Happy Valley Perspective: Share your stories of the Skeller

Editor’s note: With the closing of the All-American Rathskeller, we want to hear your stories of the iconic downtown establishment. We’re encouraging you to email us your favorite photos and memories (300 words or less) to fun@happyvalley.com. Check out more details below. 

UNIVERSITY PARK — A few weeks ago, I visited the All-American Rathskeller for lunch. Embarrassingly, it was the first time I’d been inside since I moved home four and a half years ago. 

I had walked by the place hundreds of times since the summer of 2013, always thinking I should drop in for a quick drink or to grab dinner. I never did, thinking, “I have time, the Skeller isn't going anywhere.”

If only I had known.

Now, everyone has only a few days left for one last drink or meal, as the Skeller will close Saturday. Like many people in the community, I’ve got some pretty great memories of the joint. 

It was the first bar I tried going to on my 21st birthday, though the long line forced me elsewhere as I was losing time after midnight. I was told that I’d like the Skeller—mainly the vibe and atmosphere — and that assessment was spot-on. 

I returned many times while I was in school during the early 2000s, with the Skeller being one of the few places I’d go to alone, because I usually could walk in any given night and know at least a handful of people already there. That list typically grew as the night went on. 

I was once researching a project, and spent a night at the Skeller without having a drink, observing the place and the people. The former had plenty of character, making the Skeller a rare destination that students, alumni, and townspeople enjoyed equally (and together). 

Without really thinking about it, I chose the Skeller as the place for my research, all those years ago. I suppose I made that decision for the same reasons that generations of Penn Staters have continued to gather at the popular downtown spot: it possessed a certain college-town charm, and I actually liked the place more for all the amenities it lacked.

Just give me some friends, a pitcher of beer, and good tunes. That’s all I needed, and you could always depend on the Skeller for that. 

Now, it’s your turn to share memories. 

Did you head to the Skeller to celebrate a big football win? Meet classmates for an annual reunion? Participate in the case race, or see a favorite band perform? Let us know your lasting memories of the Skeller, and select submissions will run on HappyValley.com and our social channels—follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Email your photos and stories (300 words or less) to fun@happyvalley.com and submissions may be edited for length and clarity. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and sharing your stories with our audience, and in a way, preserving the Skeller’s legacy long after it closes.




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