Attention, Pittsburgh-area residents who don't follow football: All three of you could be in for a surprise this Sunday. In honor of the hometown team's appearance in the Super Bowl. the Eat 'n Park chain will be closing all of its restaurants as of 3 p.m.
Ostensibly, the outlets are being shuttered to give employees a chance to root for the Steelers, who are expected to turn the Arizona Cardinals into salsa. But the home office has admitted that past experience figures into the decision. When the team beat the Seattle Seahawks in the 2006 Bowl, the chain couldn't give away its signature Smiley cookies. Everyone was home wolfing down chicken wings, pizza and nachos, leaving seats empty and staffs twiddling their thumbs.
Press reports note that Eat 'n Park seldom closes its restaurants for anything less than a major holiday like Christmas. But what's a major cultural and religious holiday compared with Steelers football?