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What’s brewing at Allentown’s former Roar restaurant?

City Center Investment Corp. is bringing a brewpub next door to the new Five City Center office building in downtown Allentown.Rich Ryan and son Kevin Ryan plan to launch Hop Daddy’s Brewing Co. and open Hop Daddy’s Pizza Brewhouse this fall in the former Roar Social House location, 732 W. Hamilton St.A restaurant liquor license transfer application is pending, and the Ryans also will apply for a license to operate a 3-to-4 barrel brewing system in the rear of the building, owned by City Center.Hop Daddy’s will feature a 2,500-square-foot beer garden and a food menu with artisan pizza and other shareables as focal points, the Ryans said Tuesday. They are in the process of hiring an executive chef and a head brewer, and are receiving guidance from John Giannopoulis, owner of Pottstown-based Sly Fox Brewing Co.“The revitalization downtown has really caught fire, and after working hard on this concept for the past three years, we think we’re bringing a really fun, distinctive addition that will make the area even more vibrant,” Rich Ryan, 64, of Lower Milford Township, said Tuesday.Hop Daddy’s logo: pic.twitter.com/hTrrTJrsNq— Andrew Wagaman (@AndrewWagaman) June 12, 2019The Ryans opened the Lehigh Valley’s first Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt shop in 2012 at the Shops at Cedar Point in west Allentown. The following year, they opened a second shop at the Airport Center shopping plaza in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.They also have experience in the construction business, operating Regency Custom Homes in Coopersburg.Kevin Ryan, 33, of Allentown, has experience homebrewing and has been considering various locations in the region over the past few years. During a trip last fall to Asheville, N.C., he was impressed by the energy and activity centered around the breweries and brewpubs based in the small city. He decided to reach out to City Center about possible locations in downtown Allentown.The timing is promising. Payroll processing giant ADP is expected in the coming months to begin moving into 10 of the 13 floors at adjoining Five City Center. Construction of more than 300 apartments between Seventh and Eighth streets behind the planned Hop Daddy’s location also is ongoing.Roar Social House and its rear speakeasy, Hush, closed in April 2017 when longtime Allentown restaurateur Don Saylor retired. Easton restaurateur Josh Palmer was expected to reopen the Prohibition-themed establishment, but his plans never materialized. Flashback: Sette Luna and Maxim’s 22 owner to take over Centro, Roar in downtown AllentownThe Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is reviewing the license transfer application, spokesman Shawn Kelly said Monday.In addition to serving its own beer, Hop Daddy’s hopes to offer revolving guest taps from other local breweries, the Ryans said. The beer garden will feature games and entertainment.They hope to open in October if the permitting and hiring processes go as expected.“There will be a lot more people moving in down here, and they will need more fun things to do,” Kevin Ryan said. “We want to be part of the effort to really make downtown a destination.”Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works, which opened in 2007 at 812 W. Hamilton St., has long been the only brewery downtown. South Allentown offers HiJinx Brewing Co. on Harrison Street and Salmon Pants Brewery on Susquehanna Street.Hop Daddy’s isn’t the only possible addition to the city brew scene. Coleman’s British and Irish Purveyors plan to open The Proper Little Pub at the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market, and have a pending brewery license application, according to state records.Waterfront Development Co., the company working on a long-awaited mixed use development along the Lehigh River, is making plans to build a beer garden atop a more than 100-year-old railroad trestle that crosses the river.A few blocks south, Brewers Hill Development Group hope to bring a brewpub to the former Neuweiler Brewery property in the next 18 months.READ MORE: Neuweiler brewery developers get conditional nod from city planners on office building, brewpubMorning Call reporter Andrew Wagaman can be reached at 610-820-6764 or awagaman@mcall.com
Source: Morningcall

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