Bars 101: How To Navigate The Downtown State College Lines

photo posted by @lineleap on Instagram

Calling all incoming 21-year-olds for VALLEY’s official guide on how to navigate the Downtown State College bars lines. 

Turning the legal age to drink is a life-changing moment, especially here at Penn State. There are various spots to hang out and socialize while purchasing an alcoholic beverage. However, these bars can become overwhelmingly packed or have an extremely long line depending on time. 

Before diving into the details, VALLEY evaluates the weekend considering Thursday night to Saturday night. Times can range throughout the days which will be specified throughout.   

If there is an event occurring at Penn State, this is a huge game changer for when you need to arrive at the bars. Two of the biggest are gameday weekends in the fall, the numerous bar crawls and State Patty’s Day. 

On a normal weekend during the nighttime,  places such as Primanti Bros, also known as Pmans, and Champs Downtown, it is safe to arrive around 9:30. Both of these bars offer happy hour from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. with extremely cheap deals which is why their lines form pretty fast. If there is a line, it’ll move quickly due to the less amount of people. When it hits closer to happy hour, around 10:30 p.m., it can be a long wait and in the spring with the cold weather, it can be especially brutal. 

For game day weekends, these rules fly out the window and bring a whole new rule book, especially for White Out. Listen, every place is going to be mobbed. Beaver Stadium approximately has a little over 107,000 seats, now put that in terms of all the visitors that want to go out the night before and after the game. Everywhere is going to have a line. The best time, if you want to be safe, on a Friday night, is around 8:30 p.m. And so, we’re fully not joking. On game day, it depends the time the game is which gives a little flexibility. 

Photo posted by @allthingspman on Instagram

The best way to navigate the time to go without paying a high LineLeap price is to stalk the LineLeap pricing that week. Some bars have a standard price for the night but when it moves up, oh get ready for the lines. The pricing becomes higher when an excess of people are purchasing the skip pass. For example, Primanti Bros is $20 every night on LineLeap. Whiteout weekend their standard price was $40 and raised up to $100 for the Friday night before the game. The line at 7 p.m. turned into a 4-hour wait. When they say time is money, they are not joking. Champs Downtown also gets extremely packed on game days and their standard LineLeap price is $10. Even on a typical night, if that price goes up, prepare to go earlier to avoid paying those extra pieces.

Photo posted by @champspennstate on Instagram

Also, Champs Downtown is one of the few places that offers an option to purchase drinks through LineLeap. You can sync your card to the app, buy your drink, and it makes it easier for the bartender to tap your screen and make your drink without the transaction at the end. It makes the entire process quicker for both parties. 

Photo posted by @doggiespubstatecollege on Instagram

A few day drinking spots such as Doggie’s Pub and Cafe 210, the earlier in the day the better. In the winter, Doggie’s Pub on a Saturday forms a line around 3 p.m. but typically moves within approximately 30 minutes unless it is parent’s weekend for some Greek life or a concert is playing at the Bryce Jordan Center. On a warm Saturday, wake-up time is early. Doggie’s Pub has a beautiful outside with corn hole and long tables to sit at, but everyone loves this place when the weather is warm. The Doggies line will start to become extremely long., especially during bar crawls. The best time to arrive is around 12 to 1 p.m. because afterward, the place is at capacity and that’s when you wait so long in line to enter. 

Photo posted by @bptaproom on Instagram

Another spot that is not on the weekends is Bill Pickles Tap Room for their Tuesday Country Nights. Typically when the weather is warmer, this line can get up to a two to three-hour wait around 5 p.m. that wraps around the corner room and sometimes Chumley’s. The best advice to go to Country Night is to go as early as you can, preferably around 3 p.m. if you do not want to wait or later on around 9:30 p.m. but still consider your classes. 

Which Downtown State College bar are you most excited to try out? Let us know by tagging @VALLEYMag on Instagram and Twitter!

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