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Eat'n Park
Industry Restaurants
Founded Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States June 6, 1949 (1949-06-06)
Founder Larry Hatch
William D. Peters
Headquarters Homestead, Pennsylvania, United States
Number of locations
75+ stores (2011)
Area served
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia
Key people
Jeff Broadhurst (President)
Number of employees
8,000+ (2011)
Parent Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, Inc.
Website www.eatnpark.com
Footnotes / references
A black and gold Smiley Cookie appears at a rally for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011.

Eat'n Park is a restaurant chain based in Homestead, Pennsylvania with over 75 locations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The chain is known for its Smiley Cookies.


Eat'n Park logo while the chain was affiliated with Big Boy Restaurants.

In the late 1940s Larry Hatch and Bill Peters were supervisors at Isaly's Restaurants in Pittsburgh. On a trip to Cincinnati, Hatch was impressed seeing the Frisch's Big Boy Drive In operation. He and Peters contacted Big Boy founder Bob Wian, reaching a 25-year agreement to operate Big Boy Restaurants in the Pittsburgh area, which would be called Eat'n Park.[4]

Eat'n Park launched on June 5, 1949 when Hatch and Peters opened a 13-stool drive-in restaurant in the South Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The official opening time for the restaurant on Saw Mill Run Boulevard was 2 p.m. Advertised as "Pittsburgh's First Modern Eat-in-your-Car Food Service" the original location was serviced by 10 carhops.[5] Four months later, a second unit opened in Pittsburgh, and within 11 years, there were 27 Eat'n Parks. Since then, the chain has grown to over 75 locations across 3 states.[1]

By 1974 interior dining replaced car hop service and other Big Boy franchises owned all territories surrounding metro Pittsburgh so Eat'n Park chose not to renew their Big Boy franchise agreement. The Big Boy hamburger was renamed the Super Burger.

In 2011, Eat'n Park was awarded the Achievement of Excellence award from the American Culinary Federation.[6]

Despite accepting debit & credit card transactions, Eat'n Park is unusual in the restaurant business by having an ATM at each location. The ATMs were originally owned by SkyBank, and later Huntington Bank after the latter bought SkyBank in 2007. The ATMs are now operated by a third-party company.

Since 2013, Eat'n Park has been a sponsor of the YouTube series Pittsburgh Dad.

Former locations[edit]

An Eat'n Park marquee.

While Eat'n Park serves the western half of Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia, the chain used to serve the York, Lancaster, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania markets from the mid-1990s to 2010. While there were a handful of restaurants in this region in 2000, over the years the number of locations dwindled to 4 by 2010: 1 in New Cumberland, 1 in Harrisburg, 1 in Lancaster, and 1 in York. In March 2010, the New Cumberland and Lancaster locations were bought out and closed; by October 1, 2010 Eat'n Park closed their York and Harrisburg locations due to low sales and therefore left the area for good.


Eat n Park banned smoking throughout its chain on May 30, 2007, 16 months before a statewide smoking ban was enacted in Pennsylvania.

Christmas commercial[edit]

An annual Christmas tradition in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area is the annual airing of an animated Eat'n Park Christmas commercial that shows a Christmas star struggling to reach the top of a Christmas tree until the tree bends over to help the star up.[7] Initially released in 1982 as a one-year-only ad in support of a charity at Children's Hospital, the ad became so popular that Eat'n Park has aired the ad every year since, starting in late November. Eat'n Park now sells merchandise around the holiday season based around the ad. It is believed to be the longest-running Christmas ad in the United States, longer than national ads by Folgers, Hershey's Kisses, and M&M's, as well as a more regional ad by the Pennsylvania Lottery.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b Eat'n Park. "Eat'n Park - About Us". Eat'n Park. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  2. ^ Eat'n Park. "Eat'n Park - About Us - Contact Us". Eat'n Park. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  3. ^ Eat'n Park. "Eat 'n Park - About Us - Eat'n Park Hospitality Group". Eat'n Park. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  4. ^ "Obituary: William D. Peters / President of Eat'n Park restaurants". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 20, 2000. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Bring Your Family to Eat'n Park (advertisement)". The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh). June 4, 1949. p. 3. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  6. ^ Lee, Stacy (20 July 2011). "Eat'n Park to receive national recognition". McKeesport Daily News. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Eat 'N Park Christmas Star Commercial
  8. ^ Eat ‘N Park Christmas Commercial Celebrating 30 Years KDKA-TV (11/29/2012)
  9. ^ Eat'n Park's animated Christmas Star ad celebrates 30 years Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (11/14/2012)

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eat'n_Park — Please support Wikipedia.
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8361 videos foundNext > 


Dad takes the family to Eat 'n Park! Get a Pittsburgh Dad Smiley Cookie at http://www.smileycookie.com/shop-by-occasion/pittsburgh-dad-cookies-2.html Like ...


"It ain't Christmas until I seen the Eat 'n Park Christmas Star commercial." Like Pittsburgh Dad on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pittsburghdad Follow ...

The History of Smiley at Eat'n Park

The icon of our brand, Smiley has been representing Eat'n Park since 1986! Our famous Smiley Cookies were first made available to our youngest visitors, but ...

Eat'n Park Weekday Breakfast Deals and New Jingle!

Eat'n Park is the place for smiles...and a great breakfast! This is the newest commercial, debuting on television beginning April 20. Listen closely to hear the new ...

Eat 'N Park Christmas Star Commercial

This is the classic Christmas Star commercial for Eat 'N Park that is shown on TV during the holiday season.

Eat'n Park - Smiley's Birthday Party

Eat'n Park celebrated Smiley's 20th Birthday in June, 2006!

Seafood Specials are here at Eat'n Park!

Reel 'em in! Seafood specials are here at Eat'n Park, and you don't want to miss them. New specials like General Tso's Shrimp, Salmon Burger, Tuna Cheddar ...

Go Steelers! Eat'n Park Steelers Smiley Cookies are loved by Steeler Nation

Eat'n Park Steelers Smiley Cookies are the perfect treat for Steelers fans across the nation. Former Steeler Tunch Ilkin shows his support in our newest ...

Made-from-scratch at Eat'n Park: Mushroom & Onion Burger

Our award-winning Mushroom & Onion Burger is made with Black Angus beef that's hand-seasoned and grilled, then topped with grilled fresh mushrooms and ...

Fresh goodies from the Eat'n Park bakery!

Our bakeries are bursting with fresh-baked goodies! Soft, gooey honeybuns, grilled stickies, fresh baked bread for our sandwiches, and of course, Smiley ...

8361 videos foundNext > 

3460 news items


Sat, 18 Jul 2015 18:41:15 -0700

Eat'n Park has been sourcing local produce through their FarmSource program for more than 10 years. They're able to serve fresh, local fruits and vegetables to their guests daily, thanks to partnerships with family-owned farms like Wiers Farm, Brenckle ...

Westmoreland County Times

Westmoreland County Times
Fri, 10 Jul 2015 03:40:05 -0700

LATROBE, PA — One of the fun activities of the Valley Dairy Great American Banana Split Celebration presented by Excela Health, which is hosted and produced by the Greater Latrobe-Laurel Valley Community Chamber of Commerce, will be the Eat'n Park ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:11:02 -0700

After, she and Ms. Reveille caught up with each other at an Eat'n Park over pieces of cream pie. Bianca confides that she is questioning her faith. “How does anyone know if God is real? “What if he isn't?” she asked. Ms. Reveille said everyone has doubts.

The Almanac

The Almanac
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:41:15 -0700

The Peters Township Zoning Board granted the owner of Dunkin' Donuts franchises in Southwestern Pennsylvania a 15-foot variance on the parking lot of the Eat'n Park on Washington Road, a move that makes a potential Peters Township location one step ...
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 19:48:45 -0700

They'd stop for a fish sandwich in the Norwood Inn on McCoy Road on the way home from church and high school, or meet friends for hamburgers and milkshakes in the Chartiers Road Eat'n Park. Kasich cites the Oyster House in Market Square as another ...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sat, 25 Jul 2015 20:56:15 -0700

A brand of Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, Six Penn Kitchen is committed to local ingredients, getting more than 20 percent of its ingredients from nearby farmers. (Lunch and dinner. 146 Sixth St.; 412-566-7366.) There are more than seven outdoor spots, ...

WTAE Pittsburgh

WTAE Pittsburgh
Thu, 21 May 2015 10:51:08 -0700

It's not the first time that someone has faced legal action from Eat'n Park for selling smiley-style cookies. "In this particular case, the 'Smiley's Cookies' logo name and design used by the company infringes on our Smiley Cookie brand trademark," Eat ...
Wed, 20 May 2015 12:24:42 -0700

Norma Rutter of Bulger decorates a sheet of Smiley cookies Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Robinson — some of the 20,000 donated by Eat'n Park for runners in this weekend's Pittsburgh Marathon.

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