One of Liverpool’s most popular restaurants went dark temporarily the night of Oct. 30 as Heid’s shut down so that its staff could pay respects to owner John Parker.
Parker, who has owned the hot dog hotspot since 1995, lost his battle with cancer Oct. 26.
Parker, who lived on Hiawatha Trail in the village, left behind wife, Sandra (Saya) of Liverpool; his children, Vicki (Jeff) Hohman of Fulton, Lynne (Ron) Cerniglia of Raleigh, NC, Daniel (Kimberly) Parker of Fulton, Mark (Sara) Burlingame of Poughkeepsie, NY, Beth (Brian) King of Liverpool; his mother, Grace Parker of Fulton; brother, Randall (Caryl) Parker of New Hampshire; sisters, Nancy (Gene) Pratt of Victor, NY, Patricia (Dale) Lamb of Red Creek, NY; his grandchildren, Joseph and Jacob McDermott, Sam Cerniglia, Preston Parker, Mark Jr. and Max Burlingame, Madeleine King; an unborn granddaughter expected in December; many nieces, nephews, and friends, including his Heid’s Restaurant family.
In 1995 Parker and his brother, Randy, bought the restaurant near Onondaga Lake Park. They weathered an ill-advised departure from tradition when the Heid family self-sabotaged its franchising effort by abandoning Hofmann sausages. When the dust cleared, Heid’s of Liverpool was the only Heid’s left standing.
“We brought back Hofmann, which has always been there for us,” John said earlier this year. “The two brands — Heid’s and Hofmann — have a 90-plus year history together and we hope to have another 90 years.”
Randy moved to New Hampshire, while and John and his wife, Sandy, continued to operate Heid’s and Sweet Treats. The eatery became a local hotspot again, earning not only community appreciation but nationwide accolades; this past July, Food & Wine Magazine listed Heid’s among the top 27 hot dog joints in the country.
Parker was also active in the Liverpool community. He was an active member of the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, and executive director Lucretia Hudzinski said she’ll remember him as an avid outdoorsman and a good man.
“I will remember most his willingness to always help this community,” Hudzinski said. “I listened to everyone say what a wonderful person he was, he loved life, golfing and fishing. We will all miss him.”
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Parker’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, Memorial Processing Center, 6725 Lyons St., P.O. Box 7, East Syracuse, NY 13057.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.