Beer without gas: Sheetz to open store in downtown State College

Sheetz is planning to open a store at the old location of Duo at 129 1/2 Pugh Street.
Sheetz is planning to open a store at the old location of Duo at 129 1/2 Pugh Street. CDT photo

A Sheetz store in downtown State College will substitute gas pumps for a beer cave.

Not a bad tradeoff for of-age students without wheels.

The store at 129 S. Pugh St., however, won’t open until at least August, according to Tony Sapia, whose family owns the building that will house the store.

Sapia said renovations to the 5,000-square-foot space will begin in April and that Sheetz, based in Altoona, signed a five-year lease with an option to continue operating.

“They’re a great local family with a name that’s synonymous with quality, fresh, wholesome food, and they’ve built something that they want to keep growing,” Sapia said. “They have something unique that they’ll offer, and it’s a great addition to the downtown community.”

Sheetz operates five of its traditional stores in the Centre Region, but none within two miles of downtown State College.

“This location is ideal for Sheetz, in the heart of downtown State College,” a Sheetz press release said. “It will be within walking distance for students of Penn State and a great place for locals to enjoy Sheetz food in a convenient location.”

The store will be the second of its kind — without gas pumps but with a beer cave. The first Sheetz store with the same concept will open in March near West Virginia University in Morgantown.

“The new Sheetz concept is the fulfillment of a goal and our relentless pursuit of innovation in the food and beverage category,” said the company’s director of special projects, Emily Sheetz. “It will create (a) new way for our customers to enjoy our food in a casual dining experience. Our pioneering spirit has led us to this point. This is the next generation of Sheetz.”

The development of the newly designed Sheetz stores took two years.

The store will also feature options like Sheetz’ Made-To-Order subs, sandwiches and salads, prepared food and bakery items, as well as Sheetz Bros. Coffeez, and a full-service espresso and smoothie bar.

In addition, the store will offer hot and cold ready-to-eat items, ice cream, a pizza oven and a new tray service concept for people who want to eat at an indoor or outdoor table.

The new store will create about 40 new jobs and will be open 24/7.

The space was occupied by Duo Nightclub until it closed in May 2013.