Ye Olde College Diner has been closed for almost three years now, completely remodeled into the Hello Bistro that took its place. And many, if not most, of the students currently at Penn State never even knew it was there. That begs the question: are grilled stickies a thing of Penn State’s past?
If you didn’t already know, a grilled sticky is basically the halfway point between a cinnamon roll and a sticky bun, coated in butter and sugar. Though it is more of a breakfast food, it was also sometimes served as a dessert, with an added scoop of vanilla ice cream giving it the name “Mount Nittany.” No matter the time of day, though, the combination of its sweet flavor and gooey texture made it a go-to form of comfort food for the Penn State community, before the diner closed in April 2018.
Berkey Creamery even has a flavor modeled after the famous grilled stickies, which they introduced in the same month as the diner’s closing. In their description of the flavor, Berkey Creamery refers to the grilled sticky as “a Penn State staple,” saying that it will “take you back to your college days (and nights).”
Years before its closing, Ye Olde College Diner, which was at 126 W. College Ave., was a hotspot. It had been in business serving the families of State College and the students of Penn State for almost 80 years.
The headline of a 2009 article in The Collegian said the diner “stands the test of time.” And while the rest of the article detailed both the good and bad changes in business, it is clear that the diner was still seeing much success less than a decade before its closing, largely in part to the grilled stickies for which it was best known. In fact, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the owner, Dan Rallis, told Altoona’s WTAJ-TV that one of the reasons for closing was being unable to manage the demand for grilled stickies while simultaneously keeping the diner open.
Once a staple of Penn State culture, the diner’s famed grilled stickies are now being made for wholesale at a manufacturing facility in nearby Boalsburg, according to grilledstickies.com. They sell boxes of the grilled stickies on the same website, and are ready and able to ship straight to your house! They are also available for purchase at The Corner Room in downtown State College, at Berkey Creamery on Penn State’s campus, and at various grocery stores all over Central PA.
Grilled stickies have come highly recommended by the Penn State community over the years, and VALLEY would love to know your thoughts on keeping the tradition alive. Tweet us @VALLEYmag or tag us on Instagram @VALLEYmag with your favorite grilled stickies recipes!