Indoor Sports

Indoor beer garden with virtual sports games, ‘immersive’ pirate escape room, coming to Wind Creek

An indoor beer garden with golf simulators, virtual hockey and baseball, a professional-grade putting green, cornhole, bocce and quoits is coming to the Outlets at Wind Creek.

If that’s not enough fun for you, the long-awaited Trap Door Bethlehem is closer to opening after more than a year of delays. There’ll be a pirate-themed huge escape room with real palm trees, 20 tons of sand and water features, pistol- and cannon-shooting and sword-fight stunt shows in the newly revamped project.

Husband and wife A.J. and Nikki Mitchell co-own the sports-themed beer garden, Twisted Tees, with business partner, Kyle Randell.

“When everything comes together, I think the vision is going to be an all-immersive experience for guests all in one location,” said A.J. Mitchell, of Chester County.

A.J. Mitchell calls Twisted Tees a sports bar with “an indoor beer garden type of feel.” There’s a “high-end country club meets Bethlehem Steel” vibe to the site, he said.

The 8,000-square-foot bar will feature a billiards table, 12-tap beverage system with brews from Nazareth-based Birthright Brewing Co., along with large mirrors, leather furnishings, wooden slabs and steel fixtures. They’ll serve traditional pub fare: gourmet pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and small plates, like mozzarella sticks and buffalo wings.

Twisted Tees’s liquor license also allows to-go alcohol sales, which A.J. Mitchell anticipates becoming a major draw.

The bar is slated for the space that previously occupied Charming Charlie, a women’s fashion and accessory store. The Mitchells hope to open by June.

What’s changed from the initial vision of Trap Door Immersive Experiences is that the space now will feature one large experience instead of the originally announced six experiences. The “immersive space” has actors, massive sets and challenges you won’t find in a typical escape room, according to owner Tone Purzycki.

Guests will spend four to five hours finding their way through “Cursed Pirate’s Tales,” which launches from the set of Tortuga Island, across the ocean on a pirate ship, to the beast caves where a treasure awaits.

Trap Door Immersive Experiences coming to the Outlets at Wind Creek

Trap Door Immersive Experiences plans to open in July 2023 on the outlets’ lower level following multiple construction delays and supply shortages. The experience also has been revamped since what was initially announced.

Groups of four will solve a puzzle as they make their way through pistol- and cannon-shooting, sword-fight stunt shows and tribal dancing in a blend of immersive theatre, Purzycki said. At one point guests use a raft to transport themselves through a flooded cave.

“It’s almost a show as a series of puzzles, to that effect,” Purzycki said.

The Monroe County man hopes to open the 10,000-square-foot business by July 4. The venue also features the Madness Distillery Tortuga Rum Bar.

Tickets are projected to cost $80 per participant. Or, guests can opt for the 20- to 30-minute teaser for $20. They’ll fight their way across Tortuga Island with the option at the end of continuing on to the full adventure.

Previewing Twisted Tees, A.J. Mitchell said he’s seen fun outdoor beer gardens in the South and wants to bring that sort of venue to this area, to encourage families to reconnect.

The Mitchells also own Angry Jack’s Axe Throwing Club, which opened in 2021 at Wind Creek.

With Twisted Tees, Trap Door and Angry Jack’s, the outlets’ lower level will have an “entertainment hub,” to complement the outlets’ retail stores and restaurants, A.J. Mitchell said.

The entertainment sites will help fill vacancies at the outlet center at 77 Wind Creek Boulevard. Shops in the mall struggled to stay afloat after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Southside Bethlehem mall last week had at least three empty storefronts on the lower level and about five more on the upper level.

The mall lost the Steel Magnolia Spa & Salon in November. Owner Carolyn Gillish plans to move her spa to Hotel Bethlehem on Main Street in Center City Bethlehem. If all goes well, she anticipates a spring opening. A Hotel Bethlehem spokeswoman said she’ll offer more information in the coming months.

A new 11,600-square-foot Spa at Wind Creek is coming as part of Wind Creek Hospitality’s estimated $160 million hotel project.

Spa at Wind Creek coming to the outlets

Steel Magnolia Spa & Salon closed in November 2022 at the Outlets at Wind Creek. A sign at the former Steel Magnolia alerts visitors of the upcoming “Spa at Wind Creek,” set to open in early summer 2023 in a new wing of the Wind Creek complex.

Drivers along Daly Avenue (Route 412) and the Minsi Trail Bridge now can see the towering 282-room second wing of the expanded hotel. That project is set to open in early summer, said Amelia Tognoli, Wind Creek’s corporate communications manager.

It’s unclear if a new tenant has been named for Steel Magnolia’s space.

Julia Corwin, a Wind Creek Bethlehem spokeswoman, said she should have more information in coming weeks about the outlet mall.

The “Spa at Wind Creek” will offer facial treatments as holistic facials, hydra-facials and facial enhancements; massages and massage enhancements; and wraps and scrubs. Salon services will include hand and feet treatments; hair and makeup; and a men’s barbershop, according to Wind Creek Bethlehem’s website.

Stores in the Outlets at Wind Creek offer high-end brands at discounts. The mall opened in 2011 with a capacity for 30 stores.

In June 2022, Wind Creek announced a rebrand of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s signature restaurants. Emeril’s Chop House and Burgers and More by Emeril were renamed “Chop House at Wind Creek” and “Urban Table.” Corwin said Wind Creek cut ties with Emeril after years of continuous evaluation of its food and beverage offerings.

The Mitchells plan to open more Twisted Tees bars. They already have three other Angry Jack’s sites. They’re in Exton, Chester County; Phoenixville, Chester County; and Elkton, Maryland.

Purzycki has three more Trap Door escape rooms in Red Bank, New Jersey; Morristown, New Jersey; and Bartonsville, Monroe County.

Businesses operating at the Outlets at Wind Creek include:

Beef Jerky Outlet; Carlo’s Bakery; Chico’s Outlet; Coach; Croissanterie; DKNY; Famous Footwear Outlet; Fragrance Outlet; General Store; GUESS Factory Store; Hartstrings Kids Apparel Center; iStore kiosk; Kay Jewelers Outlet; Kids Quest and Cyber Quest; Market Gourmet Express’ Michael Kors; MobileCubes; Steel Magnolia Spa & Salon; Talbots Outlet; and Tommy Hilfiger.

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Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at [email protected].

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