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Primanti Bros. Grand Opening Draws Enormous Crowds

by on January 24, 2015 10:00 AM

The long-awaited grand opening of Pittsburgh favorite Primanti Bros. in State College finally came on Friday afternoon. The sandwich shop and bar let in its first customers just shy of a scheduled 3 p.m. start time.

A small group of approximately ten customers took advantage of a surprise early opening and were served the first sandwiches and drinks in the new establishment. Within an hour, a line wrapped around into Calder Way and Primanti Bros. reported waiting times of up to 45 minutes.

The crowd was a peppered mixture of Pittsburgh-based loyalists to the Primanti Bros. chain and newcomers coming to try the well-hyped joint for the first time. Tim Rinehart, a 21-year-old Penn State student, had been to one of the Pittsburgh sandwich shops once before.

“I thought it was a really great experience. I think it rivals the restaurants in Pittsburgh,” Rinehart says. “It seems like it was a very smooth opening and a successful one based on how long the line was. The service was fast. The food was great. The pastrami sandwich was one of the best I've ever had.”

Rinehart added that he thinks Primanti Bros., which doubles as a late-night watering hole, will become a staple amongst Penn State students within the State College night scene.

“I think they'll be really popular among the Greek community as a bar but the average student will find it to be a great place to go for lunch or drinks at night,” Rinehart says.

“It’s going very well. We were supposed to open at 3 p.m. but we got a little too anxious and we opened up at 2:30 p.m. instead,” says Mike Mitcham, operations director at the restaurant. “We’ve been looking forward to coming to State College for a long, long time and it’s almost like Christmas day for us.”

Mitcham says he wasn’t surprised by the enormous turnout for the grand opening, which drew a line of at least one hundred that lasted for hours.

“I don’t want to boast, but we were expecting a really big turnout today. I’ve been here for a few weeks now and just the buzz around town about the restaurant made it seem like everyone was really excited for us to open,” Mitcham says.

Penn State student Andrew Calderon, 21, thinks the restaurant has the potential to shake up the State College bar scene.

“I definitely feel like it could have the type of gathering to become a staple of sorts in State College,” Calderon says. “There were really cool decorations and just a really great ambiance in general. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a bar or restaurant quite like it in State College.”


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Zach Berger is the managing editor of He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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