409 Pizza and Win(g)s Restaurant Opens on East College Avenue
A new restaurant has come to State College with a distinctive name that celebrates the number of wins achieved by the late football coach Joe Paterno.
409 Pizza and Win(g)s opened July 10, replacing Little Mamma's Pizza at 444 E. College Ave.
Its menu boasts salads, pizzas, wings, sandwiches and desserts. Each day of the week, there is a special combination sale -- such as a sandwich and fountain drink -- for $4.09. There's some seating in the restaurant but not much, says Timothy Prisk, the general manager.
"For just a place that’s a small little pizza and wing restaurant, we have a really broad menu," says Prisk, a longtime State College resident.
Prisk says he came up with the name after a new owner took control of the establishment.
The restaurant's name commemorates the number of games won by Paterno before the NCAA stripped him of 111 victories from 1998-2011. That was part of the heavy sanctions handed down by the NCAA in July 2012, which included a $60 million fine, four-year bowl ban and scholarship reductions.
These sanctions, which set Joe Paterno at 298 wins instead of 409, were handed down after former FBI director Louis Freeh released a scathing report accusing top Penn State administrators of covering up child sexual abuse allegations involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Paterno was not charged in the case but the other three top university leaders -- Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley -- are awaiting trial on charges related to the Sandusky case.
The NCAA decision to remove Paterno's victories drew strong criticism from Penn State fans. Many believe he should not have had his victories removed because he was not charged or convicted of any wrongdoing. Others argue that players who won the games occurring from 1998 to 2011 were unfairly punished.
Prisk aligns himself with those who believe Paterno's victories should not have been removed.
"I've personally been a Penn state fan my whole life and a huge Joe Paterno guy," Prisk says. "I don’t think it’s right [the NCAA] took the wins away from him or the players in those games. They can take it away from the records but not from the hearts of us in this community."
Prisk says thus far, the response from alumni and State College residents has been positive. Some former football players even stopped in over Arts Fest and "really liked it," Prisk says.
Much of the summer business has come from summer students, construction workers and the surrounding office buildings.
409 Pizza and Win(g)s is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday. It's open from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The hours will most likely extend next month when students return for the fall semester.
To learn more, visit the restaurant's Facebook page by clicking HERE.