Love Over Easy
State College, Pennsylvania



Posh hits beertown.

Nestled in the mountains of the rural Pennsylvania countryside, State Colleg is the last place one would expect to find a blossoming nightlife scene. As home to Penn State University, the town has an extra 40,000 residents for nine months out of the year, and they want to party. Though the standard “college bar” types have survived for decades by offering lowball prices and insane drink specials, patrons are starting to demand more upscale establishments – and they’ve got the money to back it up.

Love Over Easy is State College’s newest hotspot, and easily the best-looking of the bunch. The complex has three separate levels: Candy is an underground lounge featuring hot pink plastic stools, fire-engine-red tables, and a constant ’80s pop soundtrack. Hard candy at every table and all over the bar complete the effect. Tony’s Big Easy is a ground-floor bar and restaurant that’s been around forever. And above the Big Easy is dance club Love (hence the name “Love Over Easy”). Different nights bring different formats, ranging from ’80s party tunes to deep house tracks. Your standard hip-hop and Top 40 dance tracks are also represented. Typical dress code is enforced, and VIP areas are available with advance booking. An outdoor patio overlooking the street below allows patrons to escape for a breath of fresh air, while three full-service bars keep the drinks flowing without missing a beat.

Stalker #1
I was really surprised to hear about an upscale nightclub opening in State College. To date, the only other nightclub in town was depressing at best. I wasn’t expecting Love to be any better.

We arrived around nine to ascend the lipstick-red stairwell and pay our $3 cover (in State College, everything is cheap). Having just opened, the entire place was deserted, which was good for my photo shoot. An all-Martin Professional lightshow (MX-10s, MAC-250 Kryptons, Atomic 3000s, and MAC-300s) piloted by Martin LightJockey lit up the dancefloor, while LED color washes kept the rest of the club coordinated. [Sound Stage Systems did the install. –ed] The drink prices were a little high for State College, which is to say a Long Island Iced Tea set me back a whopping $2.

By ten, the crowd had picked up, and the place was absolutely packed by 11. Ordinarily I’m not a fan of a shoulder-to-shoulder dancefloor, but with the layout of the club, I had no trouble moving around and getting to the bars or restrooms. Someone put some real thought into keeping the crowd flexible around the bars and restrooms. Even with a throbbing crowd in place, the bartenders and waitresses all remembered what I was drinking – very impressive.

Love Over Easy is definitely out of place for a rural Pennsylvania nightclub. Anyone visiting the area and expecting a big-city nightclub experience will get what they came for.

Stalker #2
I went to Love Over Easy with two of my guy friends on a Friday night. We got there waaayy too early because there were a dozen people visible – including the staff! We claimed some prime seating at the front bar and struck up a conversation with the bartender over a few drinks. He assured us that things would be getting busy in no time, and sure enough, as the night progressed the ladies arrived and some fun dancing to a mix of hip-hop and dance tracks ensued. The VIP areas were not utilized, but the dancers on boxes were entertaining.

We finished off the night at the side bar watching the “video wall” and the DJ do what they do best.

Stalker #3
I don’t know what I expected to find, but a high-end club definitely wasn’t it. Our only other club in town was just an overgrown bar with a dancefloor, a busted sound system, and some ancient lighting. Love Over Easy was so new I could still smell the paint mixed in with the scent of hot electronics being broken in. I love it!

We made our way to the deserted bar (note to self, don’t listen to friends when they tell you “getting there early” is a good idea) and started talking with the staff. About an hour later the crowd started filtering in. At one point I went out on the deck for some air and saw a line snaked down the street – not a common occurrence in this town (at least not at the club we usually hit up)!

The DJ started the night with ’80s dance tracks, moving into Top 40 and hip-hop by midnight. Sadly my need for deep house went unfulfilled, but I won’t mind coming back again. If I had to make one complaint, it would be that the house lights were way too bright. I think a lot of it came from the giant projection screen above the far bar (showing network TV, commercials and all). That’s the only thing that would keep me from calling the club perfect. But hey, they’re new.

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Copyright 2005 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2005 TESTA Communications