Try Next Time: An Escape Room, Vegan Goodness, and More!

The Centre Region has been exploding with new businesses during the past few months. As the population grows, both in downtown State College and the outer regions like Bellefonte and Centre Hall, we’ve had a hard time keeping up with all of the openings. Here’s a list of some of our favorites.

The Barn at Lemont

Part organic garden center and part home goods, the Barn occupies that beautiful rustic farmhouse across from Slab Cabin Park. More than just a retail spot, the Barn is nurturing and connecting local residents with a passion, or just a passing interest, in home-based products. Beekeeping supplies, hydroponic equipment, and handcrafted nature-inspired jewelry stock the shelves. Although it’s only been open for a few weeks, the Barn has made a name for itself in the crunchy community by offering expert advice on gardening and do-it-yourself workshops.

Cafe Verve

Opening just before Christmas, Cafe Verve joined a local niche small restaurants offering vegetarian dishes, but they take it one step farther and go all-vegan. Serving fresh-made breakfast and lunch items (although they serve them until the after-peak dinner hour of 7:00pm), Cafe Verve tackles typical meat- and dairy-based eats like cheesesteaks and cupcakes and offers them up with animal-free ingredients.

Royal Garden Italian Restaurant (104 East Wilson Street, Centre Hall)

Who hasn’t had a great pizza or hoagie at an Original Italian Pizza? Well, the owner of those great restaurants is now offering a more formal Italian experience at the old Whistle Stop location in Centre Hall. Just a few months old, Royal Garden fills an obvious void for sit-down eating in the area. Slightly more upscale meals like linguini and chicken alfredo are delicious, authentic, and price-friendly.

IQ Escape

Take a group of friends, throw in an art-heist of the heavily guarded Mona Lisa, and complete an intricate mission within an hour. That’s what will happen at IQ Escape, the new immersive adventure in Hamilton Square Shopping Center.  Teams of 2-10 work together on preplanned escapades that take the old “choose your own adventure”stories and turn them up a notch. Book your visit in advance on their website, and look for new themes involving time travel and life-threatening viruses. 

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