Penn State and State College Community Grapple with Planned Mad Mex Closure | University park campus news
After hearing that the State College’s Mad Mex location will close Nov. 28 pending the sale of Days Inn by Wyndham Penn State, former student John Richter said he has “no idea” where he will be going when of his next visit to the region.
Mad Mex has many fond memories for Richter – of the night he spent evenings with friends as a college student.
Richter, who graduated in 2008, described Mad Mex as a “great institution” and “always a great place to relax”.
He said he loved Mad Mex margaritas and tried to return to the restaurant every time he returned to State College.
“It’s usually one of our first stops,” he said.
Student Adam Stone said he and his girlfriend recently found Mad Mex.
“We love it because it’s one of the few places in town that has good vegetarian and vegan options,” Stone (geoscience graduate) said. “For a college town, State College is surprisingly not very good with vegetarian and vegan food.”
Stone said there are still other great food options like Kaarma Indian Cuisine Redefined, Roots Natural Kitchen, and Yallah Taco.
As a state college resident who works for Penn State, Denise Wall said she usually visits Mad Mex in the summer when there aren’t many students.
“Standing in that line is a little weird for me,” Wall said of his fall visit.
Wall lamented the lack of other restaurants with an outdoor patio like Mad Mex at State College.
“There aren’t a ton of other places like this,” Scanlon said.
Wall said she hopes Mad Mex can “find another place.”
Erin O’Leary said she loves Mad Mex burritos and margaritas.
“I have been here several times over the years,” said O’Leary. “There is a great atmosphere. “
O’Leary, who currently lives in Boston, owned Old State Clothing Co., and she and her employees were hanging out with Mad Mex for a burrito night.
There isn’t another bar in State College like Mad Mex where “you can watch games and do a lot of stuff outside,” O’Leary said.
“I wish the staff [of Mad Mex] well, and hopefully they find something to replace Mad Mex, ”O’Leary said.
Although she’s only been to Mad Mex a few times, student Jonah Grove said she wanted to “check before it closes”.
“It was just a nice place to meet up with friends,” said Grove (senior-accountant).
Grove said she will likely continue to visit Plaza Mexican for Mexican food after Mad Mex closes.
Tyler Goehrung described Mad Mex as “a cool, relaxing bar to go with. [his] mates. ”He said he thought Mad Mex’s outdoor patio set him apart from other bars, like Wall.
“Most of the bars here are just inside, but this bar has both inside and outside [spaces]”said Goehrung (higher sciences).
Goehrung said he liked other bars like Doggie’s Pub and Champs, but said they are often “busy” which is why he likes Mad Mex.
State College resident Erik Bakken said it was rare for Mad Mex to be able to use the patio in mid-November.
Rey Azteca and Plaza Mexican have always been Bakken favorites for “authentic” Mexican cuisine. He said he considered Mad Mex more of a “Tex-Mex” restaurant.
Bakken has said he will miss Mad Mex, but when he’s gone he’ll still enjoy bars like Barrel 21, Otto’s Pub and Brewery, and Doggie’s.
Bill Fuller, president and CEO of the large restaurant group Burrito, said he’s not sure what will replace Mad Mex, but the company is looking for other locations at State College.
MORE CAMPUS COVERAGE
The Original Harlem Globetrotters arrive at Penn State and will perform in Bryce Jor…