You may not have noticed anything new in State College over the past few days with Syllabus Week going on, but for a place that isn’t so big, State College has had a lot of restaurant turnover lately. Since you left in May, the landscape of downtown has shifted. Here’s a recap:
Now: 409 Pizza and Win(g)s, 444 E. College Ave.
Then: Little Mamma’s Pizza
This was inevitable. With the demise of Joegie’s it was only a matter of time before we had a Paterno-dedicated restaurant in State College again. Hopefully the pizza is better than the play on words, delivering a slice of Brooklyn-style the way Joe would like it.
Now: Tommy’s Asian Grill, 432 E. College Ave.
Then: Lemongrass Vietnamese Cafe
The fall of Lemongrass was a personal defeat for this writer, as a lover of a good Banh Mi. Always an underrated spot, Lemongrass was ultimately doomed. Hopefully Tommy’s, with its comic sans-clad sign and enticing menu, finds greater successes next door to Yogurt Express. Speaking of which:
Soon: Empty Storefront, 430 E. College Ave.
Now: Yogurt Express
As the signs say on the door, this frozen yogurt and smoothie spot will close on Sept. 29 after a long time in the community. It’ll be interesting to see who takes over, as these are seemingly great locations right on College Avenue.
Now: Underground Burgers and Crepes, 404 E. Calder Way
Then: Nathan’s/Arthur Treacher’s
Ken came, Ken saw, Ken conquered. The people who bring you the 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest were no match for the man with the Wurst cart and trivia questions in the parking lot across the street, as Nathan’s seemingly left as soon as it showed up. Replacing it is Underground Burgers and Crepes, a venture from the same guys who run State College’s most underrated food joint, Pita Cabana Grill. Originally in the former location of the Creperie underneath Levels (right by Big Bowl), a fire in the site precluded the move to Calder Way, and a combo burger place and creperie certainly seems like an admirable idea. The true lesson here? When it comes to hot dogs, Ken tops them all.
Soon: Primanti Bros., 130 Hiester St.
Then: The Gingerbread Man
Forlorn frat bros will be disappointed that G-Man is no more, and it was certainly a State College institution, but the shutdown of the site after a struggle to retain liquor licenses has paved the way for a favorite of State College’s homesick Yinzers: Primanti Bros. Yes, downtown will soon be home to Pittsburgh’s greatest cultural export, a sandwich with some french fries on it. So mourn for now, but when you’re scarfing down a Pitts-burger as your drunk food of choice, it’ll be easier to forget.
Now: Barney’s, HUB
Then: Also Barney’s, but less classy
We all know about the HUB’s new dining options, but a completely revamped Barney’s is also downstairs. It’s one of the few stores open in the HUB after 4 p.m., and the wide variety of snack options, medications, and drinks certainly beats out the vending machines.
Update: Also, we forgot to include Good Seed Baking Co., which we wrote about here.