Barbecue season is heating up, and if you’re looking to score mouthwatering ribs, brisket and other meaty options without lifting a spatula or pair of tongs, a new Lehigh Valley business has you covered.
Grill Life Barbecue, a food trailer serving slow-smoked meats and homemade sides such as coleslaw, cornbread and brisket baked beans, opened May 20 at 2562 Route 309 in the Orefield section of South Whitehall Township. installing solar panels on roof
Grill Life Barbecue, a food trailer serving up slow-smoked meats and homemade sides such as cornbread, creamy coleslaw and brisket baked beans, opened May 20 at 2562 Route 309 in the Orefield section of South Whitehall Township. The business is operated by brothers, from left, Joe and Brandon Zellner. (Ryan Kneller/The Morning Call)
Brothers Joe and Brandon Zellner plan to operate the business 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday year-round, temporarily closing in January and February, at the Route 309 site, which is across from Burger King and catty-corner from Orefield Middle School.
They accept catering orders for up to 300 people, and they’re also looking to debut a second event trailer in early 2023.
“The event trailer will rotate from venue to venue — breweries, wineries, festivals, everywhere,” Joe said. “It also will be available for weddings and other private events.”
The Lehighton natives — Joe graduated from Lehighton Area High School in 2001 and Brandon in 2005 — previously ran an award-winning barbecue trailer, Brothers Q, in Florida for seven years before recently moving back to Pennsylvania to be closer to family.
Grill Life Barbecue, a food trailer serving slow-smoked meats and homemade sides such as coleslaw, cornbread and brisket baked beans, opened May 20 at 2562 Route 309 in the Orefield section of South Whitehall Township. The business offers a variety of sliders and sandwiches. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO / GRILL LIFE BARBECUE)
The pair has visited barbecue hot spots in Texas, Tennessee and other parts of the country to fine-tune their barbecue’s unique flavor profiles.
“In Florida, we had a really big following, pulling in 75-100 people a day,” Joe said. “We’re hoping to replicate that success up here.”
In Orefield, the brothers utilize a wood-fired smoker under a nearby tent to cook their meats, including ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork and chopped chicken, along with select sides such as three-cheese mac and cheese.
Customers can enjoy most of the meats in sandwich form (sliders or regular size) or by the pound or half pound.
Grill Life Barbecue, a food trailer serving slow-smoked meats and homemade sides such as coleslaw, cornbread and brisket baked beans, opened May 20 at 2562 Route 309 in the Orefield section of South Whitehall Township. Smoked ribs are one of the business' most popular selections. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO / GRILL LIFE BARBECUE)
Other menu highlights include “pac mans,” which are bowls of mac and cheese topped with pork, brisket or chicken; and specials such as lollipop bacon candy bites (sweet cubed smoked pork belly) and a “Four Horsemen” dish (bacon-wrapped chicken breast stuffed with pulled pork and brisket, served with white barbecue sauce). Info: 610-483-1345; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another barbecue business, Uncle Jay’s BBQ, along with several other food enterprises are readying to debut at The Slatington Farmers Market, an indoor market, dining destination and event space, which is set to open 9 a.m. Friday, June 17, at 8281 Route 873 in Washington Township, Lehigh County, according to an announcement on the market’s Facebook page.
The 28,000-square-foot market, occupying a renovated space that once housed Keystone Lamp Factory, is attached to the seven-year-old Slatington Marketplace, specializing in antiques, collectibles and vintage merchandise.
The market will feature more than 50 booths selling fresh farm products, prepared foods and handmade goods from local growers, artisans and specialty food producers. There will be fast-casual dining options along with a 4,000-square-foot event space.
In addition to Uncle Jay’s BBQ, some of the other vendors listed in the market’s most recent announcement include Breinigsville’s Bleiler’s Produce Patch, Slatedale Discount Provisions (food, home and health products), Japanese dining concept Takkii Ramen, True Blue Mediterranean Express, a coffee purveyor and arcade. A bar, winery and distillery also will be featured.
Takkii beef ramen (soy broth, signature chili oil, marinated shaved beef, caramelized onions, scallions and bean sprouts) is pictured at Takkii Ramen on Mill Creek Road in Lower Macungie Township. The business is planning to open a new outpost at the Slatington Farmers Market, 8281 Route 873, Washington Township, Lehigh County. (Takkii Ramen/Contributed photo)
“We’re truly going to have something for everyone,” market partner Chris White said in an online video. “We’re talking a full bar, distillery, an arcade, new market vendors and a bunch of incredible food options — pizza, burgers, waffles, crepes, Mediterranean, ramen, deli and pastries.”
White and other market partners, Joshua Karoly and J.P. Karoly, have been active in ensuring the venue supports local businesses and farmers, according to Kylie Adams-Weiss, assistant vice president of Affiliated Chambers for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The Slatington Farmers Market will operate Friday through Sunday, opening at 9 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays. Each vendor will set its own hours. Info: theslatingtonfarmersmarket.com.
From one upgraded property to another, The Club at Twin Lakes, formerly known as Iron Lakes Country Club, held its grand opening Wednesday at 3625 Shankweiler Road in North Whitehall Township.
The event, hosted by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber, celebrated recent renovations, including upgrades to the 18-hole course, pro shop and banquet facilities.
The course was purchased in December by David Jaindl, owner and president of neighboring Jaindl Farms, an enterprise that includes Jaindl Turkey Sales, Jaindl Land Company, Jaindl Beverage (A-Treat), and Schantz Orchards.
The Jaindl family hired Illinois-based KemperSports, a golf course management company, to oversee operations at The Club at Twin Lakes and Moselem Springs Golf Club, a golf course in Richmond Township, Berks County, which it also acquired in late 2021.
“The Jaindl family’s vision and goal is to make this one of the best facilities for golf as well as for social events like weddings, corporate functions and so forth,” said Will Blackman, general manager at The Club at Twin Lakes. “The golf course borders the family’s turkey farm, and it’s literally been in their backyard for decades. So, it’s very close to their hearts.”
The Club at Twin Lakes, formerly known as Iron Lakes Country Club, held its grand opening Wednesday at 3625 Shankweiler Road in North Whitehall Township. The event, hosted by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, celebrated recent renovations, including upgrades to the 18-hole course, pro shop and banquet facilities. An under-construction restaurant, Wild Turkey Grill, which is expected to open in July. (RYAN KNELLER / The Morning Call)
The public golf course, originally known as Twin Lakes Golf Club when it was constructed in the 1950s on a former iron ore mine, opened for the season on April 22, Blackman said.
Improvements include new golf cart paths, removal of dead or dying trees and newly added landscaping and sand in the bunkers.
Other renovations include cosmetic upgrades in the pro shop; new carpeting, wall paint and drapes in the two banquet rooms; and the removal of a carport to make way for two new covered entrances, featuring California redwood framing, metal roofs and stamped concrete.
Coming soon is the full-service Wild Turkey Grill, which is set to replace the facility’s former restaurant, Hickory Grill, in July.
The restaurant space, offering seating for around 75 customers, is undergoing extensive renovations that include new drop ceiling, simulated wood flooring and a newly constructed bar.
A new menu will feature starters such as burrata and grilled steak flatbreads; entrees such as pan-seared snapper and shrimp or chicken alfredo; and dishes featuring Jaindl Farms turkey such as a turkey Philly cheesesteak and turkey brisket burger. Info: theclubattwinlakes.com.
A couple of businesses recently found new homes:
First, Empire’s Coffee, a family-run eatery offering specialty drinks, sandwiches, breakfast items and more, on June 1 completed its move from 44 Broadway in Bangor to a spot a few doors down at 32 Broadway, co-owner Michael Antunes said.
The cafe, which opened in 2017, is now sharing space with Sandy’s Boutique, which Antunes and his wife, Sandy, also operate. The two-year-old boutique sells new men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories.
The couple owns boutique’s property, and with the lease for their eatery’s original location expiring, they decided to consolidate their businesses under one roof, Michael said.
“The coffee shop is in the front, and the boutique is in the back,” Michael said.
Empire’s Coffee, offering specialty drinks, sandwiches, breakfast items and more, on June 1 completed its move from 44 Broadway to 32 Broadway in the borough, co-owner Michael Antunes said. The cafe, which opened in 2017, is now sharing space with Sandy’s Boutique, which Antunes and his wife, Sandy, also operate. (Empire's Coffee/Contributed photo)
Empire’s, with indoor and outdoor seating, offers breakfast dishes such as omelettes, waffles and breakfast sandwiches; and lunch and dinner options such as burgers, hot dogs, hoagies, paninis and empanadas. Info: 610-452-9164.
Second, Uniquely Lopez Co., a family-run business offering restored furniture, local artisan wares and do-it-yourself home decor workshops, will be moving in the coming weeks from its year-old spot at the South Mall on Lehigh Street in Salisbury Township to the Village West shopping center at Tilghman Street and North Cedar Crest Boulevard in South Whitehall Township.
The business, run by husband and wife Juan and Dawn Lopez, is set to close its South Mall location in mid-June and reopen at its new location at Village West on July 1, Dawn said. The couple is moving their operation primarily for more space.
Uniquely Lopez Co. offers custom-painted and -engraved furniture, along with hand-made items such as decoupage, macrame and stained glass creations, from nearly a dozen consignors. Info: 610-333-2075.
For individuals with a sweet tooth, Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop, carrying candy bars, gummies, fudge and other sweets, on Thursday opened its second Lehigh Valley store and 13th location overall at 304 Main St. in Emmaus.
The business, which has shops in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, opened its first local store in 2019 on Main Street in downtown Bethlehem.
“The Emmaus location will continue my vision to invest in small towns throughout the country,” owner Christopher Beers said.
The Emmaus store, next to Swadee Thai House, occupies a renovated space that previously housed women’s fashion store Adorned Accessories Boutique, which closed in April.
Grandpa Joe's Candy Shop, which opened its second Lehigh Valley store on Thursday in Emmaus, features a “World Famous $5 Candy Buffet,” with more than 100 bulk candy selections. Kids of all ages are able to fill a box with their favorite treats, including Albanese peach rings, caramel creams, banana Runts, M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces and Andes mints, for $5. (Grandpa Joe's Candy Shop/Contributed photo)
It offers the business’ full range of products, including more than 1,200 types of candy (new and nostalgic brands), over 250 varieties of glass bottled soda and unique gifts such as humorous socks, dish towels, coffee mugs and toys. A candy buffet, with more than 100 bulk candy selections, allows individuals to fill a box with their favorite treats, including caramel creams, Reese’s Pieces and Sour Patch Kids, for $5.
Grandpa Joe’s, named after a main character of the popular 1971 film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” also sells magnets, puzzles, Funko POP! figures and games like Clue, Monopoly and Candyland. Info: grandpajoescandyshop.com.
Lastly, a storefront that once housed discounted groceries is now home to other bargain items in Quakertown.
Total Liquidators, offering big box store items such as toys, clothing, home decor and small appliances at discounted prices, opened its newest location May 11 at 240 S. West End Blvd., according to a post on the business’ Facebook page.
The Country Square Shopping Center space previously housed Swann’s Pantry, a family-owned discount grocer that closed in January 2020 after 29 years of business.
Total Liquidators, which has three other regional locations in Bucks and Montgomery counties, carries a wide array of merchandise, including air conditioners, bedding, cleaning products, clothing, cookware, furniture, lamps, luggage, rugs, towels, televisions, vacuums and outdoor and seasonal items such as grills, kids pools, inflatable floats, patio heaters, water guns, folding chairs, sandboxes, sun shades, fire pits and solar lights.
The store carries items from popular brands such as Bounty, Brita, Coleman, Crockpot, Dawn, Dove, Fisher-Price, Gain, Gillette, Hot Wheels, Igloo, Little Tikes, Miracle-Gro, Nerf, Oral B, Pampers, Scotts, Sealy and Ziploc.
On Sundays, customers can pick any 20 items from the store’s dollar section for $10. Info: 267-574-3929.
Roof Integrated Solar Panels Retail Watch, appearing every weekend, keeps track of retail and restaurant news in the Lehigh Valley. Contact Ryan Kneller at 610-820-6597 or email@example.com.