Yes, the loss of the Rathskeller and Spats hurts. Skeller for obvious reasons — a great bar/eatery/music. Spats is one of the few remaining restaurants, with the impending loss of Zola’s.
Far greater damage to the downtown will be the Friedman Group selling the Garner Street parking lot and the sale of the block bounded by Calder Alley, Garner, College and Hiester streets. The parking lot will get a 14-story apartment/retail building and the other area a building of undisclosed height and use. New means higher rent and prices for everyone, which could pose an immediate threat to the Lion’s Den, Bar Bleu, a bank, Waffle Shop (downtown), Family Clothesline, Craft Brewery, Inferno, Deli and Saloon. Collateral damage may include the likes of McClanahan’s, Baby’s, Primanti Brothers, Chipotle, The Student Bookstore and others in the area due to lack of parking. The closest parking facilities will the McAllister Street Parking Deck, which is not that large.
Many of us have moved to State College area from other cities and towns where the downtown has become a ghost town as shops, bars, restaurant closed for a multitude of reasons. Looks like we are going to see another one. Just like Rome fell so is the downtown of State College.
Loss of student jobs will hurt the local economy, as will the loss of convenience, but on the flip side with the loss of all these bars, some people will enjoy an unhappy State Patty’s Day.
Thomas M. Kupchinsky, State College