A West 12th Street restaurant will no longer be selling smiley cookies after nearly 30 years in business. Jackie Roberts spoke to Eat ‘N Park customers and the manager about saying goodbye.
For decades, community members in Erie have made grabbing breakfast at Eat ‘N Park part of their regular routine. But, one of the locations will close its doors for good this weekend.
Guests who pull up to the Eat’n Park on West 12th Street will be greeted by a sign reading, “Closing on January 27th. Thank you for 29 great years.”
Zachariah Baker, Eat’n Park Manager, says, “We have quite a few regulars that come in; one, two, three, four times a week and this is where they gather. This is where they talk about their lives. This is just part of their routine. It’s gonna be a huge disruption for the entire community.”
Whether it’s the freshly baked sweets or the friendly atmosphere, for some, this location grew to be a community favorite over the years.
Erie Resident Jim Butts tells us, “I actually haven’t been here in a while. I used to come every week and I just thought I’d come back, say goodbye to the place.”
Another Erie Resident, Phyllis Tarasopich, says, “The waitresses are very friendly and the service is good and the food is good. I got exactly what I chose and it was so good.”
Fortunately, many employees won’t be out of work. Eat ‘N Park tries to place at least 85 percent of its team members at other locations. In this case, many will either end up at the Peach Street property or working with the restaurant’s account at Mercyhurst University.
Tarasopich says, “I’m glad that they’ve considered that. I’ll be looking forward to seeing some of the same waitresses again with good service.”
And, as crews get ready to serve their final meal, they’re leaving one message with their loyal customers.
The manager tells us, “I just wanna say thanks for a great 29 years we’ve had. Without our community, we wouldn’t be here today and you’ve made it possible for all of my team members to have a great life.”
Once that Eat ‘N Park is closed, a Chick Fil A is expected to be built in its place.