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State College Bar Bracket, Pt. 2: The Ultimate Battle Begins

State College is passionate about its bars, this much is certain. After counting over 5,000 votes in our bar bracket, the seeding is set. Now, we will go round-by-round with head-on battles for the title of Best Bar in State College. There was one minor adjustment made to the bracket, wherein we gave Liberty Craft House, the new bar on the block, a spot in a play-in game. Legends, unfortunately, was eliminated from contention to do this. As the lowest-scoring bar (receiving .8 percent of the vote), and the one furthest from Old Main on the list (by about half a mile, no less), we felt it a fair replacement.

There are two play-in matchups, and the winners will take on the top two No. 1 seeds, much like the NCAA tournament. With that, let’s get to the seeding. Next to the seeds will be the percentage of ballots they appeared on:

#1 Seeds

  • Cafe 210 West (45.9% of ballots)
  • The Phyrst (41.3%)
  • Shandygaff (32.5%)
  • All-American Rathskeller (28.4%)

#2 Seeds

  • Bill Pickle’s Tap Room (24.5%)
  • The Saloon (21.7%)
  • Mad Mex (16.8%)
  • Indigo (15.7%)

#3 Seeds

  • The Darkhorse (15.7%)
  • Bar Bleu (15.5%)
  • Local Whiskey aka The Second (14.7%)
  • Zeno’s (14.2%)

#4 Seeds

  • Lion’s Den (12.3%)
  • Primanti Bros (11.1%)
  • Kildare’s (10.4%)
  • The Brewery (10.2%)

#5 Seeds

  • Chrome (8.3%)
  • Sharkies (7.5%)
  • Otto’s (7.0%)
  • Champs (5.9%)

#6 Seeds

  • Inferno (5.8%)
  • Happy Valley Brewing Co. (5.5%)
  • Z-Bar (4.1%)
  • Levels (3.9%)

#7 Seeds

  • Allen Street Grill (3.8%)
  • The Tavern / Adam’s Apple (3.2%)
  • Chumley’s (2.7%)
  • Chili’s (2.5%)

#8 Seeds

  • Olde New York (2.1%)
  • Rotelli (1.9%)
  • The Corner Room (1.6%)
  • Westside Stadium (1.3%)
  • Rumors (1.2%)
  • Liberty Craft House (N/A)

The top four were relatively obvious picks, but there were a few interesting notes. Chrome pushed itself up to a No. 5 seed despite being relatively small and newer. Primanti Bros. is even newer, but snagged a No. 4 seed after winning the hearts of Yinzers and frat bros city-wide. Indigo nudged Darkhorse for a No. 2 seed by a slim three votes, while the margin between Champs and Inferno was nearly as small. Personally, I think Otto’s, Chrome, Local Whiskey, Zeno’s, and the Z-Bar represent significant upside sleeper picks.

Now, get to voting, and remember: you’re doing God’s work.

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About the Author

Noel Purcell

Noel Purcell is Onward State's Features Editor. He's a senior Supply Chain major, but is going to law school at some point in the future and masquerades as a writer for now. He continues to disappoint his ancestors by being a complete Irish stereotype. His email is [email protected] because there were no other Noels before him. His ex-wife got the good half of his bio in the divorce settlement.


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