Easton staple restaurant closes, makes room for new venue

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Easton’s recently shut-down restaurant Valenca is expected to be soon (Photo by Courtney DeVita ’19).

Morgan Sturm

Another Easton eatery has shut down – on the same day as its recently closed next-door neighbor Drinky’s Pub.

Valenca Restaurant, located in Centre Square, was a popular venue for locals and Lafayette students. It closed on Dec. 31, 2016.

Since its opening as a Portuguese restaurant in 2008, Valenca had transformed quite a bit to feature more American-style cuisine. The location of the former restaurant features an outdoor patio, as well as two private rooms for customers to rent for special events. Valenca was, for many years, the only food business in Centre Square to offer outdoor seating, which was a feature customers certainly enjoyed.

The former owners of Valenca, Lee Kelechava and Meryl Cooper-Kelechava, are married and live in the Lehigh Valley area. Kelechava owns the Bethlehem Ford dealership, which has been his family’s business for over 50 years, according to Valenca’s website. He did not respond for comment on this story before press time.

The restaurant’s versatility as a bar, family restaurant and romantic evening venue will ensure that it is missed by all.

“It felt like a personal place to me, and to see it close is to see a chapter end,” Nick Aldrick ’20 said. “It reminded me of a quiet place in New York that hadn’t quite been discovered yet, and wasn’t filled to the brim. It also had great service.”

With the opening of a new concert hall right next door, the future occupant of the building is subsequently sure to receive concert-goers. According to various students and faculty, the new business is also rumored to be a restaurant. New owners have purchased the restaurant, according to The Express-Times. What is left of Valenca seems to remain untouched on the inside, but the building has now been vacant for weeks.