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From A’s Pub To Zeno’s: Your Complete Guide to State College Happy Hours

Happy Hour is a world-class excuse to spend time at one or several (we don’t judge) State College bars. These magical, discounted windows are a tried-and-true way to spend less money on your bar excursions — or justify going out on a school night. 

Each downtown bar offers a unique happy hour. Here’s a regular’s guide to the best deal at each spot.

Saloon

The east-side basement bar is best known for one thing: Monkey Boys. The iconic Saloon drink is a 32-ounce liquor pitcher offered in 15 flavors, and costs just $6 during happy hour. Saloon’s happy hour takes place from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. from Sunday to Wednesday, 9-11 p.m. on Thursdays, and 8-10 p.m. on the weekends. It also includes select mixed drinks and beers at a discounted price.

Best Deal: $6 Monkey Boys

Pman

Across the street from Saloon lies the designated Greek Life bar and Pittsburgh chain most commonly known as “Pman.” The average frat boy’s favorite spot, Pman offers a large selection of draft beer. Happy hour here is 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday with an additional 5-7 p.m. window on Fridays. Pman’s offering includes half-priced mixed drinks, beer, and shots, including the bar’s “mind-eraser” shot, which tastes like a boozy iced coffee. 

Best Deal: Half-Priced Mind Erasers

JAX Bar & Kitchen

This new, trendy-looking spot nestled on Calder Way offers some extremely underrated specials. JAX has happy hour from 9-11 p.m. or 10-12 p.m. most nights, and includes half-price flatbreads from 7-9-p.m. The bar also hosts sex and sports trivia on Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively, which both include additional deals.

The best night to drink at JAX, however, is Wednesday. The bar’s “Wine Wednesday” deal offers $5 build-your-own burgers, $2.50 glasses of wine, and $3 Blue Moons from 5-7 p.m. 

Best Deal: $2.50 Wine Wednesdays

The Basement Nightspot

Indigo The Basement Nightspot, like Saloon, has a signature drink: Long Island Iced Teas. The well-known club spot offers 24-ounce LITs for $2 on Thursdays. Although they don’t typically taste great, these teas certainly get the job done. You can also skip cover and the line on Thursdays if you grab a drink at Pickle’s first and show your receipt to the Basement bouncer. 

Best Deal: $2 LITs On Thursdays

The Gaff

Oh, sweet Gaff. Before midnight Tuesday through Saturday, Gaff offers $6 liquor pitchers. Unlike the Monkey Boys at Saloon, the friendly bartenders at the Gaff will customize your pitcher to pretty much whatever you want, from a basic vodka soda to the sugary Adios, Motherfucker. The Gaff also offers plenty of tallboy specials like $3 for cheap beers and Twisted Tea, $4 for White Claws, and for $5 Natty Seltzers. 

Best Deal: $6 Liquor Pitchers (duh)

Champs

The Jonas Brothers’ favorite bar offers consistent Happy Hour deals from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday. This happy hour includes half-price mixed drinks and beers, as well as Champs’ popular Dirty Sprites for $2. The sports bar also offers additional specials, including 50-cent wings Monday and Thursday, $3 White Claws on Tuesdays, $4 Frose on Wednesdays, and $3 mimosas on Sundays. 

Best Deal: $2 Dirty Sprites 

Pickle’s

The ground-floor faction of the Hotel State College dynasty is nothing if not consistent. Pickles’ happy hour offerings include $2.50 well drinks and house wine on top of the bar’s already cheap beer selection. However, the real deal is the bar’s $3 all-day, everyday Long Islands and Painkillers (essentially a blue LIT). Although slightly more expensive than the Basement’s LITs, Pickles’ version tastes much better and is available around the clock.

Best Deal: $3 Long Islands

The Phyrst

The Beaver Ave. basement bar is State College’s emerald and offers deals at any given time of the day as well as live music every night. Phyrst’s happy hour is typically from 9-11 p.m. on weekdays and 7-9 p.m. on the weekends.

Most commonly known to Phyrst rats as “PHH,” this popular discount window offers something for everyone, including half-price mixed drinks, draft beer, shots, and bombs. These deals are in addition to its all-day specials, which include $3 Skinny Bitches and Mitch-a-Paloozas, $5 Trashcans, and $2 PBR drafts. Whether you prefer beer, mixed drinks or 409 bombs, you can drink enough at PHH and walk out with your wallet intact.

Best Deal: The Entire Phyrst Happy Hour (PHH)

Local Whiskey

Dubbed “The Second,” Local Whiskey sits above The Phyrst and is pricier. Of the few happy hour deals offered, the $6 cocktail on Mondays is definitely the best.

Best Deal: $6 Cocktail Of The Week On Mondays

Chrome

While Chrome is best known for the free shot it offers via Instagram, the West Beaver Hookah bar also offers good deals on top-shelf liquor. Chrome’s Happy Hour runs from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and includes half-off mixed drinks (including most top-shelf liquor), $5 Atomic Lemonades, and $6 Coronaritas. 

Best Deal: Half-Priced Mixed Drinks

Cafe

Downtown’s fair-weather bar offers a different deal every day. Cafe is known for its legendary “Cafe Teas,” but also offers a variety of beer options. The daily deals are as follows:

  • $2.50 Cafe Tea cups on Mondays
  • $5 make-your-own Bacardi pitchers on Tuesdays
  • $7 make-your-own Absolut vodka pitchers on Wednesdays
  • $4.50 Cafe Tea pitchers on Thursdays
  • Half-prices tea ($2.50) on Fridays from 6-8 p.m.

On top of all these daily deals, Cafe also offers Happy Hour from 9-11 p.m. daily (except Sundays and Fridays) which includes half-price teas, draft beer, and appetizers. From a monetary standpoint, there really is never a bad time to go to Cafe, especially when the weather is nice. But the true winner here is the $4.50 pitcher deal on Thursdays, which is tough to top.

Best Deal: $4.50 Pitchers On Thursdays

Mad Mex

This Mexican chain is a staple for any sunny day, but Mondays are definitely the day to go. Offering $6 Big Azz (22 ounces!) Margaritas and all-you-can-eat mini burritos, the Monday deal can’t be beat. Mad Mex also offers a daily happy hour from 4:30-6:30 p.m. featuring half-price draft beers and wings alongside discounted margaritas. 

Best Deal: $6 Big Azz Margs On Mondays

Doggie’s Pub

The rebranded version of the beloved Skeller can be a bit pricey, but the newly renovated outdoor beer garden is surely worth it. Offering relatively standard prices for mixed drinks and draft beer, the best deal is the $1 off Bud Light drafts on Monday and Tuesdays. The bar’s normal Happy Hour, offered 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursdays, includes $1 off well drinks and White Claws. 

Best Deal: $1 Off Bud Light Drafts

A’s Pub At Mclanahan’s

Possibly the most underrated drinking spot in State College, A’s Pub offers a phenomenal happy hour. McLanahan’s on Allen Street offers a self-serve, pay-by-the-ounce beer wall that also offers draft wine. The beer ranges from Yuengling and Blue Moon to craft selections from breweries around the country.

From 5-8 p.m. daily, all drafts are half off their already-reasonable prices. This gem of a happy hour also includes free popcorn, outlets to charge your phone/laptop, and on Friday,s free pizza (while it lasts). 

Best Deal: Your Draft Beer Of Choice

Zeno’s

This underground spot is another underrated bar that is typically populated by graduate students and townies. But Zeno’s is truly one of the best State College has to offer. Its impressive beer list is reason enough to pay a visit to the place beneath the Corner Room, but Zeno’s also offers typical mixed drinks and wine. The pub hosts happy hour from 10-12 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Best Deal: Half-Price Beer

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About the Author

Reagan McCarthy

Reagan McCarthy is the retired president of the Penn State College Republicans and now part of the crooked, liberal media. You can find her in the basement of Irvings or at The Phyrst, depending on the time of day.

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