Coal Lounge & Grill

Coal Lounge & Grill

Eat to a Ghanaian beat in Bethlehem’s newest downtown dining destination

The grill is fired up and ready to deliver a culinary adventure. Traditional Beef Khebabs threaded with chunks of Delmonico steak, onions, and peppers, and rubbed with a traditional suya spice blend, arrive accompanied by yam fries and a piquant juko house sauce.

Chef/owner Kofi Armah, who was born in the U.S. but raised in Ghana, now makes his home in Bethlehem and wants to “contribute to society” by sharing the food he loves. By tweaking native Ghanaian recipes, he’s creating entrées with a broad appeal, including signature chicken khebabs and lamb skewers, adapted to America tastes. Guests can expand their taste horizons with side dishes such as cocoyam fries, made from an imported root vegetable also known as taro root, or spicy fried plantains called kelewele.


With sofas and ottomans arranged around low tables created from recycled wooden pallets, the vibe is clubby and relaxed—more like a living room than a traditional dining room, and the space is appointed with contemporary art and potted palms. Armah explains that he wants the atmosphere to “feel like you’re hanging out at home—a place you can meet with your friends.” In addition, cozy seating is also available in the covered arcade adjacent to the restaurant. Live music bumps up the energy level on weekend late nights when Coal is open (and the chef still cooking!) until midnight.


As a BYOB, guests may bring a favorite wine and beer to dinner. House-brewed beverages—which also double as mixers for complimentary brunch cocktails—include sobolo, a hibiscus tea, and asaana, an addictively tasty caramelized fermented corn beverage. Calabash cups, crafted from gourds, contribute to the deliciously inter-cultural experience.



Proteins, including such familiar fare as grilled chicken leg quarters and chicken wings, and starches such as Jollof— a dish of jasmine rice steamed in a beef and vegetable stew—make food from Ghana highly accessible to most palates. Complex seasonings, redolent with garlic, ginger, and peppers, set these West African dishes apart. Soups are an important element of this country’s cuisine, and a creation made fresh each day might feature peanut butter soup with lamb, goat and mushrooms, palm nut soup,  or pepper soup. Recent menu additions include Red Red, a bean and mackerel stew served with fried sweet plantains, and Indomie, a vegetable, beef tenderloin, and noodle stir-fry.


The next monthly Ethnik Brunch takes place Sunday, February 17, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a great way to become acquainted with Ghanaian food and culture, plus guests enjoy complimentary brunch cocktails.


Absolutely! The entire venue can be booked for personal celebrations.



Sobolo – Hibiscus Tea


  • 1 cup dried organic hibiscus
  • 2–3 cinnamon sticks (to taste)
  • 1 small knob ginger, sliced (to taste)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar


Place hibiscus, cinnamon sticks, and ginger in a pot with water. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes until mixture is deep red in color and the top is bubbly. Strain the tea through a sieve into a pitcher and add brown sugar, stirring until fully incorporated. Cool to room temperature for at least 1 hour then refrigerate. To serve, pour over a glass filled with ice.

NOTES: This drink is an excellent mixer for vodka.  The recipe can also be personalized with your favorite fruit flavors by adding pureed strawberries or pineapple during the simmering process.

Yields 1 generous quart

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