Some of the most missed busi­nesses that closed in 2018

Centre Daily Times (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY SARAH RAFACZ [email protected]­

Say­ing good­bye to your fa­vorite place is tough, and this year, it seemed like a lot of beloved spots closed their doors.

Here are some of the busi­ness clos­ings our read­ers were most dis­ap­pointed about this year. The All-Amer­i­can Rathskeller and Spat’s Cafe & Speakeasy

The All-Amer­i­can Rathskeller, 108 S. Pugh St., was open for more than eight decades. It opened three days af­ter Pro­hi­bi­tion ended in the United States. It had dif­fer­ent own­ers over the years, most re­cently Duke and Mon­ica Gastiger, who bought the bar in 1988. They also owned Spats Cafe & Speakeasy for 30 years.

The Gastigers an­nounced in De­cem­ber 2017 that both busi­nesses would be clos­ing, and that it wasn’t their choice.

“It has been a great honor op­er­at­ing these two iconic es­tab­lish­ments and serv­ing this com­mu­nity and its many truly won­der­ful pa­trons and friends,” Duke Gastiger said in a state­ment at that time. “We are grate­ful for the loy­alty that peo­ple — in­clud­ing our in­cred­i­ble em­ploy­ees — have shown us over the years. We most re­gret clos­ing with such short no­tice, but it was unavoid­able given the time­line dic­tated by the new prop­erty own­ers.”

Last call for the bar was Jan. 27. The base­ment is now Dog­gie’s Pub, owned by Tom and Kel­ley Trosko.

Lit­tle Cae­sars

Lit­tle Cae­sars, at 1712 S. Ather- ton St., closed in an “abrupt and un­ex­pected” man­ner in early Oc­to­ber. A sign was posted to the pizza shop’s door, which said, in part, “We have ap­proached the

end of a 10 year agree­ment with Lit­tle Cae­sars, and have cho­sen not to re­new — and to al­low our neigh­bor­ing ten­ant, PA Cy­ber, as­sume our busi­ness space for ex­pan­sion.”

Lit­tle Cae­sars had closed in Septem­ber 2017, but was then re­opened the fol­low­ing month un­der new own­er­ship.

Zola Kitchen and Wine Bar

Zola Kitchen and Wine Bar, 324 W. Col­lege Ave., closed on Aug. 25. Robert Huf­nagel co-owned the restau­rant with his son, An­drew, who was also the chef. The pair re­launched Zola, for­merly Zola New World Bistro, in 2015.

“It has been our plea­sure to pro­vide fine din­ing for the State Col­lege com­mu­nity for the last four years, but un­for­tu­nately our build­ing is go­ing to be torn down to make way for a new apart­ment build­ing,” Robert Huf­nagel said in press re­lease at the time.The build­ing that housed Zola has since been de­mol­ished, along with the build­ings that housed the West Col­lege Realty of­fice, Cal­i­for­nia Tor­tilla and Golden Wok and two red-brick houses.The Stan­dard — a 12-story mixed-use high­rise from Col­le­giate De­vel­op­ment Group — is be­ing con­structed in their place and will in­clude 48,400 square feet of com­mer­cial space on the first two floors, and then 243 res­i­den­tial units on the top 10 floors, ac­cord­ing to the State Col­lege bor­ough web­site.

Her­wig’s Aus­trian Bistro

Her­wig’s Aus­trian Bistro had been serv­ing up home­style Aus­trian cui­sine for more than 15 years when owner Bernd Brand­stat­ter an­nounced the restau­rant would be clos­ing. Its fi­nal day was May 25.

It was known for be­ing the place where ba­con was an herb. You could also ex­pect some light sham­ing if you didn’t fin­ish your meal — all in good fun, of course.

“Al­right ev­ery­body, I’ve been dread­ing this post for a good while. Here it goes,” Brand­stat­ter said in a March Face­book post an- nounc­ing the im­pend­ing clo­sure. “Due to my con­stant sci­at­ica in my left leg from two rup­tured discs and de­clin­ing sales, I’ve de­cided to close Her­wigs as early as June or Au­gust. We’ve re­ally en­joyed the last 15 or so years serv­ing up the best Aus­trian fare. So if you haven’t been in for a while this is your time to en­joy it whilst we are still open. I sure will miss ev­ery­one of you. It was al­ways about the per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with a side of our Aus­trian home cook­ing and a bit of hu­mor mixed in.”

Her­wig’s long­time home, 132 W. Col­lege Ave., is now oc­cu­pied by Snap Cus­tom Pizza, which opened in Septem­ber.

Aun­tie Anne’s

Af­ter 24 years in the Nit­tany Mall, Aun­tie Anne’s closed on May 27.

Cathy Wil­liamson — who co-owned the op­er­a­tion with her hus­band, Randy — told the CDT that they sim­ply ran out of money.

“Ever since Sears left, our sales have cut in half,” Wil­liamson said.

The space is now oc­cu­pied by Chi­nese Hot Pot (Gudong), which just re­cently opened.

Ye Olde Col­lege Diner

In Jan­uary, WTAJ re­ported that Ye Olde Col­lege Diner would be clos­ing — un­less some­one wanted to take it over — be­cause the lease was up in April.

The diner had op­er­ated at 126 W. Col­lege Ave. since 1929, and Dan Ral­lis had owned it for 31 years.

Ral­lis told WTAJ that he planned to con­tinue mak­ing grilled stick­ies.

The prop­erty was sold for $1.5 mil­lion to 126 Col­lege Ave Part­ners LLC, ac­cord­ing to Cen­tre County records. As the CDT pre­vi­ously re­ported, the space is set to be­come a Hello Bistro.

ABBY DREY Cen­tre Daily Times, file

The Rathskeller closed in late Jan­uary.

ABBY DREY [email protected]­

Lit­tle Cae­sars Pizza on South Ather­ton Street closed in Oc­to­ber. A note in the win­dow said PA­cy­ber was tak­ing over the space to ex­pand.

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