Wawa Proposed for Site of Former Chris’s Restaurant in Bethlehem

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Wawa Bethlehem

Credit: Google Street View

A Wawa is proposed at the site of the former Chris’s Restaurant–a once-popular local diner–on Rt. 412 in Bethlehem. The combination convenience store-gas station would be less than a mile from many points within Hellertown borough, where there is no Wawa. Currently the nearest Wawa to Hellertown is at the north end of the Minsi Trail Bridge, at E. Broad Street and Stefko Boulevard in Bethlehem (date of Google Street View image capture: November 2019).

The Bethlehem Planning Commission heard a proposal for a Wawa convenience store and gas station that would be built on the site of the former Chris’s Restaurant on Rt. 412–also known as Hellertown Road–in the city on Thursday.

WFMZ-TV Channel 69 News reported that concerns expressed at the meeting were mostly related to the property’s location within a flood plain, which means that the city’s zoning hearing board will also have to approve the proposal.

The news station reported that the new building and gas pumps would be constructed at a slight elevation, but wouldn’t look like they’ve been artificially raised in contrast to the surrounding landscape according to an engineering firm that’s involved with the plans.

If the Wawa is built at that location, it will become the closest Wawa to Hellertown.

One of the most-requested businesses by borough residents is a Wawa, but the popular convenience store chain so far hasn’t displayed interest in opening a Saucon Valley store.

Another new Wawa is currently under construction at Passer Road and Rt. 309 in Upper Saucon Township, just north of Coopersburg.

Chris’s, a popular local diner for decades, closed after its owners won part of a large lottery jackpot nearly five years ago.

The property on which the Wawa would be built is located at 774 Hellertown Road and is close to the Rt. 412 interchange for I-78 as well as a large industrial park and the Wind Creek casino in Bethlehem.

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