Restaurants We’re Dying To See Open In The HUB
After our beloved Higher Grounds was stripped away from us, not only are our hearts heavy — but our bellies are rumbling. The Onward State staff is hungry for something new, fresh, and delicious. Whether it’s Buffalo Wild Wings or Panera, it’s time we had a break from the same old teriyaki chicken from Panda Express. Here are our ultimate picks for potential establishments to open in The HUB:
Carolyn Popescu – Pota-topia
This fabulous establishment dedicated to the apple of the earth (ahem, the potato) is sadly only based in New York and New Jersey. However, it’s never too late to branch out. Pota-topia usually takes the form of a small walk-up restaurant similar to an Auntie Anne’s or Jamba Juice. It specializse in all things potato — and I mean all things. The crowds go wild for waffle fries at Chick Fil A, Skillet Fries at Café, why not in The HUB?! Whether it’s loaded potato skins or basic French fries with ketchup, there’s no way this starchy slice of heaven wouldn’t sky rocket amongst ravenously hungry (and perhaps still hungover) college kids in between classes.
Caitlin Gailey – Irving’s
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Bring back Irving’s. Although HUB dining has several good options for lunch and dinner, it has no decent breakfast options. Sushi, pizza, a burrito, or Chinese food are surprisingly not what I crave after my Wednesday 8 a.m. Nothing brightens my day more than a perfectly toasted Irving’s bagel and I’m sure many people would agree. I miss being able to people-watch and enjoy my bagel in peace, so for the love of God give me Irving’s or give me death.
Mary Frances Pillion – Panera
When we all walk into the HUB in the morning there is one huge problem staring us in the face — there’s no breakfast! Sure there’s the few food items you can get from Starbucks, but those are meh at best and we deserve more. If I could pick anything to put in the HUB, it would have to be some sort of breakfast place, and in a perfect world that would be Panera. I would literally spend all of my dining dollars at the HUB Panera because the bagels are magical and I could eat them all day, every day. We could have a mini-Panera (sort of like our Chick-fil-A), a scaled down versions of an actual Panera, where all it serves is breakfast items and drinks. I don’t know about you, but it would make my morning walk to Willard exponentially better if I could pass through the HUB and get a bagel or delicious chocolate croissant on my way there.
Claire Fountas – Portillo’s
My (somewhat selfish) dream would be for every Penn State student to have the ability to grab a classic Chicago-style hot dog at his/her convenience. When you think about it, are there really that many great dog spots around State College? But that’s not all this place has to offer. Whether you’re craving the world’s best cheese fries, chopped salad, chocolate cake (or its accomplice, the notorious Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Shake), you’re sure to find something you like. Each time I go home, this place is always one of the first trips my high school friends and I make (and one of the first places I’ll take any visiting Penn State friends to go eat). It’s cheap, it’s fast, and the assortment of choices never disappoints. While it might not be a realistic dream to bring a Portillo’s out east, I’ll still argue that some sort of killer hot dog place would be a great addition to the HUB.
Allison Wulfhorst- Olive Garden
Although most of the restaurants in the HUB are more fast food-y, I think it would be a nice change to add a sit down restaurant. Sure, we already have soups and salads, but where else can you get the best breadsticks around? Not only those, but a variety of fresh Italian meals from pasta to chicken dishes. The only answer is Olive Garden. Imagine walking to class, stopping and being able to get an order of fresh, garlicy, Olive Garden breadsticks. I think that would make for an even happier valley.
Emma Dieter – Chipotle
Whenever I find myself stressed out in between classes, the only thing on my mind is how quickly can I get myself some chips and guac. Nothing says comfort food to me like Mexican. There’s no use even denying it, Chipotle is the premier fast food Mexican chain out there today and thus would be the perfect addition to the HUB. There are very few things in this world that get me going like a burrito bowl from Chipotle. But even if you’re not a fan of burritos, a classic chips & queso combo or even quesadilla can help ease the pain of any case of the Monday blues. And don’t even pretend like the makeshift burrito establishment in the HUB is adequate.
The HUB is known for offering some of the best and most affordable fast food on the market to students, so it’s a wonder Chipotle has yet to take its rightful spot among the likes of Jamba Juice and Chick-fil-A. The best sort of addition to the HUB would have to be something of the spicy food variety, and I believe Chiptole would be a natural fit.
James Turchick – Buffalo Wild Wings
No disrespect to any other restaurants listed here, you’re all nice people. With that being said — it’s no question that a Buffalo Wild Wings in the HUB would be better than any other option. With a dozen or so flat-screen TVs on the wall, Penn Staters could catch their hometown games no matter where their hometowns are. If we move the giant TVs by Alumni Hall into the place and get a liquor license, the full effect of BWW could come to life at Penn State. Okay, so this is a dry campus and I’m just dreaming on that one.
Letting students use meal points and LionCash at the new Buffalo Wild Wings would absolutely bankrupt a couple of people over the course of the year but no one would really regret it in the long run. Don’t go halfway by putting it here, put it in the HUB so everyone can stop in while they wait to pick up their books during sylly week.