State College is saddened to say goodbye to the oldest store owned by its original family. Mr. Charles Shop is closing on May 31, 2014. It can happily celebrate the many wonderful and successful years seen by State College residents and Penn Staters for the past 74 years.
Mr. Charles originally opened as a menswear store on Allen Street in 1940 by Mary Louise Petnick and her husband, Charles. Soon after opening, all the men left to fight in World War II. The shift in demographic led the store to transform into a women’s wear shop in order to survive. By 1970, the store was so successful that it moved to the larger space on College Avenue, where it is currently located. Grandmothers, their daughters and granddaughters frequented Mr. Charles to shop for beautiful clothing and accessories.
Nick Petnick guided the store through the 70s and 80s. Charlene Petnick Rosen then took over ownership of Mr. Charles in the 90s and is the current owner. Veronica Burk has been the store manager for the past 25 years. Burk has contributed to State College’s most creative and inspiring window displays.
“Mr. Charles has always been known for classic fashion with a twist,” said Rosen. “The clothes are simple, ones that a woman can wear for years, but don’t look like yesteryear.”
In addition to classic women’s brands like Vince, Velvet and Comfy, Mr. Charles also has affordable day and nighttime clothing for students. Brands like BB Dakota, Jack and Ya Los Angeles are available at Mr. Charles.
Mr. Charles’ closing sale will begin with 20% off all spring merchandise in addition to preexisting sales of up to 75% off. The store’s many props and fixtures will also be for sale. The historic store will continue to receive new items until it closes in May.
As we say goodbye to one of State College’s favorite clothing shops, we also celebrate its outstanding history and many fruitful years. Mr. Charles would like to thank the State College and Penn State community along with its loyal shoppers for being so supportive over the past 74 years.
Photo provided by Anna Marmorstein