Damon's Grill Replaced by New LettermanS Restaurant
A new flavor hits Happy Valley this month with the unveiling of LettermanS, a local restaurant occupying the former Damon’s Bar & Grill building on East College Avenue - and yes, the capitalization is intentional.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to provide a quality dining experience for central Pennsylvania residents and visitors,” managing partner Scott Balboni said.
While the LettermanS name has obvious athletic ties, it was selected to be inclusive for a much broader audience, including those looking for a family restaurant, a sports bar atmosphere, a soft-seating wine area, a stadium room or private banquet rooms.
“It’s important to change the feel of the environment,” added Balboni.
The new restaurant will feature a 100-person sports bar on the top level, along with a more intimate and enticing wine lounge. Balboni said that remodeling is underway, but there are plans to keep things fully operational during the process. He projects the entire interior and exterior renovation phases to be completed by Penn State’s graduation weekend in May.
LettermanS’s connection to Penn State will be greater than just its locale. The new color scheme of blue, white, and gray will make students, alumni and fans feel right at home at the foothills of Beaver Stadium and the Bryce Jordan Center.
The partner consortium that launched LettermanS is proud to continue to host the Thursday night James Franklin and Patrick Chambers shows and the Penn State baseball show with Coach Rob Cooper on Mondays. The restaurant also has plans to add the popular Keith “Goon” Conlin podcast and call-in show.
The changes to LettermanS are not simply cosmetic. Geno Maley, a 20-year veteran of local restaurant operations, has been named as the general manager. Maley points out that while LettermanS’s menu will be enhanced, the restaurant will still have many of the traditional favorites that people have come to expect.
Balboni said that the menu will be refined over the next few weeks and be fully implemented by Penn State football’s Blue-White Weekend.
The lunch and dinner menu will provide a wide selection of appetizers and salads, including cheesesteak egg rolls, handmade crab cakes, char-grilled Caesar salad, and a new spinach and goat cheese salad. Several chicken, seafood, and beef entrees will enhance these choices.
The staple of the LettermanS menu will be its traditional BBQ as well as a new hand-pounded burger menu. The establishment will continue to be available for catering events on and off site and to offer the popular game-day pick-up and delivery options.
Balboni and his partners would like to see LettermanS contribute mightily to the before and after gameday experiences. However, in the grand scheme of things, they aim to cater to concert crowds and local community events just as well.
“We want LettermanS to be a great place for local people, or those from out of town, to come in and experience everything we have to offer,” said Balboni.