Thursday, February 18, 2010

Belated RIP: Skidgy's Family Restaurant

For nearly twenty years, Skidgy's dominated the clearly-used-to-be-a-Friendly's restaurant category in the South Hills.

Named for the sounds customers' stomachs would make after eating their famous Double-Grease Double-Bacon Skidgyburger, Skidgy's gave Eat N' Park a run for its money in the highly competitive 80- to 99-year-old demographic.

In 1989, the Friendly's restaurant on Cochran Road was forced to close because the irony of its name was too rich for Mt. Lebanon's sensitive palates. Local entrepreneur Percy Jenkins sensed an opportunity and pounced. His revolutionary concept? Dine-in health care.

From IV bag hangers to free oxygen tank refills, Skidgy's catered to their elderly customers' every need, who in turn became slavishly devoted to its offerings. Any given morning would find the restaurant buzzing with activity, as patrons swapped medication advice and World War I stories.

For years Skidgy's letterboard sign read, "FREE BEER AND WINE. PLEAS3 EAT H3RE." In reality, this was a crafty move by Jenkins to attract attention and traffic without sacrificing costs, because he knew that none of the aging customers could handle more than a sip or two of alcohol before falling fast asleep.

As they say, all good things must come to an end, and for Skidgy's it was no different as age caught up to their fan base. Skidgy's last surviving customer passed away in 2008, and Jenkins was forced to sell the property.

Northwest Savings Bank now occupies the premises and is shaking up the clearly-used-to-be-a-Friendly's banking industry in Pittsburgh.

RIP Skidgy's. Your restaurant gave all our great-grandparents a place to eat and enjoy life's twilight. You will be missed.

1 comment:

  1. I thought they were going to put an Algeo's pharmacy in there