A couple of weeks ago we put out a request for a short description of your local Penn State bar in an effort to create a type of database where alumni and recently relocated fans could find a place that (1) they know the game will be broadcast, and (2) they won't have to worry about speaking their Blue-Blood mind.
2947 N Druid Hills Rd NE, Atlanta
*In the Toco Hills Shopping Center, Directions: Take 85 N to North Druid Hills exit, turn right; Cross Lavista Road; Turn right into Toco Hills Shopping Center (behind Wendy's)
Food/Beer - Specials change by the game but it is usually a deal on sometype of 24oz. bottle
TV Setup - There is a back room for the PSU people with most of the TVs showing PSU, one or two showing Georgia if on and a few showing other big ten games.
Seating/Atmosphere - PSU music is always played, cowbells are frequently played, a white out was instituted for ND and OSU last year, and a raffle with PSU prizes takes place at halftime.
One Final Note - This is really a great place to watch a PSU game in Atlanta (even though the bar owner is a Michigan State grad). Also it is located in a fairly large shopping center so parking is never a problem.
911 Sunrise Lane, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Take #40 bus from the Convention District. Or stay at the Holiday Inn across the street and walk.
Food/Beer - Standard food and drinks, but why not go across the street to the Primanti Brothers?
TV Setup - Around a dozen mid-sized flat screens mounted around the bar. Pretty much every one was on the PSU game.
Seating/Atmosphere - What would happen if you condensed Pennsylvania in a 200 foot long street? You'd get this odd little corner of the world: a Primanti Brothers, a PSU/Eagles bar, a Steelers bar, and a tattoo parlor to top it all off on a little side-street next to a Holiday Inn. Medium-sized place, but it was wall-to-wall PSU fans.
One Final Note - Watched the PSU-O$U game there in 2005. Yeah, that one. The crowd was absolutely rocking in this bar. An amazing environment to watch a game, but the game probably had something to do with it.
Big Belly Burgers of Brandon [NOTE: I'VE SINCE BEEN TOLD THIS BAR IS CLOSED]
109 W Bloomingdale Ave
Brandon, Florida 33511
Food/Beer - 99 cent 12-ounce drafts, including Yuengling all day, every day. Voted the best Burger in Brandon. Very good wings as well.
TV Setup - TV's on every wall, A private "Lion's Den" area with several TV's
Seating/Atmosphere - Best to call ahead for seating.
Whitey's Fox and Hounds Irish Pub [NOTE: I'VE SINCE BEEN TOLD THIS BAR IS CLOSED]
229 E. Brandon Blvd
Brandon, fl 33511
Parking outback and in front ( look for the psu neon in the window)
Owner a PSU alum
Food/Beer - Best wings and Burgers this far south, $.89 dom during all games.
TV Setup - Brand new 47 led TVs, All big ten games shown in 1080hd (as long as they are broadcast in hd), Ncaa 2011 football ps3, and 2 before and after every game.
Seating/Atmosphere - ALL SEATS ARE POINTED TOWARDS A TV. THERE ARE JOE PA DOLLS BEHING THE BAR, THERE IS A TALKING LION BEHIND THE BAR. PICTURES ALL AROUND THE BAR OF PSU PICTURES, OWNER AND JOE, CAPPY ECT. BEST TIME TO GET THERE ABOUT 30 MINUTES BEFORE KICK OFF. ASK THE OWNER ABOUT THE PRIVATE PARTY FOR COACH PATERNO ON DEC 3, 2007 IN NYC THE NIGHT BEFORE PUT ON BY PSU. (INVITES ONLY)
One Final Note - Franco Harris, Lidell Mitchell, Larry Johnson, and Lenny Moore autograph football on display.
Ugly Joe's Sports Bar
103rd and State Line Road, Kansas City, MO
Take I-435 loop to State Line Road and drive north to 103rd St. Turn right (Missouri side of state line).
Food/Beer - The used to have a Nittany Burger! Easily the worst element of this bar is the fact they kept a Buckeye and Hawkeye burger on the menu and dropped ours. Otherwise, standard wings and drinks. My advice if you're really hungry is drive over a half-hour early and go across the street (Kansas side) to Gates Barbeque. You'll thank me later.
TV Setup - Ugly Joe's is the only place in the metro area that guarantees that they will show the PSU game and they tend to show it on 2-3 96" High-Def projector screens with audio. Very nice setup.
Seating/Atmosphere - A double row flanks both sides of the bar, plus table seating. Games like Coastal Carolina will attract 15-25 people, PSU-Ohio $tate will attract 50+ PSU fans. This is a Big Ten bar, so expect large numbers of Michigan, O$U, Wisconsin and Iowa fans watching their games across the bar. Iowa and Wisconsin fans are cool, the other two are not. The VaTech folks also come here, too.
One Final Note - I've watched about 25 games there. Food and restrooms are greatly improved from years past when this was pretty much a dive bar in a strip mall.
New York City
411 3rd Avenue, at 29th Street
Take the 6 to 28th Street
Food/Beer - Normal New York beer prices (4/5$). If I remember correctly there's a pretty cool "table tapper" which is quite literally an enormous jug of beer with a tap. I think it's 30 bucks. It's a great deal for a group of 3 or 4.
TV Setup - This is the only downside to the bar. There are a million flat screens...but if it's an afternoon game, the light can mess with the clarity of the picture. It's by no means unwatchable...just not perfect.
Seating/Atmosphere - The atmosphere is unreal. Hands down the best atmosphere I've experienced outside of State College. You honestly feel like you're back in the student section. Chants, zombie nation, cowbells...it's a blast. Because this is THE spot to see a game in New York and there are a TON of Penn Staters in the tri-state area, you need to get there early if you want a good seat. There are two levels to the bar, but it fills up fast. An hour and a half before kickoff is usually plenty of time.
One Final Note - To the best of my knowledge, most of the bartenders are Penn Staters. They all wear blue and white and are usually great. However, as it is in any crowded bar...sometimes you have to fight to get a drink (which is why the aforementioned table tappers are ideal). The waitresses are also fighting the crowd. I suggest eating before hand. Or run to the pizza joint two blocks away during halftime. You go to Tonic for the atmosphere, not the food.
100 Jerusalem Drive, Morrisville, NC 27560
* Technically Morrisville, but it's right next to the RDU airport in Raleigh. There is plenty of parking available outside the bar.
Food/Drink - No drink specials that I know of, at least not during the day. Not too expensive though. On game days, they have a buffet going all afternoon which is good, though a tad on the expensive side.
TV Setup - Tons of TVs, including several HD screens with the Penn State game on.
Seating/Atmosphere - Lots of seating, but for the early season/Big 10 Network games, you should get there no later than 30 minutes before kickoff. Even then, the first 4 games last year were standing room only. The atmosphere is great, there are always tons of Penn Staters. The local chapter of the alumni association comes here for the games, so there's a raffle at halftime where they give away some sort of Penn State paraphernalia, and they set up a sound system and pump in Blue Band music throughout the game.
One Final Note - The owner of the bar is from the Pittsburgh area, so in addition to there being Penn State stuff all over the place, there is also a lot of Steelers love, and I'm pretty sure that would be a good place to go watch the Steelers play if you wanted to. Other alumni groups use the bar as well, which can be fun. This year it is the University of Florida. Last year it was Michigan, which provided for some good times (especially week 1).
Pierce St. & Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA
Take #30 bus from the Convention District/Chinatown/Fisherman's Wharf
Take #22 bus from BART Church Station, but it's a longish ride
Food/Beer - A good selection of beers that you'd expect to find in an Irish bar. They let you take food in and there's a good burger place right next door. Relatively affordable considering it's the Marina district.
TV Setup - I recall 5-6 mid-sized flat screens mounted around the bar. One of the owners is a PSU grad, so they should always have the game available.
Seating/Atmosphere - I watched the PSU-Iowa game there in 2007. Smaller place, but filled with good Penn State fans. I would get a table a half-hour early for big games. Friendly bartenders. Located in a beautiful part of town.
One Final Note - Apparently the area has a reputation of being stuck up and preppy, but pretty much all of San Francisco looked that way. Act like you just don't care and you'll be fine. There were also a sizeable contingent of Texas A&M fans at the bar. Aggies that live in San Fran... I still can't wrap my head around that one.
3301 Buchanan St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
Parking/Metro Suggestions: Street, Parking Lot Near by
Food/Beer - Some say this is the best Philly Cheesesteaks place in the westcoast. Many agree that it is the best in the bay area. I like their bbq buffalo wings. Beer special 22oz glass!
TV Setup - Giantic flatscreen on all different corners. Surround sound systems and even speakers in the bathroom so you will not miss an action.
Seating/Atmosphere - A small place, but very homely and philadelphia feel. The cheesesteaks, philadelphia memorabilia are all over the walls (wallpaper of boat house on Schuylkill River). Nittany Lions fans gather here about 30mins to 1 hr before the game, every saturday. Aside from Penn St. game, their Directv/satellite offers every college/pro games.
One Final Note - Owner is from Philadelphia and is a die-hard Penn st. fan. Order at the counter!
140 4th Ave N Seattle WA 98109
*Decent street parking is usually available. Also several nearby pay lots, and this season they're offering $1 parking in their garage.
Food/Beer - Get the non-menu special if there is one. The chef is actually very talented, but his recipes get diluted down for the high volume stuff. The food specialty is fancy-ish bar food - I really dig the artichoke-chili-crab dip. The beer selection is pretty tame by northwest standards (10 or so microbrews plus domestics) and nothing's cheap.
TV Setup - Small flatscreens at every booth. A ton of hi-def big screens. I'll just cut and paste from the website: 1 - 130" High Definition TV, 2 - 50" Plasma TV's, 13 - 42" Plasma TV's, 8 - 17" LCD Booth TV's, 5 - 20" LCD Booth TV's, 10 - 27" Flat Screen TV's on the patio for the outdoor seating. In short - there's tvs everywhere.
Seating/Atmosphere - This is the 'official' PSU bar and we get the big tv on game day. There's more of us out here than you may think, so show up an hour early for seating in the main area near the big tv. Unless there's a conflict with a U-Wash. game, seating's rarely a problem in the rest of the place.
One Final Note - This is the perfect place to sit in a cooshy booth for 10 hours on a Saturday drinking beer and eating good bar food. No indoor smoking (like the entire city). On very heavy days they kick you out of the booth after your game is over.
Name of bar: Charann's Tavern
Street Address: 6821 W Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL 33634
Web Address, if available: www.charanns.com
Parking/Metro Suggestions: Official Bar of the Penn State Chapter of Greater Tampa Alumni Group with plenty of parking! Conveniently located near the Veterans Expressway!
Food/Beer - Charann’s Tavern sports bar and grill is the home of the often imitated, but never duplicated "Original Tampa Cheesesteak Sandwich"! They also have cheese fries like you remember em and lots of other great sandwich and food selections to choose from. All reasonably priced. There is a wide selection of draft beers to choose from. Yuengling included! Draft beer is $1.75 or $2.00, Pitchers for $5.25 -$9.25 depending on size and type.
TV Setup - 17 Televisions tuned to Penn State Games... well there may be one tuned in to keep an eye on the competition, but all TV's are focused on what is important... all things Penn State of course.
Seating/Atmosphere - There is always a seat, but to get the best one's arrive prior to game time! There is a raffle throughout the game, with a variety of Penn State memorabilia for the pickins. Be ready to Cheer, jeer and chant during the game! WE ARE... PENN STATE... WE ARE... PENN STATE... WE ARE... PENN STATE.... THANK YOU... YOUR WELCOME
One Final Note - The owners are wonderful, as is their staff! They have been serving the local alumni group for 3 years now and we LOVE coming back year after year! Let this be the year you join us!
Texas Bar and Grill
(This is where the North TX Alumni Association goes)
220 E. Las Colinas Blvd. #260, Irving TX (Actually in Las Colinas)
Park in the garage adjacent or on Las Colinas Blvd.
Food/Beer - Couldn't tell you. Only been there once, but the general reviews online aren't good.
TV Setup - Big Screens, projectors, Penn State on every TV.
Seating/Atmosphere - I was only there once, for the PSU - OSU game in '02 and it was jammed. I'd guess about 200 people and I arrived at kickoff and was left standing room only.
One Final Note - Go here if you want to meet lots of alums. It's mostly the older crowd with families, etc. I avoid it for a few reasons: It's like sitting in the cranky alumni section of the stadium, while being centrally located within the metroplex it is too far for us City dwellers that want to imbibe, and lastly, you can't watch any other games but PSU.
Christie's Sports Bar and Grill
This place is for the uptown/downtown Dallas crowd set in a walkable urban location.
2811 McKinney Ave., Dallas, TX
There is a garage in the back off Worthington St. or just park anywhere nearby on the street in Uptown
Food/Beer - This place has the best wings this side of Pazzos at the Darkhorse.
TV Setup - There are three big screen projectors and TVs everywhere. Since a few PSU fans are regulars and have been going here every game for the last 12 years, we get our one TV every week, right up front, right when you walk in. They even upgraded us to a flat screen finally.
Seating/Atmosphere - We've got our front section every week. And we tend to have ownership of the front two tv's, putting on PSU and any other game we have particular interest in. From our vantage point up front we can see every TV and can keep an eye on every other game as well. PSU tends to play 11 am games CST so there is rarely much of a crowd at that time. For later games, we always have our spot but the rest of the bar is packed with fans of every school you can imagine filling the place making or a pretty jumping atmosphere. While Frankie's and the MAT are also "sports bars" they are more uptown bars. Christie's is pure sports bar with plenty of bars and restaurants nearby to wander to afterwards.
One Final Note - Since I've been going here since 2003, we generally range from the same 5 regulars up to about 15 or so for big games.
Rhino Bar & Pumphouse
3295 M St NW, Washington, DC
*Parking is limited in Georgetown. You could find a spot several blocks north or head for the parking garage in the Georgetown mall. On the Metro, take the Orange/Blue line to Rosslyn and walk across the Key Bridge.
Food/Beer - This year’s specials include $2 Miller Lite bottles, $8 Miller Lite and Yuengling 60 oz. pitchers, $.25 wings, $10 16-inch pizzas, and $2 "We Are Penn State" Shooters. (appears to be from 2007, may or may not still be the case)
TV Setup - The game in on two large projectors and several smaller TVs around the upstairs section of the bar. Full sound during the game with music pumped in during commercials. Mostly 80's music and Penn State songs.
Seating/Atmosphere - If you want a seat you will probably have to get their early, there are lines there around 10:30 and the place is pretty much full by noon. The bar is crowded all day, so for afternoon games you either need to show up for the early set at noon or get lucky. There room to stand.
One Final Note -Remember that the games are always upstairs, and unfortunately the place is an Ohio State bar as well, with Buckeye games shown on the first level.
4000 Fairfax Drive Arlington, VA;
Parking/Metro Suggestions Small parking lot at the bar. Metered street parking in area with 2 hour limit. Police are strict about enforcing "No feeding the meters". If you park on the street you'll have to move the car at halftime. Located a few blocks from Balston Metro stop on Orange Line.
Food/Beer - Food's decent for a bar, good beer specials for the area.
TV Setup - Multiple TV's around the place including several HDTV's and at least one projector. PSU game visible on at least one TV from just about any spot in the place. Other games of interest on small TV's here and there.
Seating/Atmosphere - Official viewing place for the DC Metro Alumni Assn. 90% PSU fans & plenty of cheers and PSU music during the game. The place used to be an auto repair garage at one time, and they open the overhead bay doors if the weather's nice. You can still see the TV's from outside.
The bar splits the place into two rooms, probably the store front and garage when it was still auto repair. Front area is a little more laid back with a few couches set up like a living room, bar stools arranged at a counter facing the bar and pool table. Garage area is 2 stories high and is definitely the more raucous during the game.
One Final Note - Get there >30 minutes early for a noon game and you'll just about have your pick of seats. Plan on an hour if you want to sit for a later game. The place is pretty full for all games, but there's plenty of standing room if the seats are gone. Not that far from Rhino Bar, but is the more laid back and family friendly of the two, with better parking & Metro access.
In Brief From The Comments (if you want to help us out and provide a full profile, see the bottom of the post)...
Fort Myers, FL
(that's all we got right now)
Greater Washington, D.C.
4901 Fairmont Avenue Bethesda, MD;
Ready to see JoePa score a big victory? Look for other Penn Staters in the Trophy Room, and enjoy $2 Miller Lite drafts, $3.50 Yuengling drafts, $6 Lite pitchers, $10 Yuengling Pitchers, $15 Miller Lite Towers and half-priced appetizers. Our Maryland site is a short walk from the Bethesda Metro stop (Red Line), and close to several parking garages.
Ned Devine’s Herndon
2465 Centreville Road Herndon, VA
Located just south of the Dulles Toll Road (Centreville Road exit), Penn Staters will have a private space on the Kelly’s side of the bar, and will enjoy $3 Miller Lite and Yuengling bottles during the games.
SRO SPORTS BAR & CAFÉ (NORTHWEST MALL)
9800 Hempstead Rd, 444 Northwest Mall, Houston, TX 77092
Meeting place for local PSU Alumni Association.
Fox and Hound
301 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC
Johnny’s Restaurant and Bar
1017 Russell Blvd
St Louis, MO 63104
Johnny’s Restaurant and Bar has been the place for PSU football for the last 3 years…the PSU Alumni Association St.L Chapter has tons of events there during and after the season. The owner is a Notre Dame Guy, but def. is PSU friendly as he has converted one of the viewing rooms into a total PSU room, complete with neon Lion logo sign and cardboard Joe Pa…Tons of tv’s, great food, local flavor…
The Greatest Bar
262 Friend Street, Boston, MA
Meeting place for local PSU Alumni Association.