Olivia Lowry, 6, of York Township bites into her pizza next to Tommy Duffy, 5, of Springettsbury Township, at Nittany Pizza.
Olivia Lowry, 6, of York Township bites into her pizza next to Tommy Duffy, 5, of Springettsbury Township, at Nittany Pizza. (DAILY RECORD / SUNDAY NEWS -- KATE PENN)
Hours after Tom Drivas signed papers to obtain the name Nittany Pizza for his restaurant, the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke.

His lawyer called and asked if he wanted to change the name, but Drivas decided to stick with it.

"Penn State's not going anywhere," he told his lawyer in November 2011. "It'll be a tough time, but this too shall pass."

In March, the 47-year-old Penn State fan opened Nittany Pizza in York Township, where he sells pizza, sandwiches, burgers, strombolis and beer.

Drivas worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years. Before Nittany, he owned Kirby's Café & Pub in Manchester Township. Kirby's -- an Irish-themed bar and restaurant -- featured casual fare, such as wings and burgers.

When a developer contacted Drivas more than three years ago and asked to buy his land, he decided to close Kirby's and try something new.

He took several months off to "recharge his battery," and watched a lot of "Diners Drive-ins and Dives" and "Man v. Food" for menu inspiration.

Drivas wanted the name of his pizza shop to stand out. He didn't want to name it something like "Brothers'" or "Cousins'" or "Mama's."

He turned to Google, and learned that there's a Razorback Pizza in Arkansas, a Gator Pizza in Florida, but no Nittany Pizza in Pennsylvania. He was sold.

I stopped by the eatery to buy some takeout for lunch on a recent Tuesday. Enlarged vintage PSU program covers hung on the taupe walls. Dark wooden tables and booths filled the restaurant, and two beer coolers displayed "Nittany Pizza" in blue and white.

I had checked out the menu before I arrived and ordered a Turkey Wraparito, a burrito-like wrap filled with turkey, provolone, lettuce, tomato and Bangin' spread -- a garlic and herb aoili.

Drivas said he created the Wrapartio after experimenting with Pittsburgh-style sandwiches that come topped with french fries and cole slaw. When he tried making a wrap with fries and slaw, the ingredients didn't fit. So he