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Herlochers Release Statement On Skeller Closing: ‘Herlochers Save Rathskeller Location From Wrecking Ball’

After owners of The Skeller announced Monday the historic Prohibition-era bar would soon close its doors, Penn Staters reacted in droves to protest the owners of the building, who decided not to renew the lease.

Chuck and Neil Herlocher — yes, those Herlochers — bought the property in June, and told Center County Gazette at the time, “Business there will continue as usual.” That is, until now, apparently.

The statement paints the Herlochers as the pseudo-heroes of the story, with a headline “Herlochers Save Rathskeller Location From Wrecking Ball” but leaves the fate of the Skeller location rather unclear.

“We want to assure you that as State College residents and Penn Staters we fully understand the historic importance of that location and memories made there across decades,” the statement goes on. “We are committed to maintaining the character of the location that was founded in 1933 by Pop Flood as the Rathskeller and Gardens until 1934 when Doggie Alexander named it The All-American Rathskeller.”

The statement says the new tenants will be “the latest in a long line of owners who have maintained the proud traditions of good times and good friends meeting in this downtown State College landmark” but what that means exactly isn’t certain.

Will The Skeller still be called The Skeller? Will the atmosphere be the same, just with a new name? Or will it be totally different, moonlighting as a time-honored tradition?

You can read the full statement from the Herlochers below:

Herlochers Save Rathskeller Location From Wrecking Ball

In July 2017 our company Cornelius LLC concluded an investment in downtown State College with a plan to buy the Foster Building. While other investors intended to raze the property, we were steadfast in our commitment to preserve the historic nature and location of this landmark building.

When we took over the property we became aware that the operators of the All American Rathskeller and Spats had been operating without a lease since 2011 and paying well below market rates. Attempts to resolve the issue were unsuccessful. Our offer to purchase the businesses were also turned down.

We understand the concern many Penn Staters and State College natives have expressed. We want to assure you that as State College residents and Penn Staters we fully understand the historic importance of that location and memories made there across decades. We are committed to maintaining the character of the location that was founded in 1933 by Pop Flood as the Rathskeller and Gardens until 1934 when Doggie Alexander named it The All-American Rathskeller.

Our goal in the coming weeks and years is that Penn Staters past and present will walk into this location and find their memories of great times past still living there. The new tenants will be the latest in a long line of owners who have maintained the proud tradition of good times and good friends meeting in this downtown State College landmark.

Look for announcements soon from the new operators with their vision for this location.
Also we would like to alert current employees of the Rathskeller that the new operators are also interested in retaining staff.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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