As the infamous student-created holiday State Patty’s Day approaches, local bars and bottle shops plan for college students to pour in. Penn Staters and out-of-town students alike are expected to celebrate the holiday in true Penn State fashion, and local businesses are planning ahead to keep downtown under control.
In the past, the State College borough paid bars and bottle shops to shut down in an attempt to cut down on drinking. However, students have always found a way to get their hands on a drink, Brewsky’s Bottle Shop General Manager Chuck Patterson said.
“State Patty’s Day is nowhere as crazy as it used to be,” Patterson said.
Brewsky’s was one of the local bottle shops that closed for the holiday two years ago. However, Patterson said the crowd was fairly mild last year.
“We plan to stay open this year, but we’ll shut down if the night gets out of hand,” Patterson said.
Patterson said he believes the introduction of THAW, a festival dedicated to uniting the Penn State and State College community through musical acts performed by local artists, has helped cut down on the drinking scene by giving students an alternative activity the same weekend as State Patty’s Day.
Primanti Brothers’ General Manager Greg DuBois isn’t too concerned about the holiday either.
“Last year we had just opened in State College and we had a great day,” Dubois said.
DuBois said he was surprised by the mildness of the large crowd the restaurant brought in last year and hopes to see a similar turn out this year.
Primanti Brothers will not be offering any specialty items for the holiday other than the restaurant’s regular Saturday night special, the Drunk Duck, Dubois said.
“We’re a college bar and we like to have fun, but responsibility is our priority,” DuBois said.
Primanti Brothers always cards customers and State Patty’s Day will be no exception, DuBois said.
Tim Riefel, the manager of the Phyrst and General Manager of Local Whiskey, said it isn’t the Penn State students who give him trouble, but rather the friends Penn State students invite into State College for the weekend.
Riefel said he may have more employees working State Patty’s weekend as a precautionary measure.
“We want to provide a fun environment for our customers and participating employees, but safety is definitely our top concern,” Riefel said.
Neither the Phyrst nor Local Whiskey plans to upcharge their drinks on State Patty’s Day, and a cover charge for the bars has yet to be determined, Riefel said.
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