Downtown State College has been in the process of getting a facelift this summer with significant changes to the downtown dining scene being made. Losing iconic restaurants in the area can be difficult, especially for alumni that like things to be left how it was when they graduated. As iconic restaurants are lost, new chains take their place, proving that venues don’t go unoccupied for very long. So what has changed while students have been away, and what do these new dining spots have to offer?
Inferno’s switch to HiWay Pizza
HiWay Pizza, taking the place of what previously was Inferno’s spot on East College Avenue, opened its third location in State College late this past May. Its menu will mirror its other locations, serving a full menu of pizzas, salads, wings, burgers, cheesesteaks and more. Old things truly become new again — the pizza chain has been seen in downtown State College before, first opening on Hiester Street back in 1963. HiWay currently has two other locations in the area: one on North Atherton Street, and one on West College Avenue.
Roots Natural Kitchen
Opened this past July, Roots Natural Kitchen took the empty space next to Frutta Bowl on the first floor of The Edge apartments on East Beaver Avenue. The restaurant chain is based in college towns across the east coast, with State College being its fifth location. Known for its health-conscious eats, Roots offers signature salads and grain bowls, also allowing customers to create their own from a variety of salad and grain bases. Roots offers a wide variety of options for vegetarian and vegan dietary restrictions, its diverse menu providing healthy meal options to appeal to everyone.
Hello Bistro, a chain owned by the Eat’n Park franchise, will be replacing the beloved Ye Olde College Diner. The Diner closed its doors in April 2018 after operating under various names for nearly 80 years in downtown State College. Construction on the lot has already begun, as the new Hello Bistro will be home to a newly renovated building. With a menu including an extensive list of fresh salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers and grilled cheese, the restaurant is known for its quickly served comfort food. Hello Bistro is scheduled to open its doors to the State College community this September.
Construction has commenced on the lot previously occupied by the Citizens Bank building on West College Avenue, turning it into the popular Pittsburgh burger chain, BRGR. BRGR is known for its signature gourmet burgers, as well as creative dishes that will add some diversity to the State College dining scene. The burger restaurant is projected to open by the end of 2019.