Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine Leases Last Spot in Future Downtown Allentown Market

City Center Investment Corp., the real estate development company revitalizing downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, today revealed Food Network star Robert Irvine has leased the last spot in its future Downtown Allentown Market.

Irvine will become the first celebrity chef affiliated with Allentown when he launches “Fresh Kitchen by Robert Irvine” when the market opens on the ArtsWalk in the early fall of 2019.

The staff of Fresh Kitchen will produce high-quality dishes in full view of customers at its counter seating and will be complemented by a full-service bartender serving food and drinks to those who are seated at the counter. Fresh Kitchen will embody the essence of today’s diner with great food, prepared fresh at a reasonable price in a clean and inviting environment and served by a friendly and helpful team. The menu will be highly creative, diverse, and suited for the busy daytime worker and residents. Irvine will make appearances at the Downtown Allentown Market several times per year.

“Allentown has become an increasingly popular destination for dining and we’re excited to bring our unique fresh-meets-fun concept to the Downtown Allentown Market,” said Robert Irvine. “True to its name, Fresh Kitchen will produce wholesome seasonal dishes made with quality ingredients that diners can feel good about eating. I’m a huge believer in fresh food. I think you have to celebrate freshness; you have to celebrate life. All that I do is geared towards that. From helping families survive the stress of a failing restaurant on Restaurant: Impossible, to honoring our service members for the service to our country, and now with my Fresh Kitchen inside The Downtown Allentown Market I believe one of the greatest things I can do with my success is to give back to those in need of a little guidance, or to those who make sacrifices that enable us to enjoy our freedom.”

“We are thrilled to add this unique and creative concept to our lineup from a chef of Robert Irvine’s caliber,” said City Center’s Retail Leasing and Activation Manager Natalia Stezenko. “We’re certain Fresh Kitchen by Robert Irvine will help make the Downtown Allentown Market a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.”

With nearly 30 years in the culinary industry, Irvine is the host of one of Food Network’s highest-rated shows, Restaurant: Impossible, saving struggling restaurants by identifying and overhauling their weakest spots. He also hosts the TV shows Fitness Impossible, A Hero’s Welcome, Food Network’s Restaurant Express, Dinner: Impossible and Worst Cooks in America, which together have been watched by 1 billion viewers.

The chef’s company Irvine Restaurant Ventures operates the full-service restaurants Fresh Kitchen at The Pentagon and Robert Irvine’s Public House at the Tropicana Las Vegas.

Irvine is the author of three cookbooks, Mission: Cook!, Impossible to Easy, and Family Table as well as one healthy-living book, Fit Fuel: A Chef’s Guide to Eating Well and Living Your Best Life.

In 2014, the British Royal Navy veteran established The Robert Irvine Foundation to support military members and their families through a portion of the proceeds from Robert Irvine Foods.

City Center previously announced the other eight merchants for the market. They are:

  • Shinsen, a sushi/poke bowl concept from the owners of Asian Bistros II in Bethlehem.
  • Zahra, a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean concept from the family behind Aladdin restaurant in Allentown.
  • Batch Microcreamery, a startup offering made-from-scratch super-premium ice cream that will be handcrafted onsite with fresh, quality ingredients.
  • Little Miss Korea, an authentic, fresh Korean bowl concept with a one-year-old location in the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market.
  • Doughnut Love, offering a variety of doughnuts, baked goods, coffee and espresso and currently participating in the Easton Farmers’ Market.
  • Licensed 2 Grill @ The Market, a Southern diner concept serving breakfast, lunch and dinner by the couple behind the Emmaus location and popular Lehigh Valley food truck.
  • Tavola, a start-up artisan pizza and signature pasta concept using locally sourced ingredients and focusing on freshness.
  • Boardroom Spirits, a family-owned craft distillery producing premium-quality spirits, launched four years ago in Lansdale. They will also offer Pennsylvania craft beers and Pennsylvania wines.

All nine markets merchants, including Chef’s Table, will hold a hiring fair on July 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third floor of the Renaissance Allentown Hotel. The merchants will interview and hire – on the spot – cashiers, cooks, supervisors, baristas, bartenders and other positions. Part-time and full-time jobs are available for all shifts. Participants may register in advance on Facebook and Instagram at @DowntownAllentownMarket, but it is not required.

The Downtown Allentown Market will be located on the ArtsWalk in a 12,000-square-foot space. It will feature nine bays for local and regional food merchants offering high-quality, fast-casual food and drink. The Downtown Allentown Market will provide ample indoor seating and flexible space for events, programming and pop-up shops. Regional muralists will bring unique local flavor to the walls, and large-scale windows will connect seamlessly to outdoor seating along the ArtsWalk. City Center hired two firms that helped launch The Bourse food hall in Philadelphia to create The Downtown Allentown Market: Groundswell Design Group and Cana Development.

Customers can sign up for The Downtown Allentown Market newsletter and learn more at www.DowntownAllentownMarket.com and follow the project on Facebook and Instagram at @DowntownAllentownMarket and #DAMThatsTasty.