Penn State’s Hotel Bars: State College’s Secret Gems
Hotel bars present a unique atmosphere. They’re packed with alumni and graduate students who carry on sophisticated conversations as they unwind from a hectic week, contrary to undergraduate students who drink to forget about the struggles of the past week. Overall, each bar setting in State College is unique in its own way, but if you’re looking to unwind and grab a good bite to eat, a hotel bar is the right place.
Legends — The Penn Stater Hotel
Situated in the bottom corner of the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, Legends is far from a college bar. Due to Penn State’s liquor licenses and codes, the bar does not serve shots. Your average college student may see this as a travesty; however, this bar is not the bar where most would to choose to do shots. The crowd at Legends is less likely to be celebrating birthdays and more likely to be visiting for a conference.
When you first enter the bar, it screams Penn State. The alma mater borders the upper wall in a historic font. Underneath, Penn State’s rich history and famous alumni are featured. John Cappelletti, Penn State’s only Heisman winner, is showcased on the bar’s wall along with the history of Old Main and the Nittany Lion.
Legends’ only downfall stems from its location. The Penn Stater is located at Innovation Park, an area that’s far from walking distance and only able to be reached via the CATA Red Link. However, it’s a great bar and restaurant to take the parents to when they come into town, as there is plenty of seating and excellent food.
Whiskers — The Nittany Lion Inn
Whiskers opened after the Nittany Inn expanded 20 years ago, but it showcases an antiquated wooden design that most patrons find very unique. A relatively small bar, Whiskers is capable of holding 18 at the bar in addition to the 20 tables available for dinner guests.
Mark Tiveri, Whiskers’ manager, noted, “All the wood that was used to build the bar is Pennsylvania Oak.” With wood that came from inside the commonwealth, the bar also features many Pennsylvania spirits such as Boyd & Blair Vodka and Blue Coat Gin, both Philadelphia-based distilleries. Along with the various spirits, Whiskers serves many Pennsylvanian beers, ranging from State College’s Otto’s to Troegs, a micro-brewery based out of Hershey.
Similar to Legends, the bar does not serve shots to its patrons, but it does serve 18 different variations of Scotch, along with 12 different bourbons.
Rumors – The Atherton Hotel
One of the most under-the-radar bars in State College, Rumors is nestled in the corner of the lobby of the Atherton Hotel. The fancy design showcases the traditional bar design with leather armrests and golden foot rests.
Along with its traditional design, the bar is widely known for its signature drink, the “Rumor Has It,” which mimics the fish bowl that can be found at Bar Bleu. While sipping on its signature drink or its wide selection of wine, guests are able to observe its historic mural that depicts famous figures in history from John F. Kennedy to Joe Paterno.
The bar does showcase a pool table, but unfortunately, pool is not free and only falls in line with the other pool tables of State College. Nonetheless, if you’re downtown and want to grab a bite to eat and beer, Rumors has an excellent burger special and $5 Yeungling pitchers daily. It’s also a good place to sneak off to if everywhere else has a line.