Parkette Drive In restaurant memorabilia, selling merchandise

Looking for one last memory of Parkette, the Lexington drive-in restaurant that abruptly closed on June 28?

The owners of the restaurant property on New Circle Road are going to have a sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 23 Melissa Tipton, the daughter of Parkette founder Joe Smiley, announced on Facebook.

She said souvenirs and other items will be available, including Parkette Drive-In merchandise, shirts, menus and hats. Store fixtures and signs are also available for purchase.

“If you want Parkette memorabilia for your man cave, your garage or just a tee to remember Parkette Drive In, you don’t want to miss this sale. One day only. This is a sale cash, first come, first served Must take merchandise with you same day,” she said online in the post.

The restaurant closed after 70 years due to declining sales. Restaurateur Randy Kaplan said last month he hoped to continue with the help of the Smiley family, but that ultimately didn’t work out and the lease was terminated at the Kaplans’ request.

The iconic eatery was known for its fried chicken and fish served in cans, made-to-order “Poor Boy” double-decker burgers, chili dogs, onion rings and handmade milkshakes.

Will the Parkette Drive-In property be sold, demolished?

Brian Tipton, son-in-law of Parley Smiley, widow of Parkette founder Joe Smiley, said on Tuesday there were no plans to sell the property or set up another restaurant there, but demolition is likely inevitable.

“I think it will eventually happen. This building is 71 years old and it is showing its age. I don’t see anyone wanting to use this building to operate a restaurant,” he said.

The property is not for sale and no transaction has been completed, he said.

“We’re taking it one step at a time,” Tipton said. “What we want to do is make sure anyone who wants a piece of Parkette can get a piece of Parkette. …There’s so much old stuff up there.

He said his main goal was to save the historic Parkette neon sign.

“Whatever happens with this property, I would like this sign to stay where it is and be used. It is priceless, the greatest road sign in Lexington and could never be duplicated,” he said. he declared. “It’s a piece of Lexington history.”

The sun sets over the Parkette Drive-In, on the last evening of its opening, June 28, 2022. The legendary Lexington restaurant has closed after 70 years in business on New Circle Road. Silas Walker [email protected]

This story was originally published July 12, 2022 1:24 p.m.

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Janet Patton covers restaurants, bars, food and bourbon for the Herald-Leader. She is an award-winning business journalist who has also covered agriculture, gambling, horses and hemp.
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