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Zeno's Pub

Not Rated.
Zeno's PubZeno's Pub

61 Reviews
Reviews: 61
Visits: 75
Avg: 4.47
pDev: n/a
Taps: 33
Bottles: 155
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

100 W College Ave
State College, Pennsylvania, 16801-3838
United States
phone: (814) 237-2857

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @zenospub

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 61 | Visits: 75
Reviews by CoolJosh:
Photo of CoolJosh
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

My absolute favorite bar, I usually make 2-3 stops here a week with or without my buddies. As you walk in, you're challenged by an old wooden dungeon-like door, which provides a real "ENTER IF YOU DARE,'' feeling. As you walk in, you step down into what a dark and cavernous cellar. Bar on the left. Behind the bar, is an incredible selection of some of the finest and hard to find beers, from all corners of North America and Europe. The Bar staff is phenomenal and very knowledgeable. They've always got a great suggestion when you're in need. Every Wednesday night, they offer one of the many awesome beers that Otto's brews on firkin. Every month, a beerfest occurs, and allows sampling of many different beers pertaining to a particular style. Another aspect that can be often overlooked is the fact that they have the right glass-wear for most styles of beer. They often showcase a wide variety of music acts, and according to one of my good buddies, Bryan Adams played here at an early point in his career. In short -- I love this bar.

REVISION: As pointed out by the Dave, it was actually Ryan Adams who played here in his early days, haha

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More User Reviews:
Photo of EMV
4.38/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Zeno's is an awesome dive bar right on College Ave. in State College that just happens to serve some of the best beer in town. They're located underground below the Allen Street Grill and have a small selection of pretty excellent taps. They always have Zeno's Rye (brewed for them in town by Otto's) and otherwise have a rotating selection of great craft brews as well as a stellar bottle selection. The ambiance is dive bar all the way... it's cramped and usually crowded, but it's not your typical college-age crowd. The later it gets the louder the music which kills the ambiance for me to be honest... to the point that I can't have a conversation with the person next to me. Otherwise I'd visit more often (that and the inconvenience of driving/parking downtown). Pool tables in the back for those interested... and not sure if they serve food (I've never noticed any but I haven't looked either). The reason to come is the beer.

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Photo of TheRealColby
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Haven't been to Zenos in 20 years despite living in State College since '79. Went recently for the Founders Day celebration: Kegs of CBS, KBS, Blushing Monk, Backwoods, Curmudgeon, Big Luscious and more. Big crowd of course but service was outstanding. Full menu from Corner Room available. Huge selection of Craft beers on tap and in bottles. Good job Desmond.

 368 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.89/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of pep
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of jgatz12
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of PAKeith
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Thunderbolt
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Barnsley
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of sLimmy2X
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of MikeKent
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of brewtechnik
4.65/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

In from NH and first spot I hit was Zeno's...
Cool basement entrance and doorman waiting to card, though not carded...must be the grays. Small to medium main room, with small game room off to the side. Trivia night was in full swing. Very small bar with all stools occupied...few open tables but being solo really wanted a bar spot. Tap list was fantastic, bottle list even better!! Lots of hard to come by beers...Bourbon County Barleywine & Stout, Plethora of Duck Rabbit, Nugget Nectar, Hair of the Dog: Otto, Michael, Adam annnd Fred! Really great stuff!

Bartender Dave was super busy but still made time to chat beer, pluss let me sample a few unlisted items that were real treats! Thanks again!

Band started at 10pm on this Monday night...really great but just wish I could remember the name :)

Had chicken tenders and fry basket...large portions and standard quality. Service was pretty quick.

Prob going back this eve for more...highly recommended

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Photo of Uniobrew31
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of ridgeline23
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of ejimhof
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of pcsnyder
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

It's a dark, stony basement bar with an excellent selection and a good rotation. I can usually find hard to get beers there. It's a must-stop place on St. Patty's and during Arts Fest. We usually meet up with some friends there, shoot some pool, play some pinball, and enjoy a lot of beer.

 289 characters

Photo of Ixian
3.1/5  rDev -30.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Have been happy with Zeno's in the past, with my usual being to get 2 pitchers of beer followed by 2-3 shots of Southern Comfort, but tonight I was just told basically to piss off by the employee behind the counter after only two beers and can say that after the way I was dealt with they will never get my money again. It really is a shame because they are the only place in town that carries some of my favorite beers, but after tonight I'm just going to deal with the Wine and Spirit shops and probably stop drinking beer entirely since nowhere else in town gets the things I like to drink. Sucks for them too since I generally spend about $70-$100 per night out not counting tips.
Also I would like to note that the first employee I dealt with was helpful and introduced me to a new beer I enjoyed a lot, but thanks to the second guy Zeno's has lost a customer forever.

 873 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
5/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is by far one of the best out there. It is a classic bar focused on really great beer. Dimly lit, great music and all about the beer. They have 30 + beers on tap, most of which rotate with a high level of frequency. You can try a wide variety of beers from week to week without breaking the bank, as their prices are always reasonable -hey they want to give people access to great beer, and one way to do that is offer great beers at a great price; which they definitely do.
On tap they have plenty of locals, but plenty of international and nationals as well. Most all the bartenders know quite a bit about the beers they serve and are all fantastic to look for advice as to what to drink for the mood you are in as well as just sit back and chat with. The bottle selection is amazing for this rather little place; with a bottle list that puts most bottle shops to shame. While they don't cook food at the bar itself and I haven't actually had any food there, you can order food from the restaurant above the bar and they will bring it to you. From I have heard from fellow bar goers it is very good.
If you are in the State College area and looking for a relaxing and great place to have a beer you must come here. It is great!!!!

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Photo of jifigz
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Okay, so this is a pretty cool place. It is a dungeon like setting in downtown State College. They have a wonderful selection of beers to choose from. They might not have everything you are searching for, but if they don't have what you are looking for I am sure they have a reasonable substitute. They do have brews that I have never seen anywhere else and that is a cool thing. The bartenders and employees can be okay for conversation, but it can seem as if you are unaccepted if you are not part of their clique. Well, maybe not unaccepted, but they are just not overly nice, they do their job and that is that. I am there for the beer anyways and on that mark they always deliver. They have great local brews like Victory and Troeg's, but also wonderful Trappist ales and everything in between. I would highly recommend this place.

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Photo of wdeck9
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Zeno's is a State College institution and if you are only visiting the town once or twice you must stop in for a couple beers. Once you head downstairs, you enter the basement bar filled with old Penn State sports and university collectibles on the walls. The ceiling is low and the lights are dim but it makes for a nice, intimate atmosphere to enjoy their beer selection. They often have 30ish beers on tap ranging from Yuengling products to high end beers hard to find anywhere else in Centre County. Their bottle list is very extensive and whenever they get new bottles in they are listed on the back of the tap list. Prices are fair but can be expensive when buying bottles. They get a great selection of local bands, especially on Wednesday for their Clem's bbq and bluegrass night....very worth it. The music can get loud though given how small the place is. Either way, you cannot go wrong with a stop into Zeno's.

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Photo of PittRooney
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

i have been to zeno's a few times now and must say i really enjoy the place. the manager spends a lot of time getting in beers, and it shows. there isn't a place that i can think of outside of philly that has a similar selection. staff is always friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere has improved significantly since they went nonsmoking. also always enjoy the bathroom reading ha ha. i have never eaten there, but everything i have seen come out of the kitchen always looks good. its also impressive that a bar like that in state college has never had a violation. it also doesn't have the "college" feel and atmosphere that most of the other bars in the area have. would definitely recommend and will be back every time i am in town.

 740 characters

Photo of TheBCrew
1.69/5  rDev -62.2%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5

I had the unfortunate experience of visiting Zeno's on St. Patrick's Day. After spending most of the week in southwestern PA on a business trip I looked forward to being able to settle in for a couple of pints at this very well-reviewed bar. The doorman who gave me a hard time for having a NY driver's license was the first sign of trouble to come. (I understand that this is a college town and you need to be strict with IDs, but at least have knowledge of IDs of neighboring states.)

The atmosphere isn't so much "basement" as it is dungeon. After walking down the stairs and in the door there is a small, dimly lit bar area immediately to the left and a deep open room to the right. The room has several wooden tables of various sizes and there is room for maybe 8 people or so to sit at the bar. There were about a dozen taps or so of fairly standard offerings, three beer engines (Tröegs Hopback Amber, Victory Hop Devil and a third one which escapes me) and what appeared to be an extensive bottle offering in coolers (Lost Abbey stood out). There was a duo playing music in the back and they were far too loud. Everyone was crammed as far away from them as possible, and I still had to yell to be able to make any conversation with the person next to me. I wouldn't have minded so much if the band weren't so terrible. From what my friends I was with told me, loud terrible music is standard here.

The bartender seemed completely disinterested when I ordered a Hop Devil cask, and in fact poured a Hopback Amber. While normally a solid beer, this cask was stale, bordering on having soured. Clearly Zeno's does not move enough cask beer to justify having 3 offerings, and either does not know enough to take stale beers off the engine or does not care about the quality of the product as long as they make money. Either way, the combination of terrible atmosphere, quality and service is enough for me to never come back again. After reading all the praise in other reviews I was severely let down. We left after one drink and headed to The Deli on Heister Street which was a much more enjoyable experience. Don't waste your time on this sorry excuse for a beer bar.

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Zeno's Pub in State College, PA
98 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.