Youells RenderingYouell’s Oyster House, after suffering a devastating fire in late January of 2013, has reopened its doors following a year and a half of renovations. Located in the 2200 block of Walnut Street in Allentown, the $2 million construction project began this past September and was completed in March, with the grand opening occurring in mid May. Mayor Pawlowski presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Youell’s has been a fixture in the West End since it opened its Allentown location in 1992.  The original Easton location has since closed.

Inspired by the revitalization of downtown, and the anticipated opening of new restaurants, the completely rebuilt Youell’s features 6,000 sq. feet of space, a mezzanine level, and a rooftop garden. Much more spacious than its old accommodations, Youell’s now has the ability to provide service to a total of 160 patrons, with seating on the main level as well as in the mezzanine.  The new building also has wheelchair accessibility and a full service bar.

Another classic West End eatery has returned to its roots.  The Shanty has re-opened its doors at its original location on 19th street.  Once a prominent fixture of Allentown’s West End Theater District, the restaurant closed in 2005 and the building was turned into a high-end Hair Salon.  Now under new management, the restaurant has re-opened with a new and improved façade, and several interior improvements.

With custom made booths, a lounge with 14 refurbished movie theater chairs, LED and pendant lighting, and a front brick patio for outdoor dining, The Shanty is almost unrecognizable; However, some old fixtures remain, such as the salad bar, the art deco inspired decor, and the open concept kitchen.  The Shanty now as the capability to seat 125 patrons, and features a private party room that can seat up to 40 people.

“It’s great to see these two fine dining establishments return to their original sites,” Mayor Pawlowski said, “These restaurants will provide new and exciting dining options for the residents of the Lehigh Valley.”

Part of the $2 million needed for the renovation of Youell’s was acquired through a $150,000 low interest loan provided by the City of Allentown Economic Development Loan Fund. With the money from this loan, Youell’s was able to re-open its doors in relatively short period time, and continue its legacy as a staple in the Allentown dining community.  For more information on the new and improved Youell’s Oyster House, visit http://youellsoysterhouse.com/ or call (610)-439-1203. You can also email info@youelloysterhouse.com.

The low-interest loan program is an excellent way to for new businesses to acquire that extra capital needed to open the doors, or for current businesses to expand or renovate.

If you are interested in receiving a loan for your business, contact the City of Allentown Economic Development Loan Fund’s Business Development Liaison Duane Tolson at (610)-439-5964 or at Duane.Tolson@allentownpa.gov.