‘Joegies’ And Other Penn State-Themed Restaurants That Should Exist
Last week, popular Penn State vintage clothing account Joe Pa’s Closet put a particularly interesting item of clothing up for sale. The account posted a navy blue t-shirt with a big, cartoonish Joe Paterno on the front and the word “Joegies” in a script font underneath.
Unbeknownst to the youngins of today, it turns out Joegies was actually a totally real sandwich shop in the HUB. The location first opened in 2003, was reimagined at “HUB Subs” in 2012, and eventually closed to make way for the HUB’s renovations a few years later.
Although it’s long gone, Joegies got us thinking. Why aren’t there other restaurants named after iconic Penn State figures or student-athletes?
We came up with some of our own ideas for Penn State-themed restaurants that absolutely should exist.
The American delicacy “hot dog” actually comes from the magical German city of Frankfurt, home of the original Frankfurter. Since the Frankfurter’s inception in 1487, it has since been repurposed and renamed things like “weiner,” “hot dog,” and even shortened to just “frank.”
Naming a hot dog shop (Editor’s Note: Sandwich shop) after Penn State football head coach James Franklin is a no-brainier, and “James’ Franks” is the perfect name. The ideal location would be right on the Bryce Jordan Center concourse, home of the iconic THON hot dogs. The stand could also serve other American treats like burgers, fries, pulled pork, and Pepsi.
Eric Red Baron
This one’s also a no-brainer and an absolute slam-dunk for marketing purposes. Perhaps you’ve become familiarized with the delicious frozen pizza brand, Red Baron, during quarantine. Although Red Baron doesn’t appear to have a brick-and-mortar location yet, there’s no better place for its marquee store than the land of mediocre pizza chains: State College, Pa.
Combining Penn State President Eric Barron’s name with the already-established pizza brand should make for an eccentric and delicious eatery for all. Maybe they could even throw in a quick-service location in Old Main for the bigwigs.
The Nittany Hawaiian
This one is a stretch, but I think we could make it work with enough effort. Findlay Commons recently added a poke bowl location outside of the buffet, and poke just so happens to be a dish originating from Hawaii.
According to the East Food District website, the current name for this location is just “Bowls,” and that name sucks. “The Nittany Hawaiian” is a fun rhyme and a clever play on words that should definitely be the new name for the poke spot. Plus, the Lion looks slick in a lei and grass skirt.
It’s about damn time Lady Lions’ sophomore guard Makenna Marisa got her own themed campus dining location. As a freshman, Marisa started in 29 of the team’s 30 total games, averaging just shy of 10 points per contest. I’m sure one of the many Starbucks locations across campus would let the university temporarily rename the coffee shop to “Makenna Barista.”
If she’s nice enough, Marisa could even work as a barista during the big re-opening with the new name. Here she is angrily looking at a Frappuccino after calling a customer’s name six times.
What better name for a salad joint than a play on Penn State football’s Jake Pinegar’s name? There are already plenty of salad spots on campus that could use a re-branding, or perhaps many years down the line Pinegar can return to Happy Valley and open his own salad shop.
From balsamic to lemon, the possibilities of Jake Pinaigrettes are endless.
Penn State football offensive lineman Juice Scruggs really should have a Penn State juicery named after him by now…or at least a drink. Irving’s already has a smoothie named “Joe Papaya,” so perhaps they could incorporate “Scruggs’ Juice” into the menu.
Food Juice for thought.
Get it? Because PJ Mustipher? The Penn State football defensive lineman? PB&J sandwiches? Okay, this one may be a stretch, but it could still replace some of the boring names at Pollock like “Plate” and “Leaf.”
At the end of the day, there aren’t nearly enough on-campus eateries named after iconic Penn Staters. In my book, Joegie was a real home run. A grand slam, if you will. And since it’s left the HUB, there’s a huge void of creative names. The closest Penn State has gotten back to glory is “Louie’s” in Redifer. Who’s Louie? Oh well.
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Onward State is hiring for the upcoming semester and looking for new folks to join our team and help tell the Penn State story.
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