Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cosmopolitan: The project (part 1 of 2)

A restaurant you haven’t heard about is opening in Allentown in just a few weeks.

Maybe you recall something happening on the site of “Sal’s Spaghetti House,” which is how the Lehigh Valley likes to describe things… based on what isn’t there anymore. It’s on Sixth Street in Downtown Allentown, between Hamilton and Linden Streets, across from Allentown Symphony Hall and near the Morning Call building.

There hasn’t been any public (tax) money invested into it – which is why you probably haven’t heard much about it. The restaurant and lounge have been privately-funded by its owners.

In the past few years, the project has trucked along, tearing down an eyesore of a structure, and building in its place a beautiful five-story building with brick façade, detailed architecture and attention to detail rarely seen in a restaurant, let alone an urban revitalization project.
When complete, Cosmopolitan (22 North Sixth Street, Allentown) will seat 500 guests for dinner, drinks, and muse (more on that later). It will feature valet parking seven days a week, outdoor table service on two rooftop patios overlooking the Old Allentown neighborhood, and live acoustic jazz entertainment four nights a week. The vibe will be decidedly urban, upscale, but not at all snooty. Its proximity to Symphony Hall, Allentown Art Museum and other downtown nightlife destinations will make it a great jumping-off place and late-night rendezvous spot, as well as a place to share a special meal with a date or group of friends. The third floor's ballroom (complete with its own mezzanine for people-watching) will hold up to 150 guests for private special events.

The word for design inside Cosmopolitan: luxe. Floor-to-ceiling window treatments, leather banquettes, marble covering the inside of the multiple restrooms, including the 10’ to the ceilings. The two-story chandelier, restored from its days when it hung in the downtown Allentown Hess’ department store, will be a sight to see, as will the fountain outside and the gorgeous water feature inside the entrance. From the lighting (custom) to the molding (also custom), the design of the bar (no visible bottles or bar gear) and the direction the rooftop decks face (north), every inch of Cosmopolitan has been painstakingly selected and crafted.

When it opens, it will be a great place to get farm-to-table cuisine, try a wine you’ve never tasted before, and spend time before or after downtown events.

I recently had a chance to visit with one of the project's owners, its gregarious manager, and its expert chef. Later this week, I’ll share some details about the restaurant and its menu, and as soon as they're finalized, you’ll hear about the plans for its opening in mid-September. Stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy some preview photos!

Curbside, a view of Cosmopolitan's cornerstone.

A couple of birds'-eye view images from one of the two rooftop decks (scheduled to open Spring 2011). It literally gave me goosebumps to see this city from this vantage point.

Cosmopolitan's facade.

The ballroom, complete with two humongous chandeliers, which I saw being assembled.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the great story and photos...i for one living close on 7th cannot wait...for now...will have to keep trying sangria :) hope to see you soon!