Well that didn’t last long.
On July 1st, Shula’s Steakhouse relocated – amid much fanfare – to downtown Allentown’s Strata building from the Promenade Shops in Saucon Valley.
It was supposed to be a sign of the times for Allentown, and a boon for the area. Who would’ve thought that such a highly regarded, well known national steakhouse chain would consider moving to a burgeoning downtown Allentown?
Yesterday, Shula’s shuttered their doors after a mere 6-month run.
The restaurant became a “special occasion destination” and never established a regular nightly dining crowd. It’s not completely surprising that a swanky steakhouse, which requires a $75 check average to stay afloat, couldn’t hack it in a market where it’s possible to dine out, for much less, in any one of the other newly opened downtown eateries.
If there were still any doubt, its now entirely obvious that the Millennial generation really is driving downtown Allentown’s economy. In an era where small plates and sharing options are king, the younger generations who are spending their money in nascent City Center simply aren’t willing to spend $58 for a steak.
There is currently no word on whether Shula’s plans to find another location in the region. The Promenade is clearly not an option after the tumultuous exit from it’s lease, and the news that the Paxos Restaurant Group will be opening a steakhouse in the 3rd floor of it’s Melt space.
The Lehigh Valley clearly has the appetite for a high-end Shula’s type steakhouse, but apparently, not yet in downtown Allentown.
The Morning Call has more details here.