City Center Lehigh Valley Hires Award-Winning Restaurateur To Develop Vibrant Restaurant In Downtown Allentown, PA

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Brett Kemmerer, Former Executive with Joie de Vivre Hotels, TAO Asian Bistro and Bouchon in Las Vegas, and the Coyote Café Restaurants, Will Prospect for Experienced Operators for City Center’s Diverse Restaurant Spaces

City Center Lehigh Valley

All of the city’s new development, including office, retail, entertainment and residential, will create a huge demand for restaurants of every size, cuisine, service style and price point.

City Center Lehigh Valley, a major mixed-use development in downtown Allentown, Pa., announced today it has hired an award-winning restaurateur with deep experience nationwide to serve as director of restaurant development, effective immediately. J.B. Reilly, CEO of City Center, made the announcement.

Allentown native Brett Kemmerer, whose experience includes executive roles with Joie de Vivre Hotels, TAO Asian Bistro and Bouchon in Las Vegas, and the Coyote Café restaurants, will lead the creation of a vibrant restaurant and bar scene within City Center. To support City Center’s vision to transform downtown Allentown into one of America’s most vibrant urban communities, Kemmerer will develop a strategy for restaurant prospecting and marketing to establish a varied array of attractive dining and entertainment options at City Center. Kemmerer will seek experienced restaurant operators to lease City Center’s diverse restaurant spaces, including new space within the Two City Center office/retail tower, renovated space along Hamilton Street, and future space along the Artswalk extension and the Three City Center office/retail high-rise.

“With the openings of One and Two City Center, PPL Center and the Renaissance Hotel right around the corner, City Center recognizes the critical role restaurants and bars will play in the successful revitalization of downtown Allentown,” Reilly said. “We want workers and visitors to stay and eat and play downtown. We are dedicated to providing them with great, unique dining options. Beyond that, I am confident downtown Allentown can become a dining destination for Lehigh Valley residents and visitors and am pleased to welcome Brett on board to help develop our restaurant strategy.”

“I’m thrilled to join the City Center team and play a role in shaping the restaurant scene in my hometown,” Kemmerer said. “All of the city’s new development, including office, retail, entertainment and residential, will create a huge demand for restaurants of every size, cuisine, service style and price point. Lehigh Valley restaurant offerings and quality have undergone great changes over the last five years and I believe with the development underway in Allentown, now is the time to create and launch compelling and viable restaurants befitting of a true urban center. Being in the heart of some of the country’s best farmland makes this area ideal for more high-quality chef-driven farm-to-table dinning. Our proximity to the vibrant food scenes in New York and Philadelphia also makes us poised to become a dining hotspot.”

Located within Allentown’s Neighborhood Improvement Zone, City Center’s restaurant locations offer a unique opportunity to experienced restaurateurs, including custom design and build-out and operational and marketing support. City Center is currently seeking operators at four locations as part of its Hamilton Street renovations, including the former Federal Grill, which it will reopen on the 500 block of Hamilton Street, and at new spaces being developed as part of City Center’s Class A office buildings.

Kemmerer has more than 20 years’ experience operating prominent restaurants across the country. Most recently, he served as regional director of restaurant operations for Joie de Vivre Hotels, the nation’s second-largest boutique hotel group. He also managed various concepts though out the Southwest, including celebrity hotspot TAO Asian Bistro and Bouchon Restaurant, both located at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas.

From 1990 to 1999, Kemmerer served as director of operations for Coyote Café, the nation’s premier Southwestern restaurant with locations in Santa Fe, NM; Las Vegas, NV; and Austin, TX. He also owned Santa Fe’s historic Compound Restaurant. Kemmerer’s East Coast experience includes the Starr Restaurant Organization in Philadelphia, where he was general manager of its Alma de Cuba restaurant.

Kemmerer has partnered with more than eight James Beard Award-winning chefs. He is the author of the Coyote Cool Juice Book, past president of the board of directors of the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta and Santa Fe Restaurant Association, and the recipient of numerous food and wine awards. He has toured more than 200 wineries in Australia, Europe and the United States.

For more information about restaurant space at City Center, contact Brett Kemmerer at brettk(at)citycenterlehighvalley(dot)com.

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