Owners of The All-America Rathskeller announced late Monday afternoon the legendary bar and its adjacent restaurant, Spats Café, will close because owners of the building decided not to renew their lease.
Simply put, The Skeller is a pillar of downtown State College. Stroll by on any weekend night — and many weeknights — and you’ll see a line leading up the sidewalk from the entrance to College Avenue. On a football weekend Friday, it’ll probably stretch around the corner as students and alumni alike line up to share a case of Rocks.
After the news broke, Penn Staters took to Twitter to share their disappointment in the decision. And they’re not messing around.
First reactions were disappointed at best, and devastated at worst.
I don’t even particularly care for the Skeller, but it’s a sad day whenever a beloved generations-old institution is forced to close its doors in the interest of “development”.
— Mark P. (@map408psu) December 4, 2017
I can’t fathom this. State College without the Skeller is not State College.
— Cliff Dressler (@CliffDressler) December 4, 2017
WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE SKELLER IS CLOSING IN STATE COLLEGE? That's not cool at all.
— Meghin Moore (@meghin_) December 4, 2017
The Skeller was suppose to be one of those places that lived on forever 😭
— Ryan Marcoux (@Coux9) December 4, 2017
— robertschwartz (@robertschwartz) December 4, 2017
But then, someone had a revelation: Rather than just being upset about the Skeller closing, Penn Staters could try to keep it open.
Chuck and Neil Herlocher — yes, those Herlochers — bought the property in June. At that time, they told the Centre County Gazette, “Business there will continue as usual.”
— LBerkland (@Berkland4) December 4, 2017
And thus #SaveTheSkeller was born, and folks began advocating to give Herlocher Foods a piece of the collective Penn State mind.
Here is the contact info for the heathens who are closing down the skeller.. If Tennessee fans can stop their school from hiring a football coach, we can stop a local, lousy mustard company from shutting down a bar #savetheskeller https://t.co/HnjiimZ574
— John DeRosier (@ACPressDeRosier) December 4, 2017
Rah rah to grassroots campaigns! As we learned earlier this month, Twitter can be a powerful thing.
Seriously, we need to get the Skeller declared a historical landmark to stop this bullshit.
— a christmas fucking miracle (@NamelessRanger) December 4, 2017
— PSU FACTS (@PSU_FACTS) December 4, 2017
Hard to imagine the Skeller, an iconic Downtown watering hole beloved by generations of Penn Staters & PA’s oldest continuously-operating tavern, won’t get a new lease on life under new ownership. But who knows?
— Chris Buchignani (@buchignani) December 4, 2017
The Skeller is the only good thing we have left in this world. NOT OK https://t.co/7W5iSqwWsp
— Ⓓⓐⓥⓔ Ⓒⓞⓛⓔ (@DaveColePhoto) December 4, 2017
— Chris Garguilo (@cwgarguilo) December 4, 2017
— Kevin Horne (@KevinHornePSU) December 4, 2017
“The way the Rathskeller has changed hands, the owner has always sold it to someone who would be a good caretaker. It wasn’t necessarily a short-term profit scheme,” owner Duke Gastiger said in 2015. “This is a family institution.”
And that family includes Penn Staters past and present.