Moms deserve to be celebrated every day of the year, but after the huge headaches of 2020, they are worthy of an especially wonderful Mother’s Day 2021. So, don’t drop the ball on May 9.
Cut flowers are almost always appreciated, but if you really want to show the marvelous matriarch of your family how much you care, consider gifting her an item with a little more shelf life — like a bottle of wine, which actually gets better with age.
The Lehigh Valley’s newest spot to score locally produced wine is Stone Lake Wine Bar, which opened March 3 at 8 Mt. Bethel Plaza, Suite 32, in Upper Mount Bethel Township.
The business, offering red and white wines by the glass, flight and bottle, is the first brick-and-mortar location of Stone Lake Winery, which husband and wife Scott and Jacki Douglas established last year.
The couple has operated Stone Lake Inn, a bed and breakfast and event venue in Saylorsburg, since 2016, and they got the idea for the winery after hearing how much inn guests loved tasting wines in their travels.
Wines are formulated locally using grapes sourced from vineyards in Erie and other parts of northwestern Pennsylvania, Scott said.
Varieties include dry selections like Cabernet Franc and Grüner Veltliner, off-dry options like Noiret and Riesling, sweet picks like Concord and Niagara and semi-sweet selections like Fredonia, Vidal Blanc and Vignoles. Moscato is coming soon.
“Many of the wines that we produce aren’t very common around here,” Scott said. “We like to focus on the quality of grapes that we use along with the guest experience in our tasting room. We want people to feel like they’re part of our family. It’s not about just making money for us. We want to make friends.”
Stone Lake Winery is a family affair with the Douglas’ daughter, Kassi Adams, serving as manager and their two sons — Patrick Douglas and Scott Douglas — also helping out in various capacities.
Customers can enjoy wines in the 24-seat tasting room or al-fresco at outdoor tables on the weekends.
Popular picks include sangria, featuring a new flavor every week, and hard Italian ice, made from scratch using Stone Lake’s wines (available in a cup, flight or to-go pint).
The wine bar, which also serves Yuengling beer and welcomes food from neighboring restaurants, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Customers also can purchase the winery’s creations at prominent area businesses like Shoprite of Brodheadsville and the Wine and Beer Shop at American Candle in Bartonsville. Info: 570-583-2331; stonelakewinery.com.
From one new wine bar to another, Peculiar Wine Bar & Bites, serving small plates and wines by the glass, bottle and flight, opened April 10 at 520 Main St. in Bethlehem, next to Urbano Mexican Kitchen & Bar.
The 40-seat restaurant supplements husband and wife Juan Carlos and Cara Paredes’ other downtown Bethlehem dining spots: Urbano, breakfast and lunch spot The Flying Egg, French-inspired Cachette Bistro & Creperie and Spanish restaurant Tapas on Main, the latter of which they operate with partner and chef Rafael Palomino.
It offers more than 40 red wines, around 30 white wines and around a dozen rose and sparkling wines from top domestic and international winemaking regions, including areas of Argentina, California, Chile, France, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Washington.
About a half dozen of both red and white wine varieties are available by the glass, with the rest being available by the bottle, Juan Carlos said. Wine flights also are available.
“We’ll have some organic wines, which are huge right now, as well,” Juan Carlos said.
Peculiar offers a rotating menu of small plates, or “bites,” that complements the various wines. Dishes have mostly Mediterranean influences, with items from a sample menu including personal margherita pizzas, artichoke cauliflower dip with parmesan and pecorino cheeses and “Peculiar caprese” (mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, olives, basil and Seasons olive oil and balsamic).
From Riesling to “rippers,” Easton Public Market has announced that its newest vendor, Rod’s Hot Dogs, is expected to open this summer.
Husband and wife owners Mike and Rebecca Pichetto previously operated the space’s former tenant, Full of Crepe, since 2018. The couple also operates Easton’s 3rd & Ferry Fish Market, a popular seafood restaurant, a few blocks away at 56 S. Third St.
“Full of Crepe was terrific and we genuinely enjoyed doing it, but it wasn’t my passion,” Mike said.
Rod’s Hot Dogs is named for Mike’s grandfather, Rod, who ran a hot dog cart in Rutherford, N.J. after WWII. The stand will offer the iconic northern New Jersey-style hot dogs called “rippers.”
“The hot dogs are fried to obtain that ‘ripper’ state where they plump and crisp, and split either at the ends or down the middle,” Pichetto said.
Rod’s also will offer bratwurst, chicken dogs and vegan hot dogs, hand-pressed burgers with ground beef from fellow Easton Public Market vendor Saylors & Co. and scratch-made toppings, waffle fries, onion rings, birch beer and milkshakes made with ice cream from Easton’s Bank Street Creamery. Info: facebook.com/eastonpublicmarket.
Another meaty option is coming to Lehigh County this summer: Colliers International, a global real estate services and investment management company, on Monday announced that fast-food chain Burger King has concluded a ground lease at 1116 Chestnut St. in Emmaus, the site of the former Fiesta Ole Mexican restaurant.
The forthcoming eatery, supplementing about two dozen Burger King locations throughout the Lehigh Valley, will be at the busy intersection of Cedar Crest Boulevard and Chestnut Street, across the street from McDonald’s and close to convenience store chains 7-Eleven and Wawa.
It also will be a block away from the forthcoming Melly Mel’s Chicken, a fast-casual eatery set to open in the fall at the former Pizza Hut building.
The Lehigh Valley’s fourth European Wax Center is coming soon to The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley in Upper Saucon Township.
The chain, offering body and face-waxing services along with skin-care products ranging from lotions and body washes to ingrown hair serums and tweezers, is set to open this summer in Suite 105 (next to Sweet & Sassy) on Main Street, according to a news release.
European Wax Center, founded as a family business in 2004, has grown to more than 800 centers nationwide.
Centers feature private waxing suites, professionally trained estheticians and the company’s proprietary Comfort Wax, a blend of “the highest quality natural beeswax sourced from Europe plus other skin-soothing ingredients,” according to the business’ website. Info: waxcenter.com.
Another business aiming to keep you looking fresh: Paul’s Precision Cuts, offering hair-cutting services for boys and men, on March 20 held a grand opening at 2165 Mount Bethel Highway, Suite 15, in Upper Mount Bethel Township.
Owner Paul Antoniou, of Upper Mount Bethel, has been cutting and styling hair for more than a decade and previously worked at barbershops in New Jersey.
His new venture, open by appointment Tuesday through Saturday, offers a variety of barbering services, including classic cuts, fades and beard trims. Info: 570-291-7622; paulsprecisioncuts.as.me.
I’ll finish with a couple of other businesses aimed at helping you look and feel your best:
First, Vanity Haus, an esthetics center featuring full-body waxing, facials, skin therapy, lash extensions, lash lifts and eyebrow tints, opened March 1 at 701 W. Union Boulevard, Suite 2, in Bethlehem, according to a news release.
The center is owned by Mariana Franco, a former elementary and middle school English teacher of 13 years, who opened the business following her schooling, subsequent licensing as a skin care esthetician and work in the field for the past seven years.
“The reason I went into esthetics was to one day be my own boss,” Franco said in the release. “I want to show my daughter that girls can do it, too.”
Vanity Haus, open by appointment Monday through Saturday, offers a vegan and hypoallergenic hard wax for all of its full-body waxing services along with an organic, vegan and hypoallergenic pre- and post-wax skincare line. Info: vanityhauslv.com.
Lastly, The Sweetness of Salt, which opened April 10 at 42 W. Water St. in Hellertown, offers salt therapy — or halotherapy — in a dimly lit Himalayan salt cave, also known as a salt room, with nearly 2 tons of Himalayan salt on the floor and walls.
Guests relax in zero-gravity lounge chairs while enjoying calming music and experiencing the alternative wellness treatment, which involves the inhalation of salt air being emitted by halogenerators.
Studies show halotherapy can improve respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and allergies, along with other health issues such as anxiety, depression and various skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema and acne.
“Salt therapy is good for the skin, lungs, eyes — just about every part of your body,” owner Jillian Rossi said.
Rossi, of Bethlehem Township, is a seasoned reiki master and spiritual counselor. She got the idea for her new business after experiencing the benefits of salt therapy about a year ago in Florida.
Halotherapy starts at $35 per person for a 45-minute session, with discounted pricing is available for three-, five- and 10-session plans. Info: sweetnessofsalt.com.
Retail Watch, appearing every weekend, keeps track of retail and restaurant news in the Lehigh Valley. Contact Ryan Kneller at 610-820-6597 or firstname.lastname@example.org.