MPW.67 / 2015 Park-Et: Community and Good Food
 by Maranie Staab
Photographer
Maranie Staab Pittsburgh, Pa.
Team Chapnick

Story Summary

Established in 1942 Park-Et has been the heart of Perryville for decades, bringing good food and good people together. Whether early in the morning or late in the evening, parking spots are hard to come by and the dining room is full of families, couples and those simply seeking a warm atmosphere and a cup of coffee.

Regulars at Park-Et tend to include people like Ethel and Leon Schumer. Leon and Ethel first dated in the 1940s but parted ways when Leon joined the Navy. When he returned nearly 3 years later he found that Ethel, uncertain of his return, had moved to St. Louis. They both married others and it wasn’t until Leon’s wife passed away three years ago that they communicated again. Having heard of his loss Ethel wrote Leon a card; this led to over two years of courtship. Over 70 years after they first met, Ethel and Leon were married on September 4, 2015.

For the past quarter century the restaurant has been owned by Brenda Eselman and her husband Kevin. Beverly, Brenda’s sister, has worked at the restaurant for the past 24 years and their mother Margie, 81, can often be found in the back peeling potatoes for hand-cut fries or helping to prepare for the busy breakfast and dinner rushes. The four of them, and a dedicated staff, work to keep Park-Et serving Perryvillions 363 days of the year.