3 Questions with Dyanne Holt of Apollo Grill

If you’ve ever dined in downtown Bethlehem there’s a good chance you’ve enjoyed lunch, dinner, or cocktails at Apollo Grill. Owned by Rod and Dyanne Holt and Tucker and Pat Lyons, the popular spot helped to pioneer the city’s Restaurant Row back in the 1990s. This month, they’re stepping up to help the Bethlehem Food Co-Op!

4 owners of the Apollo Grill: Tucker & Pat Lyons, Dyanne&Rod HoltOn October 22 from 5-7pm, Apollo Grill will hold its monthly Therapeutic Thursday event, and this time it will benefit the Bethlehem Food Co-op. There will be free passed hors d’oeuvres at the bar, and $1 of each martini sold benefits the Co-op. Plus, all new Co-Op members who sign up THAT NIGHT will receive a free sleeve of raffle entries to win a chef’s table dinner for four in the Apollo kitchen. Current Co-Op members and other guests will be able to purchase tickets for that raffle ($20/sleeve, $5/ticket). RSVP here!

We interviewed Dyanne Holt for this month’s blog feature by asking her three questions. Here is what she had to say:

1. Apollo Grill was a pioneer of the restaurant scene in downtown Bethlehem, opening its doors when the downtown hadn’t yet fully revitalized. What was it about the Christmas City that you saw potential in for a successful restaurant? 

Bethlehem has always been the cornerstone of the Lehigh Valley... quaint, historical, safe... and it was lacking a more upscale yet casual dining spot. It is a walkable downtown with many people living in close proximity.

2. Your restaurant has been doing its Therapeutic Thursday promotions for a few awhile now. Each month it benefits a different local non-profit organization. When did you start doing them and why? 

When we opened the Apollo , the four owners decided that if we made it to year one, we would have an anniversary party to benefit a local charity. Each year for 10 years we had an event and raised thousands of dollars. Then when the economy took a dip, we weren't comfortable asking our customers to attend and donate, so we decided to only have a party every five years after that.

That is how Therapeutic Thursday started; instead of having one large event, more numerous smaller events let people contribute but on a smaller scale. We have raised over $300,000 for local charities and were given the Outstanding Corporation Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

3. Why did you decide to host a Therapeutic Thursday event to benefit the Bethlehem Food Co-op? 

We think our downtown is in need of a grocery co-op, especially one that offers local and sustainable items. We are also huge supporters of buy local/shop local. We love to patronize a local, small business. Having a Therapeutic Thursday for Bethlehem Food Co-op will help spread the word!

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