Spats Cafe Will Team With Allen Street Grill
by Geoff Rushton
Spats Cafe closed on Saturday night after 30 years on East College Avenue, but it will soon make a return as the restaurant teams up with another longtime State College establishment.
Owners Duke and Monica Gastiger along with Hotel State College operating partners Joe Shulman and John Cocolin announced that they have reached an agreement to bring together Spats and the Allen Street Grill at the grill’s location on the corner of College Avenue and Allen Street.
“When we heard that Spats would be leaving State College, we knew it would leave a hole in the fabric of dining establishments,” Shulman said in a news release. “Then we realized we could work together to improve both of our businesses and to benefit our loyal customers and friends.”
The announcement was made Sunday night during a party for employees of the Rathskeller and Spats. Both establishments closed on Saturday after the Gastigers announced in December they had not been offered new leases by the new owners of the building at the corner of East College Avenue and South Pugh Street.
The collaboration between Spats and the Allen Street Grill will include a menu with Spats’ Cajun and Creole dishes and Allen Street Grill specialities. The two restaurants also will blend their teams of chefs, servers and kitchen staffs.
“We are thrilled to work with the Hotel State College to create a new restaurant that combines Cajun flavors with classic grill favorites,” Duke Gastiger said. “This is what community is all about — working together and envisioning how we can improve the dining experiences in downtown State College. The Allen Street Grill and Corner Room are a revered part of State College history, and the location offers a perfect opportunity to introduce a more comprehensive menu.”
Some of the decor from Spats will make its way to the Allen Street Grill location and the menu will feature more products from local sources and farmers.
“We have always felt a ‘connectivity’ with the other long-standing business owners in downtown State College, and we are truly blessed to have such incredibly loyal staff and customers,” Monica Gastiger said. “We can’t wait to begin anew in such a wonderful location.”
The Allen Street Grill will continue operating while the transition is made. A date has not yet been set, but a grand re-opening will be held to mark the new collaboration.
A new tenant for Spats’ former location at 142 E. College Ave. has not yet been announced. Tom and Kelley Trosko revealed over the weekend that they have leased the Rathskeller’s space on South Pugh Street and intend to keep the bar’s atmosphere the same.
The Gastigers also are working on opening the new RE Farm Cafe at Windswept, a farm-to-table restaurant in Patton Township.
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