The 4-story building that houses Mama Nina’s Italian restaurant was recently purchased for one million dollars. The building, previously converted into a residential property with three apartments on its upper floors, is on Main Street in Historic Downtown Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The young Aiden Henninger, a 24-year-old entrepreneur, is the purchaser and was announced by Jeff Barber of Lehigh Financial Group, LLC, in Allentown.

“I have done a lot of deals already in my three years as a real estate investor,” Henninger said, “But this is my biggest deal yet. And I’m excited to be able to add it to my portfolio.”

The Lehigh University graduate has been developing real estate in Bethlehem for resale and rent, a business that includes renovations like those he planned for the historic 546 Main Street building.

The building hosts the restaurant on the first floor and basement. The second floor is a single apartment. The third and fourth floors share two two-story, two-bedroom apartments. Henninger plans to upgrade the three homes into luxury apartments, completing full renovations in each, including installing new flooring, lighting, and appliances. The process is expected to take a few months.

Henninger observed that downtown properties like this one are rare, and he is excited to have the opportunity to own and develop this site. 546 Main Street was constructed in 1880 and is the heart of historic downtown Bethlehem. The building has a familiar late 1800s look, with the restaurant’s bright storefront lighting the walkway and the above stories solidly built of cool red brick. It brings to mind historic Americana, with modestly ornate three-wide windows beneath third-floor balconies in both apartments. The green roof is a notable fixture with peeks, windows, and decorative flourishes.

The building’s restaurant, Mama Nina’s, is a fixture of the area and has operated for about twenty years. The restaurant, which offers weekday lunch specials and luxurious Italian dining inside the building or on the patio, has won local awards, and some publications have labeled it the best Italian restaurant in Lehigh Valley.

The front of the store is painted bright yellow with bright red doors and window frames, an invitingly bright color choice to contrast the otherwise brick and concrete buildings around it. Inside, the ceiling is painted sky blue with clouds, and the walls are covered in facades of Italian architecture to imitate the sense of enjoying a sunny day in Italy.

“It changed the restaurant scene down there,” said Henninger of Mama Nina’s effect on Historic Downtown Bethlehem. Henninger, who does have a business partner working with him in these pursuits, has said that the restaurant will remain. Jeff Barber of Lehigh Financial Group, LLC, who worked with Henninger on the private transaction, was reportedly impressed by Henninger’s business savvy. The investment moves that Henninger has made are remarkably ambitious for his young years, and Barber looks forward to what Henninger will do in the future.