Britt Bratton Kobularcik realizes that people might raise an eyebrow or two. Love stories that start in a bar usually don’t have very many acts. Sure, “Cheers” lasted for 11 seasons but even they had to recast somewhere around the midpoint.
You’ll be relieved to know that Britt and her husband Brian are still being played by the same actors. Their three kids are probably pretty relieved, too.
She likes telling the story of how they met because most people — that is, the people familiar with the long and storied history of the All-American Rathskeller — know what it means.
That was a large part of the appeal. You could always go home.
The pair met in the summer of 1990, while Britt was lifeguarding at the community pool and Brian was working as one of the bar’s doormen. Her roommate facilitated the introductions and that was pretty much that.
“I think everybody points to us because it was just instantaneous,” Britt Bratton Kobularcik said.
They visit the Rathskeller every football season.
Duke Gastiger, who co-owns the bar with wife Monica, made a joke of offering their sons a job — give or take a few years until college.
To the Kobularciks, the Rathskeller was a fixed point on the horizon, immortal and permanent.
Last-call at the popular State College bar is set for Jan. 27.
“That was a large part of the appeal. You could always go home,” Brian Kobularcik said.
“Home” was a concept that Julia Hess was in the process of revising when she met her husband Joe Bonner. Hess had just finished her last class at Penn State and a friend suggested that they go to the Rathskeller for a drink.
I thought, ‘Wow, so much of the world changes...but the Skeller is still the same.’
Bonner was behind the bar — signal the ensuing meet cute — and the two chatted until a fight outside sent someone tumbling down a flight of steps and into the window of a neighboring business.
Everything worked out, though. Hess and Bonner live with their four children in Queens, N.Y. A few years ago, she brought her daughter back to the spot where it all started.
“I thought, ‘Wow, so much of the world changes...but the Skeller is still the same,’ ” Hess said.
In the early ’90s, Cathy Petrazio and her friends practically lived at the Rathskeller. That’s where a bartender named Steve made the romantic overture of a free beer.
“I was like, ‘Dude, you didn’t charge me for the pitcher,’ ” Cathy Petrazio said.
Their communication improved throughout the semester and they were an item come fall. All but one of the groomsmen in their wedding party worked at the Rathskeller.
“It’s kind of like our extended family,” Steve Petrazio said.