Here is something I noticed during my long career of hitting up bars and having plenty of drinks with friends. Almost everywhere you go, people understand the bar etiquette, except in State College.
I am not going to say that State College is different, but unlike most bars, it has a high proportion of kids who have recently turned 21 and have no clue what bar etiquette means. This is probably the same in many college towns across the country.
Working in a small bar near Philipsburg called the Moshannon Park Inn helped me learn the rules and etiquette before I turned 21. My first few forays into the State College night life confused me because it was not what I had seen many times before. Before I begin my examination and explanation of the bar etiquette, let me say the State College bars I am referring to all fall within the downtown area, bars like the Arena or Champs do not fit into this discussion.
1. Buying drinks for girls. In most bars, if you want to meet a cute girl at the bar, you can buy her a drink. The girl can do one of two things, a. accept the drink, b. reject the drink. If she rejects the drink, then you have saved yourself some money and time. If she accepts the drink, again there are more options as to what can happen. First, she can say thank you and motion for you to join her, or come join you. If that happens, then your plan has succeeded. She can accept the drink, but gives no indication as to whether or not she is interested. Do not get pissed, or try to be a dick about it, just accept it. Girls, to be fair, if you have no interest, but want the drink, then let the gentleman know that you appreciate the drink, but you have a boyfriend or something like that.
-In State College, if you offer a girl a drink, she will look at you like you are crazy.
-If you ask the bartender to send a girl a drink, he will probably ignore you, mainly because the place is packed and he has no time to waste.
2. Normally, if you tip a bartender extremely well, they will pretty much always hook you up. Maybe give you a free drink, or shots, whatever. The very least they will give you better service. They will make small talk and after awhile, they will make conversation with you when it is not busy. They will skip over some cheapskate to get you a beer first.
-State College bartenders do not give a damn about you. You can tip them $10 per drink and they will just take the money and walk away. You will still wait twenty minutes for a drink, while the bartender flirts with some chubby girl. Their idea of hooking you up is to maybe stop skipping over you in order to wait on the girls.