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Glory Days: The New Trophy Room at the Graduate Hotel Embraces the Moment with a ‘Playful’ Menu

There’s a new restaurant and bar in Happy Valley – and it’s quickly becoming a fan favorite.

In August, the Graduate State College Hotel opened the Trophy Room at 125 South Atherton Street.

Food and Beverage Manager Brian Walker says the Trophy Room “is a signature Graduate Hotels food and beverage concept, offering classic American dishes with a youthful spin.

“Located in select Graduate properties across the country, Trophy Room offers guests and locals alike a dining destination complete with playful menu items reflecting regional flavors and local influences.”

There are several other Graduate Hotels in college towns. You can find them in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Evanston, Illinois, and Charlottesville, Virginia, among other places.

The Trophy Room has its share of signature dishes.

“In addition to Trophy Room classics like the Graduate Smash Burger, we pay homage to the Nittany Lion spirit with signature dishes including the Roaring Reuben and Mount Nittany Quesadilla, and cocktails, including the Ms. State College and Pennsylvania Mule,” Walker explains.

Just looking for some appetizers? Well, for starters, there’s a Hummus Tray, which features pita bread and vegetables ($7). Graduate Cheese Fries ($8) feature cheddar cheese, chives, bacon, and ranch over a bed of French fries. Buffalo Fried Cauliflower ($11) features cauliflower with buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and ranch. The Mount Nittany Quesadilla ($10) comes with cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, sour cream, and salsa.

If you like salads, there’s a mouthwatering Cobb Salad ($9) with chopped romaine lettuce, tomato, crispy bacon, egg, and avocado. There’s also a classic Caesar ($9), which features romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, parmesan cheese, and croutons, of course. You can add grilled chicken to each salad for an additional four bucks.

The main dishes are served with fries. Topping the list is the Graduate Smash Burger ($12), which features a grilled beef patty, American cheese, and Graduate Comeback Sauce.

“As far as food goes, the Smash Burger is a hit. Guests also gravitate toward the signature dishes as well, since they are such a fun way to honor State College,” Walker says.

Popular dishes at the Trophy Room include the Roaring Reuben. Photo by Darren Andrew Weimert | Town&Gown

There’s also a classic comfort food – grilled cheese and tomato soup ($11). The grilled chicken avocado club ($13) features grilled chicken, of course, with bacon and avocado. Can’t get to Beaver Stadium for a chicken basket? Well the Trophy Room has you covered with chicken tenders and fries ($11), which come with Comeback Sauce. There’s also that Roaring Reuben ($14).

There is a vast cocktail menu. Some of the cocktails include a local theme. There’s Happy Valley Water (strawberry vodka, cranberry juice, soda, basil, and lemon peel), the Ms. State College (gin, St. Germaine, grapefruit juice, soda, and lemon peel), and Atherton Giggle Juice (vodka, Bellefonte’s own Big Spring Spirits coconut rum, sour, and soda).

If those don’t strike your fancy, there’s an Adult Capri Sun (vodka, blue curacao, pineapple, and lime), a Beergarita (tequila, Corona beer, lime, salt), Rumor Has It (Holla vodka, blue curacao, grenadine, soda, lemon juice), and a Gameday Pink Lemonade (Holla cinnamon vodka, lemonade, grenadine splash, and lemon peel).

The Ms. State College and the Pennsylvania Mule are the most popular cocktails, Walker says.

There are several popular beers on draft, including Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite, Blue Moon, Yuengling Lager, New Trail Broken Heels, and Yards G.W. Porter. There’s also a vast selection of bottled beer.

The Trophy Room sells wine by the glass and bottle, too. There’s a Dark Horse Pinot Grigio, a Dark Horse Chardonnay, a Starborough Sauvignon Blanc, a Dark Horse Rose and a Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon.

As for the name? The Trophy Room? Where did it come from? 

“The Trophy Room concept takes inspiration from the nostalgia of reliving one’s glory days. It’s about celebrating life and embracing the moment. The menu reflects that youthful optimism throughout,” Walker says. 

“Design in the space echoes the concept’s namesake with nods to local traditions and a range of festive accents. Our in-house design team sought to create a welcoming space for current students, alums, and visitors to gather. Fun, locally-inspired details include tones of PSU’s iconic white and dark blue colors throughout,” Walker says.

Photo by Darren Andrew Weimert | Town&Gown

Thus far, Walker says, the community has welcomed the Trophy Room with open arms.

“We’re thrilled with the reception we’ve had from locals. Our menu and casual atmosphere lend themselves well to informal gatherings, reunion weekends, and game days. We hope to be a go-to spot whether rooting for PSU or just looking for a convenient bite,” Walker says.

The Trophy Room is open 4 p.m. to midnight on Thursdays; 7 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to midnight on Fridays; 7 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays; and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

For more information about the Trophy Room or to take a closer look at the menu, visit graduatehotels.com/state-college.

This story appears in the November 2021 issue of Town&Gown.