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OS Reviews: Brothers Bar & Grill

State College’s bar scene just got bigger. Brothers Bar & Grill opened its doors on February 15 at 134 S. Allen St. in the former location of the Amazon pick-up store.

The bar, a common chain in the Midwest, has an expansive menu that includes burgers, wings, and plenty of drink specials, so a few of our staffers headed downtown to try their hands at State College’s newest taproom.

Mikey DeAngelis

I decided to check out Brothers last week to grab a bite to eat. Contrary to what I had heard from a few others, I actually thought the service was pretty good for a restaurant that hadn’t even been open for a week.

Our server was super nice, and we got our food relatively quickly. For appetizers, we got the famous Wisconsin cheese curds and some smokey chipotle bone-in wings. The cheese curds were a little too greasy for my liking but still extremely delicious. The wings were also great, with a super crunchy skin, delicious sauce, and a juicy interior.

For my entrée, I got the Nashville chicken sandwich. The special mayo they put on here was pretty good, and the chips served with it were a great extra to snack on. Overall, this place has some great bar food options that’ll make it a good place to frequent when looking for a place to watch sports and grab a drink.

Aidan Conrad

I had high expectations for the opening of Brothers’ Bar & Grill, and well, they were certainly met. Through the first two weeks of its existence on Allen Street, I’ve gone three times on three very different occasions.

The first time I went, my sole purpose was to look around inside and to get a single drink. I ordered a grape Long Island pitcher. Its price was $10, although they only charged me $7 (?), but my impression of the drink was similar to that of Champs Downtown’s Dirty Sprite. I was impressed by the taste of the pitcher but noticed the size was slightly smaller than Cafe 210’s pitcher even though they’re the same price.

My second stop at Brothers’ was to watch the Penn State hoops game at Rec Hall. My friends and I ordered food and I had the Wisconsin cheese curd burger and then shared fried Oreos. The burger came out slightly cold, but I was so hungry that it was still gone in under five minutes. The fried Oreos were mouth-watering and were loved by the entire table.

After we ate, we went upstairs to the loft with the pool tables. The brand-new tables made it a great spot to hang out and watch the win against Illinois.

My third time here was during State Patty’s day, and this was the first time it was packed. They made sure to color the lights green and play Irish music here and there.

The only complaint I have was when the bouncer asked for my Facebook, which I don’t have, my Instagram for a 21st birthday post, and then to pull up my Snapchat settings to show him my birthday. It’s all good. I’m 21, bro.

Brendan Wagner

I spent about 30 minutes at Brothers Bar & Grill for my friend’s 21st birthday party. It was crowded, lively, and full of many familiar faces and games to pass the time. However, in those 30 minutes, I stood at the bar and was never waited on or received a drink, which led our group to quickly leave. So, cool place, bad service.

Evan Halfen

Going into it, I really had no idea what the vibe and service of Brothers was going to be like. Since its opening, I’ve been a few times, and overall I think it’s a really solid spot.

On weekdays, if you’re looking for a chill place to talk to your friends and grab a few drinks, Brothers is definitely the way to go. I will say I wasn’t sure how it would look Thursday through Saturday, but to my surprise, it was pretty packed. Some people were on the dance floor, while others were either at a table chilling or playing pool on the upper level. The line was pretty long on Friday and Saturday nights but nothing new there.

The elevated second level was a really nice touch and perfect for people-watching, too. You have a front-row seat of the whole place, similar to Pman’s and Champs’ upper levels.

One thing I noticed was that there was only one bar. It takes up almost the whole side wall and is essentially one mega bar. Yet, the wait for a beer or pitcher was a little bit inconvenient, but again, it just opened and it’s right across from Champs, so it’s what you’d expect.

Although it wasn’t anything fancy, the Blue Razz Long Island pitcher I got did the trick, however, it was a little pricey for a college student. I haven’t tried the food yet but definitely plan on grabbing a bite on a night out.

Megan Kelby

It’s a great space for a bar. It looks like what Champs wants itself to look like. The food is good, specifically the boneless wings (you get eight), and the soft pretzel sticks (four) which come with a queso and mustard-type dip. The drinks are the usual college bar drinks, so make sure you go during happy hour. As a whole, you’d think it’d be a fun new spot to hang out, except the service is really slow.

Whatever rotation the bartenders do doesn’t work when there are more than 50 or so people in the building. Hopefully, that’s something that’ll get better with time, but if you plan on going to Brothers any time soon, don’t be surprised if you stand at the bar waiting for a drink for over 20 minutes.

CJ Doebler

I didn’t know what to expect from Brothers, but I was pleasantly surprised. It had a nice atmosphere and the service was quick, although the staff-to-customer ratio when we were there was almost one-to-one.

We started by splitting an order of Firecracker Fries, which were different but nothing spectacular. For my main course, I had the buffalo chicken sandwich and Brothers potato chips. The sandwich had chicken liberally covered with buffalo sauce, American cheese, and a blue cheese crumble topped with the brioche bun. It wasn’t the best buffalo chicken sandwich I’ve ever had, but it was far from the worst.

The prices were the best part of the experience. Splitting the appetizer three ways and factoring in my sandwich and a Coors, my total was less than $20. I enjoyed my first trip to Brothers, but it’s going to be an entirely different place with an entirely different feel on Fridays and Saturdays, and I’m not sure it has what it takes to rival the likes of Champs.

Nolan Wick

I didn’t know what to expect from Brothers, but it’s a solid addition to State College. The Firecracker Fries to start off were decent, but the Smokehouse Burger for my entree did not disappoint. The best part was the prices, while the amount of options on the menu was also a plus. There are pool tables, other games, and plenty of TVs throughout the place, so it’s a good spot to watch sports and hang out in general.

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