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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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10432 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 Pittsburgh Dad on Facebook: http://www.fa.

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 Partner Spotlight: Parma Sausage

Parma Sausage is a family business that has been handcrafting a variety of meats since the 1930's. At Eat'n Park, we use their chorizo in our Breakfast Burrito and our South of the Border Stack,...

Eat'n Park - Smiley's Birthday Party

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


"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 Pittsburgh Dad on Twitter: http://www.twit...

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 they soon became a favorite of...

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 Melt, and Popcorn Shrimp will keep...

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 version of the "Place...

Eat'n Park 'Place for Smiles' Jingle by Sarah Marince

Pittsburgh-area recording artist, Sarah Marince, records an updated version of the classic Eat n' Park 'Place for Smiles' jingle. The new jingle will make its debut in Eat'n Park's upcoming...

Scott Blasey-Eat n' Park Song.MOV

10432 videos foundNext > 

1251 news items

WTAE Pittsburgh

WTAE Pittsburgh
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:11:40 -0700

—Kelly and Mike Bauman walked into the Penn Hills Eat'n Park on Tuesday, expecting to have lunch and go home. Instead, their day was changed by a stranger. 16 Cancer-causing foods you might eat every day · NaturalOn.com compiled a list of the most ...

90.5 WESA

90.5 WESA
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 04:39:33 -0700

... a Saturday, so we're expecting hopefully we get a lot of pie people coming in on Friday,” said Prantl's Downtown Manager Diane Turner. Eat'n Park's Public Relations Coordinator Becky McArdle said pie sales haven't caught on yet, “but we're very ...

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 21:00:31 -0800

It's no Dean & DeLuca but a division of Eat'n Park will operate a convenience store featuring a limited selection of prepared foods and fresh produce in the new PNC tower Downtown. Gary Saulson, director of corporate real estate for PNC Financial ...

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 21:02:41 -0800

Duane “Spanky” Stanton, 68, loves to reminisce about his days as a 16-year-old customer at the Eat'n Park restaurant in McKeesport. Back then, car hops — waitresses who worked outdoors, taking orders and delivering food to cars — were the rage. In ...
Ellwood City Ledger
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 01:06:23 -0700

... inflatable attractions, sponsored by T&M Hardware and Rental; appearances by “Floppy The Easter Bunny,” as well as Elmo, Superman an “Easter Princess” and Smiley from Eat'n Park, sponsored by the Chippewa Township Eat'n Park. There will also be a ...

Pittsburgh Business Times

Pittsburgh Business Times
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:52:30 -0800

Eat 'n Park Hospitality Group is plunging into the smoothie bar business, buying into a Florida-based franchise operation called Delicious Raw. The Homestead-based restaurant company will debut its first franchise location next door to its new Hello ...

WTAE Pittsburgh

WTAE Pittsburgh
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:48:45 -0800

PITTSBURGH —Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is featured on a new smiley cookie from Eat'n Park. Steelers lose Brett Keisel for season · Brett Keisel. The Pittsburgh Steelers will make their stretch run without Brett Keisel after putting ...


Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:11:32 -0700

(First, though, Sestak stops at an Eat'n Park and buys a coffee so he can use the men's room.) The driver, Jack Zandi, a nephew of Moody's analyst and Sestak advisor Mark Zandi, has followed the former admiral on his journey. When Sestak has a fund ...

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