It’s been one week since the owners of a popular State College bar were shocked to find out the borough is considering demolishing their bar to make way for a parking lot.
Jay Horgas and Ray Rockey have been co-owners of the Brewery since the 1990’s.
They say they are proud to have their place be known as a popular local dive bar.
Last Monday, just hours before a borough council meeting, they were informed that the borough is considering eminent domain to take their property.
The owners say they attended the meeting to hear the plans firsthand.
“I’ve labeled it an ambush. It was sudden. Rock and I went to the council meeting to testify, they looked at two people there completely blindsided and yet there was no empathy.”
Since then, the borough has issued statements saying they want to work with the bar owners.
“I mean if they would have come to us and asked about the building and opened a negotiation, a dialogue, that would have been nice from the get-go. We weren’t supposed to know about this, and they dropped it on us. Now they seem to be back pedaling.”
One statement from a borough official indicates this could be a temporary change for the Brewery, that the bar could move elsewhere during construction, and then come back as part of a new parking garage.
“Is it going to be the same square footage. It’s different than us owning the building and them owning it. What if they want to do something different in two or three years?”
In the past week, there has been an outpouring of public support for the Brewery and the owners say that alone is gratifying.
At this point, there are a lot of questions about the Brewerys’ future, but the owners stress that they plan on the bar having a future.
“We’re not dead yet. Even if they do close us down, we’ll have six, maybe nine months, whatever that time may be.”