A driver heading south on Harlem Avenue on the evening of Oct. 27 lost control of his 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe, crashing into the patio of the iconic Parky’s Hot Dogs.
While the crash damaged the restaurant’s iconic glass patio, the car didn’t hit the kitchen. Parky’s was closed at the time, so no one was hurt.
According to the police report provided to the Review, the driver drove down Harlem Avenue “at a high rate of speed” around 9:37 p.m. As the driver tried to avoid hitting another car, he “lost control” and ran off the pavement and onto the sidewalk. The car spun across the sidewalk and slammed into the patio.
Photos, taken by resident Mark Kristofer and shared widely on social media, showed the car completely inside the patio. The glass panels of the east-facing patio wall were almost completely broken, but the south and north patio walls survived intact. The car didn’t hit the kitchen or the counter on the west side of the patio.
Parky’s is one of Forest Park’s oldest surviving eateries. The original location opened on Roosevelt Road in Berwyn in 1946, and the current Harlem Avenue location opened as a second location a year later. Founder Eugene Artist named it after the Bohemian word for “hot dog.” Artist’s father, an architect, came up with the patio’s distinct, half-trapezoid glass shape and light-blue and orange color scheme.
Parky’s is known for being one of the few Chicago-area hot dog stands that doesn’t use Vienna beef sausages, making their own in-house, pork-and-beef sausages instead. They are also known for their fries from freshly delivered potatoes, made on site.