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More Than Your Just Your Typical Burger Joint: An Ode To BRGR

Oh, BRGR.

The time has unfortunately come for you to part ways from downtown State College.

Just last Friday, it was announced that BRGR had been shut down due to the restaurant’s inability to fulfill its rent. And with that, Penn State has lost one of its premiere establishments.

Although the classy burger joint stayed in business for only five years, it certainly made an impact on the State College community, providing locals and Penn State students with gourmet burgers and handmade milkshakes.

Before I accepted my offer to Penn State, I took a weekend getaway to State College in the fall of 2020 to feel the vibes and see if it was the right fit for me. During said visit, my dad and I came across BRGR nearly a year after it opened, and I was immediately captivated.

Right when I walked through those doors for the first time, with the aroma of freshly made french fries filling up the room, I knew I would be a frequent customer. Between the service, the food, and the aesthetic of the restaurant, I knew BRGR was more than just your typical burger joint – it was a place to create memories with friends while scarfing down burgers that you can’t really find anywhere else.

Shortly after that initial visit and accepting my offer to Penn State, I found myself stopping in to celebrate birthdays, get together with coworkers, and grab a bite to eat with my family almost every time they came to visit me. To think that I can’t create more memories like those again is a tough pill to swallow.

Sure, some folks may think it was overpriced or even overrated, but to me, it was a place where I could go knowing those burgers would always hit the spot. Plus, where else can you get a custom-made burger with a pretzel bun or a spiked milkshake in downtown State College?

And don’t even get me started on the homemade chips and “crack dip.” I’m still convinced to this day that its staple dip was made with actual crack. That stuff was addicting as hell, and I always found myself asking for an extra order of it.

The simple fact is there aren’t any burger joints quite like BRGR. Now that it’s gone, all we have left to fulfill our burger cravings are McDonald’s and Five Guys, which will simply never compare.

Let alone, the interior design was pretty unique compared to other restaurants in the area. From the lighting fixture to the booths to the modern-industrial feel, it felt like a nice escape from the middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania.

Hey, who knows? Maybe a new restaurant or even a bar will take its place. Either way, nothing will satisfy my cravings the way BRGR once did.

Whether you opted for the classic simplicity of an “Average Joe” cheeseburger or dared to indulge in your own signature creation, every bite left us wanting more. From post-gameday grubs to intimate date nights, BRGR was the backdrop to countless memories – a cherished part of our collective story as Penn Staters.

As we say goodbye to BRGR, let us not dwell on what’s lost, but rather celebrate all that it has given us. Let us raise a glass milkshake in honor of the countless meals shared, the laughter exchanged, and the bonds forged through good food within its establishment.

Though it’s a tough loss, BRGR will always be remembered as a beacon of deliciousness and camaraderie in the heart of Happy Valley.

Farewell, dear BRGR. You will be dearly missed, but never forgotten.

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About the Author

Evan Halfen

Evan Halfen is a junior broadcast journalism major from Newark, DE, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. Evan loves all things Penn State, tailgating, being loud, just about any beach, and his puppies, Butterscotch and Wentzy. You can direct all your tips, roasts, and jokes to his Instagram: @evan.halfen or email: [email protected]

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