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State College Bars On Football Weekends: Everything You Didn’t Know You Needed To Know

If you’re an alum or an of-age State College resident, you’re likely quite familiar with the downtown bar scene.

From Doggie’s to Champs, State College has it all. There’s a bar out there for any and every mood — relaxed, hyped, and everywhere in-between.

However, the bar scene always seems to transform itself on football weekends. Penn State football means more expensive covers, longer bar lines, and a couple of other weird bar features that are unique to game weekends. Here are some of the unique and interesting ones that we’ve discovered:

Café 210 West: No Pitchers

Café is every student’s favorite bar to frequent when the weather’s nice. With its plethora of outdoor seating and chill-bar vibes, there’s no better place to daylong.

The bar boasts an array of draft beers, mixed drinks, and its infamous Café teas. While the teas come in either a regular 12-ounce cup or a 32-ounce pitcher, if you want the most bang for your buck — pitchers are the way to go.

However, customers frequenting the establishment on football weekends are often surprised to find out that they can’t order pitchers. For whatever reason, the bar just doesn’t serve pitchers when there’s home game.

Perhaps it’s because no student, after tailgating for several hours, needs to sit down at Café and order a 32-ounce liquor pitcher. Or, perhaps it’s because having alumni purchase two 12-ounce drinks rather than a pitcher is a better financial gain. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t offer its classic pitchers on gameday in Happy Valley.

Zeno’s: Utilize Glassware for All Draft Beer & Card Upstairs on the Sidewalk

In a college town, most bars switch over to plastic or styrofoam on the weekend. After all, drunk bar-goers are a given and it’s much easier to pick up a spilled beer in a plastic cup than it is a shattered one with glass shards everywhere.

However, basement bar Zeno’s pays no mind to this usually begotten status quo. The bar serves its patrons draft beers in a glass even on gamedays. Zeno’s prides itself on being a “real bar” with a chill vibe, and as such, it uses all of its own glassware.

Moreover, as a basement bar, Zeno’s stations bouncers at the bottom of its stairs most nights. But on gamedays, the bar places its bouncers at the top of the staircase — so that they can see if a patron is too inebriated to enter the premise.

Champs Downtown: Hires A DJ For The Game

While most bars wait until after the game to start their festivities, Champs Downtown begins its celebrations right at kick-off.

The bar’s aim is to replicate the experience of actually being in Beaver Stadium. To do so, they bring in a DJ to perform throughout the game and play the music you’d expect to hear PJ Mullen play if you were in the south end zone.

There are definitely other sports bars in State College, but no one else brings a DJ in for the game.

Doggie’s Pub: Sells Rolling Rock and Miller High Life Pony Cases

Before Doggie’s Pub, and subsequently its beloved outdoor beer garden, there was the All-American Rathskeller. The Skeller, as it was lovingly dubbed, had been around for nearly 85 years before it closed its doors for good in 2018.

However, its replacement — Doggie’s — has tried to maintain the spots old-school, dive bar vibe and some of its classic traditions too, like its “case of Rocks.”

Back in 1972, the Skeller used to sell a case of Rolling Rock Ponies for only $4 to thirsty patrons. Today, Doggie’s carries the tradition on every game weekend. The bar sells cases of Miller High Life and Rolling Rock Ponies for only $33…a sharp, 725% increase.

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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