Historic downtown State College building sold

After about three months on the market, a historic downtown property has been purchased by a State College business and real estate owner.

Neil and Charles Herlocher, owners of Herlocher Foods, confirmed Friday that they have purchased the almost 125-year-old property.

The Gentzel building is home to the Rathskeller, Spats Cafe and Speakeasy, Sadie’s Waffles, The Apple Tree, The Clothesline and The Old Main Frame Shop. The property includes four five-bedroom, three two-bedroom and nine one-bedroom apartments.

The main building in the complex, which is on the corner of East College Avenue and Pugh Street, was originally named the Foster building and was constructed in 1894.

The building was home to the first post office in town, apartments and a children’s clothing store. It also houses the town’s oldest continuously operating bar, according to the State College Borough historic records.

The property has hosted many businesses throughout its history, but perhaps most notable is the Rathskeller. Opened in 1933, the bar, owned by Duke Gastiger, has become a favorite watering hole of four generations of Penn State alumni.

William Foster constructed the building and sold it to Perry Gentzel in 1913 and the Gentzel Corporation has since maintained ownership.

The sale is expected to close by July and there are no plans to make changes to the existing businesses, but the apartments will be updated, Neil Herlocher said.

“The building has a great history and having a piece of that history is very exciting,” Herlocher said. “We’re pleased to continue the legacy of the property and we’re looking forward to making it shine for years to come.”

Leon Valsechi: 814-231-4631, @leon_valsechi