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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

A Message from our Chairman & CEO, Jeff Broadhurst

The year was 1949.   

“Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend)” was at the top of the music charts. The Stratton Story starring Indiana, Pa.’s own Jimmy Stewart was the No. 1 film. And restauranteur Larry Hatch was about to do something extraordinary...he just didn’t know it yet.  

On June 5, 1949, Hatch introduced Pittsburgh to its first “Come as You Are, Eat In Your Car” experience known as “Eat’n Park,” located in a tiny, two-tone yellow, 13-seat restaurant in the South Hills. The restaurant opened at 2 PM that day, and soon guests rushed the Saw Mill Run Boulevard location, causing a traffic jam on Route 51. By 8 PM, the restaurant was out of food, with just hours to spare before they had to do it all over again the next day.   

And that’s just what Larry Hatch and his resilient team did.   

Guarded with a willingness to listen and anticipate guests’ needs, they opened and set out to make a better tomorrow. While my father, former Chairman and CEO Jim Broadhurst, wouldn’t introduce the Smiley Cookie for another 37 years, the desire to Create a Smile has always been there, even on that opening day.  

Today, Eat’n Park celebrates its 75th anniversary, and we wouldn’t be here without our community. While we specialize in food, our restaurants start with people. That’s what’s kept us in business for more than seven decades. 

Just like our Sauce Supreme adds something extra special to our Superburger, the same can be said for our incredible team members and the guests we serve. Our team members have been willing to take risks and try new ideas with us, all while creating Smiles, and you, our guests, have stood by us and become our family. We’re who we are today because of the Pittsburgh community who took a chance on us on Saw Mill Run Boulevard all those years ago. 

As we’ve evolved and grown, Eat’n Park memories look different for each generation, and I can’t wait to see what new ones will take shape. 

Thank you for 75 years. We look forward to spreading Smiles for 75 more! 



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