Big changes are coming to a two-block stretch of Broadway on Bethlehem’s South Side, where two businesses that are currently under construction will open later this year. Meanwhile, a landmark local eatery known for its hot dogs, breakfast and various comfort foods is preparing to close.
Pete’s Hot Dogs has been in business in the 400 block of Broadway for approximately 85 years, or almost as long as another landmark business that is also preparing to close. Friedman’s Service Center–located just a few blocks up the street in Fountain Hill–will close at the end of this month.
Pete’s is set to close March 15, according to a story published Tuesday by WFMZ.com.
The article noted that Pete’s has been owned by the Mamounas and Ramirez families for the past 35 years and cited a changing neighborhood as well as declining sales as reasons for its sale. According to the Pete’s Hot Dog Shop website, since 1938, or “for four generations Pete’s Hot Dog Shop has proudly served the Lehigh Valley as the Hot Dog King!”
If you’re planning to visit and grab your fill of their famous dogs, stewed hamburgers, pierogies, gyros and other mouth-watering fare while you still can, Pete’s is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. according to the website, where you can also view menus and read more about the unique history of the business.
The site also features a page where current and former customers can share their special memories of Pete’s from over the years.
“(I) enjoyed Pete’s Hot Dogs many many times in my teens. My favorite was 2 dogs with everything, Pete’s super secret special sauce and a small carton of Lehigh Valley chocolate milk,” wrote former Fountain Hill resident Anthony Orefice this week. “We will all miss the ‘Hot Dog King’ and all the great memories connected with enjoying a simple hot dog and washing it down with a cool & refreshing chocolate milk.”
Just across Carlton Avenue from Pete’s at the corner of Broadway and Montclair Avenue, the retail news is more positive. That’s where the renovation of a landmark grocery store is continuing, with a new supermarket–Ideal Food Basket–possibly scheduled to open as soon as this summer. However, the scope of the work has made it difficult to estimate.
An article published by Lehigh Valley Live earlier this month quoted a company employee who stressed that the timeline for its opening is still uncertain.
Ideal Food Basket will be a sister store to the C-Town supermarket on Third Street and will replace the former Ahart’s market, which closed in 2021. Prior to that the building was a Food Lane store, and a food market has been in operation at the site since the 1950s.
Heading west along Broadway past Pete’s to Five Points, another business development that is taking place is the construction of an Auto Zone store on the corner of Wyandotte Street and Broadway. Several homes and a former auto body shop were demolished to make way for the structure that’s rapidly taking shape at one of the city’s busiest intersections.