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Brothers Bar & Grill Opens in Downtown State College

A new restaurant and sports bar is open in downtown State College.

Brothers Bar & Grill opened Thursday at 134 S. Allen St., according to posts on its Instagram and Facebook accounts. The location was previously home to an Amazon pick-up store that closed in 2022.

Founded in 1990 by brothers Marc and Eric Fortney in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, Brothers now has 17 locations in 10 states. State College is its easternmost location.

Serving lunch, dinner and late night food, Brothers’ menu includes wings and appetizers, salads, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, tacos and mac and cheese, along with a kids menu. It also has a full bar with drink specials.

“Our food’s terrific but it’s casual dining,” Marc Fortney told State College Borough Council during a January 2023 liquor license transfer hearing. “We’re not a gourmet place but we’ve got really good handmade food. The only thing frozen on our menu is french fries.”

Anticipated hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

Brothers locations offer a family-friendly environment with a large menu, Marc Fortney said, though after 9 p.m. they are limited to 21 and older unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. The full menu is served until 10 p.m. and a late-night menu of appetizers is served until close.

The restaurant will have seating for 235 and bar seating for 35, the Fortneys told borough council last year. They added that they expected the location would employ more than 100 people.

Borough council approved Brothers’ liquor license transfer in February 2023 after some debate over conditions that should be attached. Ultimately, the approval any did not require any conditions for a food-to-alcohol sales ratio or restrictions on alcoholic beverage sizes and happy hours, as had been originally proposed. It does require food be available at any time alcohol is sold.

The Fortneys indicated they paid about $500,000 to acquire the liquor license from Fuji & Jade Garden, when chose not to transfer it when it moved from Westerly Parkway Plaza in State College to the Northland Center in Ferguson Township.

At least one council member expressed reservations last year about bringing another bar into the downtown.

Jonathan Friedman, whose family’s real estate business owns the building, said he believes Brothers will add value to the downtown community while filling a commercial vacancy — something the borough has sought to address in recent years with the proliferation of new space brought in with high-rise construction.

“Inside our own internal structure of what we see strategically for the downtown and what we think will add vitality and energy to the community, the brothers represent the best opportunity for this space that we have come across in the over a year we’ve had to lease the space,” Friedman said.