Popular brunch hotspot, Blue Sky Cafe, and Irish pub, Publik House, closed down earlier this year. In their places come two new, similarly styled establishments.
Roasted Cafe, a new breakfast joint, will replace Blue Sky Cafe and Golazo House, a Colombian-American soccer pub, will open in place of Publik House.
Those who will undoubtedly mourn the loss of Blue Sky Cafe’s s’mores french toast and assortment of massive pancakes will be pleased to find that Roasted will have a similar vibe to that of its predecessor, with comparable food options and the same open-kitchen layout.
“We wanted to open a new restaurant that was similar to Blue Sky but more ‘us,'” said Derek Wallen, the co-owner of Roasted. “It’s a clean slate for us.”
Wallen said he’s been working alongside co-owners Chris and Shelli Topping for years. Though the trio researched other locations for Roasted, Wallen said the old Blue Sky Cafe location was optimal because of its proximity to Lehigh and the amount of foot traffic on the South Side.
Because Blue Sky Cafe had a widespread following, Wallen is confident Roasted will see familiar faces from both the Lehigh and Bethlehem communities.
The Roasted menu will still offer Blue Sky Cafe favorites, such as seasonal pancakes and specialty french toast. Steven Brunette, a former Blue Sky Cafe chef, has signed on as Roasted’s head chef, so avid Blue Sky Cafe fans can expect a similar quality of dining.
They can also expect an array of new, healthy options, including vegan and vegetarian dishes sourced by local farmers, like the vegan and gluten-free black bean burger.
Though some Lehigh students are unaware of Roasted’s opening, those who frequented Blue Sky Cafe are interested in trying out the new spot.
Kyle Schipper, ’18, who dined at Blue Sky Cafe almost once a week last semester, said he thinks Lehigh students will likely gravitate toward Roasted as long as the quality is similar to that of Blue Sky Cafe.
“I’ll probably try it out,” Schipper said. “I enjoy breakfast and brunch, and there isn’t a huge supply of that around here.”
Though there is no set opening date, Wallen hopes Roasted will be ready for customers in October.
Along with Roasted, Golazo House, a Colombian-American soccer pub, is also set to open this month. The pub is co-owned by cousins Sergio Martinez and Javier Alvarado.
Although Martinez and Alvarado were both born in the United States, they grew up with a strong Colombian background, as their parents immigrated from Colombia in 1979.
Golazo House, named after a common term in Spanish used to describe a sensational soccer goal, aims to fuse the cousins’ Colombian-American background with their love for soccer.
Customers can expect a variety of traditional Colombian dishes like empanadas and the bandeja paisa, as well as some fusion items like the arepa burger, a Latin take on an American staple.
“Colombian food is not something a lot of people really know about,” Martinez said. “This is a place where someone who isn’t really familiar with Colombian food can come and taste it, and I know for sure they’re going to like it.”
Martinez said he hopes to attract foodies and soccer enthusiasts alike and will be broadcasting a daily variety of soccer games across several TV screens in the dining area.
The goal of Golazo House is to create an atmosphere where soccer fans can come and surround themselves with people who also love the sport.
Golazo House will also be available to Lehigh Greek organizations for events, just as the the previous establishment did.
Martinez hopes that by reaching out to the Lehigh community, he can make students more aware of the Colombian culture.
“I think it could foster a good relationship between Lehigh and the Latin community,” Martinez said.