New Skeller Owners Announce Future Plans For Historic Downtown Bar

The new tenants of the Skeller and Spats Cafe are Tom and Kelley Trosko, according to an exclusive published by the Centre Daily Times during the final day of operation for the Skeller as we know it today.

The Troskos didn’t even tell their closest friends, according to the Centre Daily Times, when they met at the Skeller for what would’ve been their last memories in the joint — had they not agreed to lease it, that is.

“If I was not going to be who I am, I’d be concerned that it was going away, too” Tom Trosko told the CDT. “The bar is a part of the family. If it’d go away, it’d be like a relative passed. I respect it. I understand it. We want to keep it intact and keep it going.”

The story details how the Troskos have been faithful Skeller patrons for the last few decades, and how Tom studied at the bar during the ’80s. He even ended up working at the bar from 1993 to 1995.

The family moved back to State College last fall, signed the lease for the Skeller, and made an offer to buy the business and liquor license.

“It’s an anchor in a sea of change in State College with all of the new buildings and new things coming up, all the sterile buildings that have no character,” Tom Trosko told the CDT. “Some new buildings look like a hospital, and they’ve got no soul. The Skeller has got a lot of soul.”

The current owners, Duke and Monica Gastiger, and the soon-to-be owners haven’t yet struck a deal for the business, according to the Centre Daily Times, but are negotiating. Depending on how that goes, the Troskos may not have to change the name of the Skeller.

As for the memorabilia inside, it’ll still be focused on the history of the bar, the town, and the university, according to the Centre Daily Times. Duke Gastiger said via email that he and his wife are “keeping everything together” from the current Skeller in hopes of finding a new home for it. They removed everything from the walls of the bar earlier this week.

The Troskos plan to reopen the bar in the spring after making sure everything is “up to code” with the building. The new lease officially begins March 1.

The Herlochers, who own the building, originally said they would announce the new tenant by the end of the 2017 calendar year, but later said they planned to wait until after the Skeller’s final day in operation. It’s unclear why the Troskos chose to wait on the announcement, but they told the CDT revealing their plans is a weight lifted off their shoulders.

The Troskos won’t take over Spats Café, so it seems the fate of that space is still largely up in the air.

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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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