The ART Café Paints a Picture of What an Excellent Restaurant Looks Like in the Lehigh Valley

The ART Café is now open and feeding the Lehigh Valley’s hungriest, as the name is catching attention. That’s A-R-T, which stands for Ann and Rick Takacs, owners of the new breakfast and lunch eatery located in Lower Saucon Township.

Bethlehem residents Ann and Rick Takacs are no strangers to excellent food. The two attended New York’s Culinary Institute of America, spent time as sous chefs at the Inn of the Falcon, and spent 20 years gaining experience with a food service contract company managing kitchens in the Lehigh Valley.

A few years ago, Ann and Rick made the decision to pursuing owing a restaurant. Ann stated, “we always tell our kids to follow their dreams, so we need to lead by example. We didn’t want to look back one day and say we wish we would have done this.”

In 2011, they contacted the Lehigh University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to assist with a potential business acquisition, which eventually fell through. And over the next few years, they worked with the Lehigh University SBDC to evaluate a number of different opportunities to either purchase an existing business, or to find a location to start on their own.

In 2014, their dream almost came to a halt. The couple found a location. They had financing in place. It looked as if the ART Café was on its way. However, a negative experience with a landlord left such a poor taste, that they had considered stopping altogether.

But the desire and passion to create and control allowed Ann and Rick to continue pursuing bringing the ART Café to life. “We wanted to use our talents and to be reliant on no one but ourselves. To be creative as possible and do what we feel is right. Not being told you have to follow policies and procedures.”

Luckily, the next opportunity was the right one. Ann and Rick found a spot that would work – located in the Black River Plaza in Lower Saucon Township at 3610 Route 378. Rick and Ann reconnected with the SBDC to finalize loan presentation.

People First Federal Credit Union provided financing for the deal, and the restaurant had their Ribbon Cutting and soft opening on June 4, 2015. Restaurant goers stopping by for breakfast or lunch will get a delightfully artful food experience when visiting the ART Café. The passion, kindness, and skill of owners Ann and Rick will be clear to anyone that goes!