Check out local alumni businesses in San Diego
View our current list of businesses around the San Diego County area owned by Penn State Alumni below. Have a local business of your own? Let us know and we’d be happy to add you to the list.
Kenneth and Stephanie Lovi
If you’ve ever set foot in Knotty Barrel Gastropub, located in the East Village, you know it feels like home away from home. With their steadfast support of Penn State over the past decade, bar owners Kenny and Stephanie Lovi have done much to cultivate a welcoming environment for Penn Staters to enjoy the games. So much so that, in addition to hosting Penn State watch parties every Saturday during football season, the Lovis also make significant contributions to our scholarship fund, furthering the work that we do to make a Penn State degree a reality for local San Diegans.
You may be surprised to learn, then, that Kenny and Stephanie never attended Penn State! Kenny grew up in New York, and Stephanie hails from Spokane, WA. They had no ties to the Penn State community until they opened Knotty Barrel in 2011. That’s when they became good friends with Bill and Shelly Addy, some of their earliest regular customers. Shelly was serving on the board of SDPSU at the time. Recognizing the need for a Penn State bar in downtown San Diego, Shelly and Vicki Geehan approached Kenny and Stephanie about hosting football TV tailgates. The Lovis said yes, and now a decade later, they are still cheering on the Nittany Lions with us!
We can’t express enough gratitude for the support extended to us over the years by Kenny and Stephanie. They are a very big reason for why our scholarship raffles are so successful. Kenny and Stephanie go to great lengths to support our fundraising efforts. We want to support their business in return. We encourage all of our readers to go patronize Knotty Barrel, sample some of their fine craft beer, and meet the Lovis in person. In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy getting to know a little more about Kenny in this Q&A.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always been in the bar business. My wife and I recognized that there wasn’t a place for an easygoing casual neighborhood bar in our part of town, so we started Knotty Barrel Gastropub in East Village.
What are you known for at Knotty Barrel?
We were one of the first craft beer bars to open in downtown San Diego. Now we offer close to 100 different draft and bottled beers. We also own a small microbrewery.
How long have you been hosting Penn State watch parties?
Almost ten years! Joe Paterno was still coaching when we began hosting Penn Staters. Despite the scandal that broke out not long after that, we decided to continue hosting the watch parties. We are here to support Penn State University and the alumni.
Click the button below to find out what to expect when you visit Knotty Barrel!
WE ARE … so excited to share our May Business Spotlight featuring SDPSU’s own President, Marcy Yurick!
WE ARE so excited to share our San Diego Business Spotlight for the month of March, Heidi Hanna!
Heidi graduated in 1996 with a BA in Communications and is currently teaching at the Harvard Extension School. She is a respected author, speaker, researcher, and instructor who focuses on improving mental and brain health. She provides techniques for managing something many of us have become way too familiar with this past year … stress!
The Founder and Chief Energy Officer of Synergy Brain Fitness, she is also known as “The Stress Detective”. Her academy, webinars, training sessions, and tools help busy professionals, parents, and students to improve their relationship with stress. She also teaches us how to use the energy of stress to fuel positive change and often leans into the idea of “laughter is the best medicine”’
WE ARE so grateful for your insight and inspiration, Dr. Heidi! Be sure to check out her website and social media pages for more information on how you can become less stressed …. about stress!
Pretzels & Pints is located in the Arts District of North Park and is formerly known as the California Tap Room. This friendly neighborhood bar is owned by Penn State Alumna Lauren Reppa Iacoangelo (‘04 Marketing) and husband, John Paul, aka “Boomer”, who despite being a Pitt alum, is actually a really nice guy!
Lauren and Boomer bring one of our favorite East Coast traditions of hand-rolled soft pretzels to America’s Finest City and pair them with their signature beer cheese, a variety of mustards, and of course, some delicious local craft beers. They also offer a variety of pretzel sandwiches and pretzel pizzas! With both indoor and outdoor seating and TVs available, Pretzels & Pints makes any day game day featuring all the professional sports packages, as well as the Big 10, and provides a safe environment for cheering on your favorite team!
Lauren and Boomer have done a great job of bringing that Philly and East Coast vibe here to San Diego and promise to make you feel right at home! For more information, and to learn about their menu, happy hour, and daily specials, visit www.pretzelsandpints.com and follow them on social media!