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A brand new waffle and ice cream concept is coming to the Lehigh Valley this spring

Rick Pongracz, co-owner of Batch Microcreamery, is pictured at the business' original location in the Downtown Allentown Market, which closed in 2022. Pongracz and his business partner Manny Rodriguez announced they would open Batter Up, a waffle and ice cream shop, in Bethlehem by June.
Rick Pongracz, co-owner of Batch Microcreamery, is pictured at the business’ original location in the Downtown Allentown Market, which closed in 2022. Pongracz and his business partner Manny Rodriguez announced they would open Batter Up, a waffle and ice cream shop, in Bethlehem by June.
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Batch Microcreamery will open a waffle and ice cream shop in south Bethlehem by late June, according to co-owners Rick Pongracz and Manny Rodriguez. The shop will be called Batter Up by Batch Microcreamery.

Pongracz said that the shop, at 307-311 E. Third St., will feature Liege waffles, a distinctive waffle that hails from the Wallonia region of Belgium. Compared to more common waffles, Liege waffles are denser, smaller and — thanks to the inclusion of a bigger sugar crystal and its caramelization — crunchier.

That makes Liege waffles perfect vehicles for ice cream concoctions, and Pongracz said he and Rodriguez planned to celebrate the combination of steaming hot Liege waffles with ice cream: “waffle and ice cream sandwiches, handcrafted waffle cones, bubble waffles, signature items with our waffle cones and signature items with the bubble waffles too,” Pongracz ticked off.

Don’t worry: Pongracz and Rodriguez aren’t ignoring the ice cream part of the equation. They’ll have 16 flavors on standby at all times, with eight to 10 “standard flavors” and a rotation cast of six to eight seasonal flavors.

To make the store as welcoming for different diets as possible, Batch will always have gluten-free Liege waffles (“I’m gluten free,” Pongracz said) and a nondairy ice cream option.

Rodriguez said the duo, who have become popular throughout the Valley for their premium ice creams, wanted to try something different with Batter Up.

“It’s [the waffle-and-ice-cream combination] a concept that’s growing in popularity, particularly in the West and Midwest,” he said. “We have nothing like that in the local market, and we’re trying to fill that void.”

“We’re very excited to bring this great new local concept to the neighborhood in south Bethlehem,” said Mike Perruci, owner of Peron Development, which owns the building Batter Up will be in. “Manny Rodriguez and Rick Pongracz are two great local entrepreneurs with a proven track record in the Lehigh Valley. We know they will be successful.”

Rodriguez added that the location, with its proximity to Lehigh University students, was a perfect fit.

Batch Microcreamery has three other locations: at the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley; at Quakertown’s Trolley Barn; and a “seasonal outfit” at Shepherd Hills Golf Club in Lower Macungie Township. The brand’s ice cream is also served at 15 restaurants across the region, as well as on an ice cream truck. A location at the Downtown Allentown Market closed in 2022.

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