what's new

Monday, February 14, 2022

Eat'n Park Love Stories Winner 2022

And the winner of our Eat'n Park Love Stories is… Nikki S.! Nikki's incredible story touched all of our hearts, making her the deserving winner of Eat'n Park date nights for a year! A huge congratulations to all our finalists, and thanks to everyone who shared their love stories – they sure made us smile! Read below for all of our finalist's love stories: 

Nikki S. (Winner)

Eat'n Park has planted deep roots in my heart, more so than the average person. To some, it’s a fun place to have dinner, but for me, it’s a huge part of my life story. My grandfather started going to Eat'n Park in my hometown pretty much since the beginning. There he made friends with the servers, managers, and the other regular guests. So as I grew up, my family would join him. It became the place to go for the Savini family—the place where we celebrated birthdays, retirements, and even New Years Day. Fast forward to my junior year of high school, and just guess where I got my first job? Yup, it was Eat'n Park. My best friend and I worked there. We made so many memories there that some even got brought up at my maid of honor speech at her wedding in 2020! My family, especially my grandfather, came in even more often while I worked. They say it was to see me, but I think they just wanted my discount! Anyway, I was a greeter, but I still remember my grandfather slipping me tips on his way out. There were so many things I loved about that job. One was smelling the freshly baked pies while cleaning the pie case at the end of my shift. But even more, I loved the community among the staff. We were there for each other. We took care of one another. I no longer work at the Place of Smiles, but I always receive the warmest greeting every time I go in for the AMAZING fried raviolis! My grandfather loved Eat'n Park and the workers loved him too. They memorized his breakfast order, which wasn’t complicated: one slice of toast and one sausage link. My grandfather passed away in 2021. At his funeral, I noticed a beautiful bouquet of flowers. And to no surprise, it was from the staff of Eat'n Park. I told you we took care of one another, didn’t I? To this day, when I go into the restaurant, I look at the coffee cups and think of my grandfather. I think of the memories our family has had there. I think of the lifelong friends I made there. I think of the community created there. Eat'n Park takes care of its own and treats customers like family. In writing this, I send much love to Eat n Park, especially the one in my hometown. Happy Valentines Day ENP! 

Ginger D. 
We've been in love with Eat 'n Park and with each other for 62 years! When my boyfriend and I first dated, in 1957, we enjoyed going to the Eat'n Park in Shaler. They had the Big Boy on the front lawn. A year later he was my husband. We lived in a house right across the road from that same Eat 'n Park. We were frequent guests and would drive across that road and eat our meals off of a tray on our car door that the carhops would put our dinners on.Then we moved to Butler and had 4 children and went to the New Castle Road Eat'n Park several times a week. We were on a first name basis with most of the wait staff, including one woman who was a long time employee and worked way back with the carhops came out on roller skates! We participated in a Focus Group and as a result they added a drive up window. We moved to Monongahela and as frequent visitors knew all of the wait staff there. They even put our sugar-free peach ice tea out for us before we got to our booth. Now we are back in Butler and really enjoy the new Retro Eat 'n Park! In 62 years of marriage (we are 80 and 83 years old), we have spent many happy times at Eat'n Park with our 4 children and 5 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. It's our favorite place to hold our family celebrations.

Kristen C. 
Eat'n Park is sacred ground for my friend, Abbie, and I. We have a date once a month at our local Eat'n Park. We are both busy mothers, wives, and educators. Our schedules are packed with sports, dance classes, church, and our families. Sometimes we dine together for brunch, sometimes it is late night pie and ice cream, or a soup and salad bar. We have shared so many conversations while sharing an appetizer. Eat'n Park has been a place for us to catch up, encourage one another, cry or laugh about our lives. Usually it’s all of the above.

Kimmy J. 
Me and my bffs come to the Whitehall eat'n park once a month for an “old ladies luncheon”. We love the salad bar. I am a little person so reaching things isn’t always the greatest. My bff ryan knows how much I love pickled eggs. So he scooped one out of the container at the bar and left it on the spoon for me. I was two people down in line. When I saw it, I looked over at him and he was smiling. Digging a pickled egg out of a container for your bff. That’s love.

Kim S. 
When my children were little, we always went to Eat' n Park with my parents after church. Through the years, Eat'n Park was our favorite go-to restaurant. My mom, Jane Elcan, passed away in 2017. My dad, Joel Elcan was able to stay in his house. For the next two years, I would pick my dad up and take him to Eat'n Park for dinner. Every day he would call me and ask me what time I was picking him up. We lived about 4 miles away, so he was close to us. If I couldn't get him, my husband, son, or daughter would take him. It was always around 4:00. Going to Eat-n-Park was the highlight of his day. Eventually, all the waitresses and waiters got to know my dad. He loved Eat'n Park's chili. He could not eat the beans because he had difficulty swallowing them. It got to the point when the wait-staff saw him walking in the door they would get one of the waitresses to get his chili ready with no beans.

The lady who worked the salad bar would return to the kitchen and would prepare him a big bowl of bean-free chili. The chili was always his starter before his meal. He would also always ask for five extra napkins. My dad was a retired Electrical Engineer and always was well organized with everything. In the next couple of years, I grew very close to my dad. I was his only child. We both looked forward to spending time with each other, especially at Eat'n Park. He also loved the watermelon on the salad bar when they had it. Once again, the lady who worked the salad bar would go back to the kitchen and check and see if there was any extra watermelon for him. Out of curiosity, one time, he asked the waitress how they got all the beans out of the chili. The waitress said, "Well, sir, we all use a strainer and scoop the beans out for you."

I will forever be grateful for the friendly waitresses and waiters that worked there. They all loved talking with him. Then when we finished eating, we would walk outside, and he would say, "That was a good meal." My dad passed away in October of 2019 at the age of 90. I went to Eat'n Park to tell all the workers he had passed. Everyone had tears in their eyes. Before he was laid to rest, my son put five extra Eat'n Park napkins in his suitcoat. I will never forget the acts of kindness the employees showed my dad. In his obituary, it read, "He loved to take his grandchildren to Eat-n-Park."


No comments: