‘Rathskeller’ Name Subject Of Trademark Infringement Lawsuit
The Skeller drama isn’t over yet even as the new venture opened its doors for business.
Duke Gastiger, the owner of the All-American Rathskeller whose lease expired earlier in 2018, is suing the current tenants of the bar location on Pugh Street — Tom and Kelly Trosko, who just opened Doggie’s Rathskeller and Garden prior to Arts Fest — as well as the Herlochers, who are the owners of the building.
After the announcement in December that the All-American Rathskeller — a bar signature to State College since the end of prohibition — would close after the Herlochers turned the lease over to new tenants, outraged sparked the community and plans to save the State College landmark formed.
The Troskos were revealed as the new tenants on the day of the Skeller’s closing, and they stated that the plan was to maintain the bar’s history. A legal battle had ensued after the closing, which included “gutting” the interior, over what was personal property of the Gastigers and what belonged to the bar.
Doggie’s Rathskeller and Garden opened just prior to Arts Fest, with the fixtures largely intact minus some of the memorabilia and featuring a few interior tweaks. However, the use of the name “Rathskeller” is drawing the lawsuit as Gastiger believes the name belongs to a business, not the location of the bar.
“The Rathskeller brings this Complaint because Cornelius [Herlocher’s company] and the Troskos (who later formed Trosko Inc.) have conspired to steal the Rathskeller bar business, trademark, and goodwill from All-American Rathskeller Inc. and pass off an imposter bar to loyal fans, customers, and supporters throughout Happy Valley and beyond,” the complaint reads.
The complaint cites that the business has been sold throughout the years and is not tied to that specific location. It also alleges, despite Gastiger claiming last December he would not attempt to reopen the All-American Rathskeller in a different location, that the business is actively looking for a new home.
The lawsuit is based on trademark infringement and unfair competition. Gastiger is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
“At this time we are currently working through our attorney with the Gastiger’s attorney, as we would like to reach an amicable solution,” Doggie’s Rathskeller and Garden owner Kelley Trosko said.