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King Encouraging State College Bars to Close or Adjust Hours for State Patty's Day

on February 17, 2012 2:25 PM

State College police Chief Tom King is leaning on borough bars and other local beer sellers to limit their hours or close completely on State Patty's Day this month, King confirmed Friday.

He said at least three -- the Lion's Den, 118 S. Garner St.; the Shandygaff, 212 E. Calder Way; and the soon-to-launch Levels, 420 E. College Ave. -- have already shared plans to close that day. (An earlier report about the Den and 'gaff closings is posted here.)

King also is encouraging local landlords to monitor their apartments closely over the unofficial drinking holiday, set for Feb. 25, he said.

And he asked the state Liquor Control Board to consider closing or limiting hours at its four State College-area liquor stores that day. The PLCB confirmed this week that it will close its local stores three hours early.

King's requests are part of community efforts to calm State Patty's Day, now entering its sixth year in State College. Police fielded a record number of calls -- and made a record number of arrests -- during the event weekend last year.

The scene probably would have been worse if numerous downtown establishments had not adjusted their operations, borough officials have said. A number of bars, including those owned by Dante's Inc., closed or reduced their hours for State Patty's Day 2011. Many that stayed open took other steps, such as limiting crowd levels.

As a result, King said, many out-of-town bar-hoppers were left unhappy, lingering in long lines and dissatisfied that they didn't have easier alcohol access.

"I heard a lot of out-of-town people saying how lame this is," King said of his own downtown rounds. He would like a similar effect to materialize this year, he said.

He sent nonbinding letters Tuesday to downtown bar operators, King said. Each encouraged its recipient to close completely or lessen hours of operation Feb. 25 -- or, barring that, to limit crowd capacity and eliminate drink specials.

As of Friday morning, he said, he had received no angry replies from any establishment owners.

On another front, King said he sent letters Tuesday to about 380 State College landlords. In that correspondence, he encouraged the property owners to keep close watch over their rentals on State Patty's Day weekend. He also shared a note intended for their tenants; it encourages residents not to host excessive numbers of guests, and to follow the borough's noise and related quality-of-life standards.

With regard to the state-owned liquor stores, King said he sent his letter to the PLCB about two weeks ago.

Other local efforts to undercut State Patty's Day include a Penn State Greek-life decision to halt partying that day. Penn State has limited the number of guests its dorm residents can host that weekend. And community and student groups are collaborating for a Community Volunteer Weekend, featuring a number of events. (More details are outlined in this earlier column.)

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