Crunchee Munchees Closes After Arts Fest
The State College late-night food game is about to get a little less cholesterol-triggering and lose a bit of appeal among hungry stoners.
Crunchee Munchees, a saving grace to party-goers wandering around West College, closed its doors this weekend after more than four years in business. The restaurant announced it was closing with a sign posted on its door during Arts Fest.
The sign said that Crunchee Munchees was “being forced out of business” by its landlord, Westside Village (a sponsor of Onward State). The sign alleged Westside Village chose not to renew its lease in order to pursue another venture.
Westside Village Property Manager Jessica Aikey said when the realtor began managing the property in November of 2018, it gave Crunchee Munchees owners until 90 days before its lease expired on June 30 to renew it.
Aikey said she reached out to the owners in mid-May after they missed the 90 days deadline, but didn’t hear back from them until the end of the month when Westside had already begun assessing other options to fill the space.
Crunchee Munchees co-owner Devon Warntz, a Class of 2014 alum, said he had already communicated his intentions to continue business on West College when Westside began managing the property last fall. He said the realtor had emailed him in mid-May to ask if he intended to stay, but that he didn’t receive an answer until June 12 when he learned the lease wouldn’t be renewed.
Although the lease ended June 30, the two sides were able to reach an agreement for Crunchee Munchees to stay open until Arts Fest.
Aikey confirmed the sign’s claim that the daughter of the owner of Westside Village was involved in the new venture. According to Aikey, who said she wasn’t able to share many details, the business will be some sort of cafe and is expected to open around October.
Warntz opened Crunchee Munchees in March of 2015. Although not as beloved as Canyon or Yallah, the semi-popular spot seemed to cater directly to students’ late-night, substance-induced cravings. The menu lived by the maxim that truly everything tastes better when deep-fried, from mac and cheese to pickles to jalapeños.
Although it’s been less than 48 hours since Crunchee Munchees shut its doors, Warntz has already hinted at a possible return multiple times.
“Maybe we will pop up somewhere down the road,” the sign said. “Our future is unclar, (sic) until then munch on!”
“I think I need a little break from the restaurant industry at this time,” he said over the phone Monday. “But I like the State College market. This is where my heart is and where I want to be if I find the right place.”
Editor’s Note: Westside Village is a sponsor of Onward State. However, this relationship has no bearing on the content of this story, which we believe fairly and accurately represents both Westside and Crunchee Munchees.
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Penn State ranked just outside the top 100 in this year’s Forbes’ list of the top colleges in the United States.
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