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Hotel State College Businesses to Be Purchased by Pat Croce & Company

by on October 24, 2019 4:20 PM

About six months after it went on the market, Hotel State College & Company, with its seven downtown businesses, is in the final stages of being purchased by Pat Croce & Company, a hospitality company founded by the entrepreneur and former president and part owner of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Hotel State College & Company is comprised of the Corner Room, Spats at the Grill, Bill Pickle’s Tap Room, Zeno’s Pub, the Basement Nightspot, Chumley’s, and the 13-room Hotel State College, all located in the iconic building on the corner of College and Allen. The entire business was listed for sale for $2.5 million this summer. Although the building won’t change hands, reports over the summer indicated any sale would include the liquor license as well as all furniture, fixtures, and equipment with the building.

Though Pat Croce is a Pitt graduate, his son Michael, who is president of the company, graduated from Penn State in 2004. Croce's son-in-law Jeff Sorg, also a Penn State alumnus, is the company's CEO. He is married to Croce's daughter Kelly, a 2001 Penn State graduate.  

“These alumni value the history and traditions of Happy Valley and are looking forward to getting back to their alma mater,” said Curtis Shulman, director of operations for Hotel State College. “I am excited for our businesses, our brands and our community.”

Shulman said he will continue in the same role after the sale goes through.

According to a 2016 Sports Illustrate article, Pat Croce retired from his role as chairman of Pat Croce & Company in 2014 though remains majority owner. Michael Croce and Sorg run the day-to-day operations.

The sale hasn’t gone through officially, as both sides are in the final agreement stage and working out the details of the deal. A public notice of an application for a liquor license was spotted in the window of the Corner Room Wednesday night. It detailed the transfer of a liquor license from Hotel State College & Company Inc. to Hotel S.C., LLC, which the business will operate under moving forward.

Croce served as the 76ers president from 1996 to 2001. Prior to that he had been a successful entrepreneur and since resigning, he has dabbled in television, book-writing, and hospitality. His company, Pat Croce & Company, owns an assortment of bars, restaurants, and museums throughout Florida in the Key West and St. Augustine areas.

The Corner Room’s building itself opened in 1855 as Jack’s Roadhouse, and its location on the corner of Allen Street and College Avenue is one of the most recognizable landmarks in downtown State College.

In recent years, the property’s facilities have undergone a few changes. Pickle’s added a small deck to provide customers with outdoor seating during the spring and summer in August 2017, and the former Indigo closed operations and rebranded as the Basement Nightspot last year.

The Croces did not immediately responded to requests for comment.

Anthony Colucci is a writer for Onward State
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