New boutique hotel, gourmet restaurant and event center nearing completion in Bethlehem | Lehigh Valley Regional News

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BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania — A stately, long-standing property in Bethlehem has found new life as a restaurant, lodging, and private event venue.

“We still have some finishing touches like artwork and table tops, but we’re aiming to be open to the public in early December,” sales manager Emily Bettys said. “It’s been a long road to bring this project to life, and we look forward to welcoming visitors.”






The Wilbur Mansion, complete with a gourmet restaurant, nine-room boutique hotel and sprawling events center, is set to open next month at 201 Cherokee St. in Bethlehem.




Husband and wife John and Lynn Noble purchased the mid-19th century building in 2015, feeling it was rich in history and potential.

The couple were struck by its impressive architecture as well as its unique location at the gates of Bethlehem, with views of the SteelStacks campus and other parts of the city.

“This is literally one of the few fully intact mansions from the era,” John said in a post on The Wilbur’s website. “We want to preserve that and bring it back to life and showcase it.”

The Nobles spent more than three years renovating the mansion, restoring original features such as hardwood and tiled floors and ornately carved wooden columns and staircases, while adding aesthetic upgrades such as new light fixtures, furniture and wall paint.







Wilbur

The Wilbur Mansion, complete with a gourmet restaurant, nine-room boutique hotel and sprawling events center, is set to open next month at 201 Cherokee St. in Bethlehem.




The ground floor will feature a 100-seat gourmet restaurant, with seating available in three dining rooms and a bar room.

The menu is still being finalized, but Bettys said diners should expect “world cuisine with an American twist”, with dishes made with organic, sustainable and local ingredients whenever possible. .

The culinary team will be led by Chef John McCain, a native of Pittstown, New Jersey, who previously served as executive chef at Durham Springs in Durham Township, Bucks County, after working at various Michelin-starred restaurants. .

“I’m excited to put together a menu to share with guests who come to the Wilbur Mansion, whether it’s for their wedding, dinner at the restaurant, or a quick bite to eat at the bar during their stay,” McCain said on the website. ‘company.







Wilbur

The Wilbur Mansion, complete with a gourmet restaurant, nine-room boutique hotel and sprawling events center, is set to open next month at 201 Cherokee St. in Bethlehem.




The restaurant will operate Wednesday through Saturday, with the bar opening at 4 p.m. and dining beginning at 5 p.m., Bettys said. Reservations will be accepted.

The restaurant will also include a 40-seat outdoor patio and a lounge area, adjacent to the bar room, with a transparent floor.

“It’s a really cool talking point as well as a way to bring natural light into the basement,” Bettys said of the sheer flooring.

The upper floors of the mansion will house a boutique hotel, with nine unique rooms, available for booking any day of the week.

Each room will include a private bath, king-size bed with luxurious linens, and room service (available until The Wilbur restaurant closes).







Wilbur

The Wilbur Mansion, complete with a gourmet restaurant, nine-room boutique hotel and sprawling events center, is set to open next month at 201 Cherokee St. in Bethlehem.




“The tile in the bathroom is stock for the building,” Bettys said. “The owners really wanted to retain as much of the building’s original features as possible.”

Adjacent to the restaurant and hotel, a new events center has been built on the site of the former Masonic Temple, which was demolished in late 2020 after 90 years of hosting celebrations.

The Masonic temple could not be preserved due to water and mold damage, but the nobles were able to save the temple chimney, which is a stopping place for swifts along their migratory route to the South America.

The new event center features exposed beam ceilings, modern circular light fixtures and floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto a lawn that overlooks the city and is “perfect for wedding ceremonies,” Bettys said.

In addition to weddings, the center can host other functions like birthday parties and corporate mixes.







Wilbur

The Wilbur Mansion, complete with a gourmet restaurant, nine-room boutique hotel and sprawling events center, is set to open next month at 201 Cherokee St. in Bethlehem.




Up to 250 guests can be accommodated, with the center providing tables, chairs, linens, food and beverage services — “everything you would need to host your perfect event,” Bettys said.

“It’s a breathtaking space,” Bettys said. “We actually recently planned our first wedding for Lynn and John’s daughter, Bailey. She’s also a big part of this project, helping with marketing, design work and other aspects.”

The Wilbur Mansion was built in the 1860s in an area known as the “Fountain Hill Mansion District” by industrial capitalist Elisah Packer Wilbur.

Wilbur was the nephew and private secretary of Asa Packer, a railroad construction pioneer who was also a founder of Lehigh University.

EP Wilbur married Stella Mercer Abbott in 1859 and created a large family of 10, which kept the Wilbur Mansion bustling for decades.

In 1925, Masons rushed to give the Wilbur Mansion a new purpose. In 1926 they added the Masonic Temple, which hosted many celebrations.







Wilbur

The Wilbur Mansion, complete with a gourmet restaurant, nine-room boutique hotel and sprawling events center, is set to open next month at 201 Cherokee St. in Bethlehem.




“One of the main wonders of the property at this time was the nature that stretched for nearly two blocks,” reads a historical description on The Wilbur’s website. “The members and their wives have enjoyed this beauty very much.”

The Nobles, who also own the new Wilbur Views apartment building behind The Wilbur Mansion, have also upgraded the exterior of the property.

Outside, features include new landscaping and accent lighting, new parking, and a newly installed metal smiley face sculpture.

Lynn did a TEDx talk on “The Power of a Smile” in 2016, and she’s spoken to numerous colleges and groups over the years.

“I believe if you put smiling energy out into the world, you will encounter that same positive energy,” Lynn said in a post describing the sculpture’s origin. “He will come to you with good health, friendships, incredible opportunities, unlimited happiness and lots of love.”

To stay up to date on The Wilbur Mansion’s progress, follow the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages.







Wilbur

The Wilbur Mansion, featuring a gourmet restaurant, nine-room boutique hotel and sprawling events center, is set to open next month at 201 Cherokee St. in Bethlehem.




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