Perhaps, your cellphone took a dip in the toilet and won't turn on. Or maybe your iPad got trampled by the dog resulting in a cracked screen. No matter what damage your electronic device has sustained, Mobile Genius is there to help.
The high-tech fix-it shop, which has operated at 801 Hamilton St. in Allentown since 2009, opened its second location Tuesday at 7 W. Fourth St. in south Bethlehem. It plans to open a third location just off the Emmaus' triangle at 408 Chestnut St. in mid-April.
The company, founded by Lower Macungie Township resident Josh MacGown, repairs all smartphones and tablets. It serves a growing clientele that depends on the devices for both business and leisure.
According to Consumer Electronics Association, unit sales of smartphones were projected to reach 130 million last year, up from 111 million in 2012.
MacGown, 28, formed the company after encountering some bad luck of his own — letting his iPhone go through the washer in a pair of jeans. After making an appointment at the Apple Store and waiting a half hour for service, his frustration grew when he learned "there was nothing they could do to fix it."
"The only option was to give them my broken phone, along with $200 for a replacement phone," MacGown said. "And there was no way for me to salvage my contacts, photos and other data as this was pre iCloud. I remember thinking out loud, 'There's got to be a better way to do this.'"
That inspirational moment led to Mobile Genius, which offers walk-in service and one-year warranties on all repairs. Phone restoration, which is done in front of customers, typically takes 20 minutes, while tablets are usually mended in an hour.
According to MacGown, who writes instructions for each new device arriving on store shelves, the company has an 88 percent success rate of getting devices fully functional again and a 96 percent success rate of regaining most functions.
For iPhone screen replacements, which comprise a bulk of Mobile Genius' business, prices range from $49 for older models to $179 for newer models. For all other repairs, including power button failures and speaker problems, prices range from $59 to $79.
According to MacGown, customers without the ability to upgrade their damaged phones save an average of 75 to 80 percent over the cost of a replacement device, while customers with the ability to upgrade typically save about 50 percent.
Mobile Genius is not alone in offering such assistance . Other area tech-help companies include Easton Computer & Electronics and T&D Smart Phone Repair in Allentown.
In November, downtown Bethlehem's iMobileRescue moved its operations from 44 E. Broad St. to a more visible storefront a couple of blocks away at 97 E. Broad St. The company, which also offers walk-in service, repairs iPads and iPhones and gives six-month warranties.
Owner Ryan Critchett of Bethlehem says customers typically save $100 or more over going to Apple, with iPhones usually taking a half hour to repair and iPads taking one to two days (depending on volume).
Both Mobile Genius and iMobileRescue serve local businesses, as well as clients across the country via mail-in repairs. Info: fixmyiphone.com (MobileGenius) or imobilerescue.com (iMobileRescue).
You may have just missed your opportunity to celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but you can get a taste of the Big Easy closer to home thanks to The Bayou, which will open Monday at 702 Hawthorne Road in Bethlehem.
The restaurant fills the space formerly occupied by the Hawthorne House, which was destroyed by an arson fire in 2009. It features a mix of rustic and modern decor — complete with hardwood floors, exposed brick walls and two flat-screen TVs.
Owner Cristian Duarte, a former bar manager at the now-closed Starters Riverport, describes the cuisine as "American contemporary with a Southern influence — particularly New Orleans-focused." He highlights three dishes as house staples: buttermilk fried chicken, the Bayou burger and Ty's mac and cheese (named after executive chef Tyler Baxter).
Baxter, a former co-executive chef at Cosmopolitan restaurant, developed a majority of the menu, which includes snacks such as jalapeno grits, small plates such as smoked pork ribs, sandwiches such as fried oyster po boy and large plates such as blackened catfish. There is also a rotating gumbo.
The 80-seat restaurant includes a 20-seat bar featuring 24 draft beers and nearly a dozen house cocktails, including the Blue Bayou and Voodoo Juice. In warmer months, a back patio and tables on the front sidewalk will provide seating for an additional 60 patrons.
The Bayou, which will showcase acoustic blues and jazz performers on weekends, will open for lunch and dinner 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The bar will stay open two hours later every night. Info: dat-bayou.com.
If exotic dishes are more to your liking, consider Panda Asian Cuisine at 2126 W. Union Blvd. (next to Dollar Tree) in the Lehigh Shopping Center in Bethlehem. The eatery, which opened a couple of months ago, offers Chinese, Japanese and Thai food.
The menu consists of a wide array of pork, chicken, beef, seafood and vegetable entrees, as well as a large selection of curry and sushi options. Takeout is available. Info: 610-419-4159.
Thanks to Retail Watcher Reinaldo Nieves Jr. of Allentown, I learned that Advantage Auto Sales and Credit closed its Emmaus location at 17 Main St. in early January, moving its inventory to the business' Telford location at 4856 Old Bethlehem Pike and its finance operations to a new Quakertown location at 27 Quakers Way.
According to owner Tom Brandis, the Emmaus venue, which offered both automobile sales and financing, was too big. Info: wefinanceyou123.com.
Patrons of McCoole's at the Historic Red Lion Inn in Quakertown can now enjoy premium handcrafted beers brewed on-site.
Red Lion Brewery, the brainchild of McCoole's owner Jan Hench and brewmaster Edward MacAdams of Homestead Product Supply in Quakertown, tapped its first keg of Wishbone Winter Ale the week before Thanksgiving.
With the brew selling out in four days, Hench and MacAdams expanded their offerings, introducing two standard beers — an Amber Ale and an IPA — in January, as well as a Wheat Ale on Valentine's Day. The goal is to have these three brews and a seasonal brew on tap at all times.
MacAdams works in a dedicated space in McCoole's Arts and Events building where he develops his beers via a one-barrel system, brewing 30 gallons at a time (producing six kegs).
"It is important to us to keep the quality high and not grow too fast," he said. Info: 215-538-1776.
In Allentown, Stratus Restaurant & Nightlife at 1179 Airport Road closed Feb. 22 and reopened as Chicago Restaurant & Nightlife on Friday.
The goal of the rebranding is to appeal to a broader audience, said Eugenio Orona, who co-owns Chicago with former Mezza Luna owner Dave Gubitosi.
According to Orona, Stratus opened in May and attracted a mainly LGBT clientele. The new establishment will feature diverse entertainment in the newly named Club Gravity, including karaoke on Tuesdays; '70s, '80s and '90s music on Wednesdays; and live bands on Fridays.
Other changes include new management, menu items and lighting in the club. Info: 610-776-2090.
I'll finish with two recently closed eateries in Lehigh County.
First, Crazy Mama's, which opened Sept. 10 at 129 Bridge St. in Catasauqua, ended operations on Feb. 1. The eatery, run by mother-daughter duo Lori Janczak and Kayla Helwig, served a wide variety of homemade empanadas and soups.
According to the business' Facebook page, the owners plan to reopen at an undetermined location.
Second, MaggieMoo's Ice Cream and Treatery at the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley in Center Valley closed at the end of January. MaggieMoo's did not return my calls for comment.
According to Promenade Shops general manager, the ice cream chain will be replaced by Yogo Factory, a self-serve frozen yogurt franchise, sometime this month.
Retail Watch keeps track of new store, restaurant and bank development in the Lehigh Valley. Have a question about a retail construction project, store opening or chain you'd like to see come to the area? Contact reporter Ryan Kneller at 610-820-6597 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Retail Watch appears every Sunday.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun