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Margs & Memories: An Ode To Mad Mex

Will the pain and suffering ever end? Apparently not.

We really thought things couldn’t get any worse after the College Ave. Taco Bell closed in early 2020. But alas, the punches kept rolling when it was announced that Mad Mex is closing its doors on November 28, much to the confusion and sadness of Penn Staters.

There are still nine days until Mad Mex closes, but that time is basically cut by Thanksgiving break. Still, that’s ample time to enjoy our favorite margaritas, tacos, and more.

As someone who turned 21 at the height of the pandemic, my experiences at Mad Mex aren’t as extensive as other Penn Staters, probably. However, the times I have gone for drinks have been nothing but a great time. I mean, does it get any better than tequila flights and $4 house margaritas during Happy Hour? I don’t think so.

Not to mention, a lot of State College’s food scene consists of fast food, which is always great for drunk late-night options. But, with the exception of places like The Corner Room and The Tavern, it’s hard to find a bar & restaurant that offers food and drinks that are worth spending the extra money on some ~fine dining~.

It’s sad to see yet another beloved State College staple shut down just to be replaced by yet another new apartment building. Part of the college experience is living in dilapidated “lived-in” apartments or houses and adding fancier off-campus not only changes the downtown landscape but also affects more affordable housing options by increasing rent prices. It builds character!

When you think back on your time at Penn State, where you lived is going to be only a minuscule part of the college experience. It’s the places specific to downtown State College where you’re going to talk about the most because it’s where the best memories happen.

As some Penn State alumni pointed out, the downtown food landscape has changed so much to accommodate housing, and it’s still constantly changing. Since I first arrived as a freshman three years ago, I feel like downtown has changed so much with the new additions of apartment highrises that I don’t really remember what it looked like. Not to mention, it takes away from the appeal of the college town-vibe.

Hopefully, Mad Mex can secure a new place somewhere that’s still close to downtown soon. But for now, it’s looking like in nine days, Mad Mex will close its doors indefinitely. All I know is that we can’t take our beloved State College staples for granted, so enjoy them — and fight for them — before they’re gone.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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