularly.

She likened it to the kind of experience one would have at a T.J. Maxx or similar store.

At a time when all retailers are struggling and the marketplace is more competitive than ever, Yannie said the concept is a way for Macy’s stores to bring in more shoppers.

“It’s another way to shop that will bring in potential new customers to Macy’s,” she said. “It’s another reason to come to Macy’s. ”

Israel said the concept should also bring customers to the store more often.

“Backstage’s focus on value and newness guarantees that with each visit, shoppers will find an amazingly priced assortment of recognizable brands and trends. Frequent deliveries ensure there is always a new reason to come in and shop,” she said.

Shoppers can use their Macy’s credit card and earn the same rewards in Backstage as they can in the regular Macy’s area.

The new shopping area is currently being developed in 13,700 square feet of space on the second level inside the Macy’s store at Lehigh Valley Mall.

This location is one of 50 stores where Macy’s plans to develop the Backstage concept.

Macy’s already has introduced the off-price business segments in 165 locations, all within Macy’s stores. The first one opened in 2015.

The store will be hiring one manager and 10 associates for the new shop, which will open Aug. 10.

It’s official: Dave & Buster’s is coming to the Lehigh Valley

The Lehigh Valley Mall has been demolishing out buildings on its property in preparation for what it now has officially announced as a planned Dave & Buster’s location. (Photo by Christopher Holland) –

While it’s been widely speculated, it’s now official that Dave & Buster’s will be opening at the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall.

Simon Property Group, which owns the mall, confirmed today in a new release that the restaurant/arcade hybrid would be opening in mid-2020.

The mall has been in the process of demolishing a number of outbuildings, including a former Wendy’s and Friendly’s, and an office building that had previously housed tenants such as the Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce.

It had long been rumored that a Dave & Buster’s would be locating there, but mall management and the restaurant operator would not confirm it.

But it is the kind of entertainment destination retail centers like the Lehigh Valley Mall have been trying to attract to get more foot traffic.

John Ferreira, Lehigh Valley Mall manager, said the Dave & Buster’s fits the bill for the retail center.

“The upcoming arrival of Dave & Buster’s in the heart of Lehigh Valley aligns soundly with our center’s customer-centric approach, which aims to provide guests with an array of places to shop, live, work, stay and play under one roof,” Ferreira said.

A group plays a game of Galaga at a Dave & Buster’s (Photo submitted) –

Dave & Buster’s, which is headquartered in Dallas, has 130 locations that combine a sports bar atmosphere, restaurant and arcade with video games, simulators and games of skill.

“The Lehigh Valley has been on our radar, and we’ve found our perfect location at the Lehigh Valley Mall,” April Spearman, vice president of marketing for Dave & Buster’s, said in a release. “Pennsylvania has always given our brand a warm and enthusiastic welcome, and we look forward to providing new and existing guests with the fun entertainment we are known for.”

There are currently Dave & Buster’s locations in Philadelphia, King of Prussia and Camp Hill.

The 30,000-square-foot Dave & Buster’s location at the Lehigh Valley Mall is expected to create 200 jobs.