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Whitehall commissioners welcome a steakhouse chain and a car wash

Proposed Outback Steakhouse site at Lehigh Valley Mall
John J. Moser
The proposed site for an Outback Steakhouse in the Lehigh Valley Mall parking lot off Grape Steet in Whitehall Township

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. — An Outback Steakhouse proposed to be built in the parking lot of Lehigh Valley Mall got approval from Whitehall Township commissioners Monday.

And if you need a place to wash your car and change your oil after your Australian cuisine experience, well, there'll be a new place to do that in the township, as well.

  • Plans to put an Outback Steakhouse in the parking lot at Lehigh Valley Mall was approved Monday by Whitehall Township supervisors
  • Also getting approval was Take 5, a car wash and oil change business, for its first Pennsylvania location
  • No construction timetable was revealed for either

The express oil change garage Take 5 got commissioners' approval to put its first Pennsylvania location in Whitehall, too.

Outback, the Australian-inspired restaurant, got approval for its land development plan for a 4,000-square-foot restaurant at 1300 Grape St., in a vacant section of the parking lot off the mall entrance from Grape Street and just across Grape Street from Buffalo Wild Wings.

"If you could give all residents a free onion peel, that would be great."
Whitehall Township Commissioners President Joseph Marx, jokingly reacting to approval of Outback Steakouse

After the motion passed, the commissioners President Joseph Marx said jokingly, "If you could give all residents a free onion peel, that would be great."

One of Outback's signature items is a breaded Bloomin’ Onion appetizer. It also serves seasoned steaks, chicken, ribs, seafood and pasta in a casual atmosphere that recalls the Australian Outback.

It’s owned by Bloomin' Brands, which is based in Florida and opened in 1988.

The company also owns the Carrabba's Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill restaurant chains. Bonefish Grill has had a location at Lehigh Valley Mall for about 15 years.

The Take 5 garage is set to be built at 2603 Mickley Ave., in front of MacArthur Shopping Center.

Take 5 offers 10-minute, stay-in-your-car oil changes with no appointment needed, and other services.

It also offers car washes and a detail center.

No date is set for construction of either businesses.